Monday, June 20, 2016

Grilled Swordfish Video

YouTube Link: Grilled Swordfish
More Videos: Helen's Kitchen Channel

1.5 - 2 Lb swordfish
Salt and pepper

1 garlic clove
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp oil (I use grapeseed, but you can use any oil)

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

My 8 year old learned to make crepes

My 8 year old is practicing for a dessert contest. She was concerned that judges wouldn't believe that she made crepes herself. Well, there was only one solution to that problem -- make a video!

YouTube Link: An 8 year old makes crepes
More Videos: Helen's Kitchen Channel

Sunday, June 12, 2016

RIP Bluestar

So, how did the story with the Bluestar end? I get this question all the time from anxious cooks trying to make a decision about which range they should get. After 7 years of ups and downs (mostly downs), the bluestar is finally dead.

I was suspecting a gas leak due to a faint smell of propane. Since Vesco was here only a couple of months ago, I called my propane company. They showed up immediately and confirmed that there was a leak. After testing their system, they narrowed it down to the range itself. Maybe Vesco should have paid more attention to the fact that my burners were lighting with a huge puff of flame. The propane company disconnected the range since it was a safety hazard. This happened on a Wednesday. I had 2 classes scheduled for Saturday, and 2 sick children at home. It was not a good week. But Natick Appliance came to my rescue and got me a Wolf in 2 days.

Everything on a Wolf worked out of the box, except for the broiler. The fact that something should not work on a $5,000 range was puzzling to me. It took 2 weeks to schedule a repair. I could have been done earlier if I were able to cancel all my appointments on a moment's notice, and take whatever time they gave me the evening before showing up. Since that wasn't possible, I had to wait 2 weeks so that I could get an appointment with a specific time arranged ahead. The repairman from Clarke, the Wolf distributor and repair shop, was thorough and knowledgeable. My problem was not consistent -- sometimes the broiler stayed on, and sometimes it turned off shortly after lighting. The repairman stuck around long enough to recreate my broiler issues, fixed it (he had the part on hand), and spent another 20 minutes running the diagnostics to make sure the broiler was working consistently.

Wolf pros: smooth operation, easy clean up, good repairman
Wolf cons: small oven, expensive

Bluestar pros: huge oven, burners heat pans very evenly, half the price of Wolf
Bluestar cons: everything breaks, you might set yourself on fire and burn down your house

Will the Wolf age gracefully? We'll see.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Hamachi with Plums (breaking down the fish and plating crudo)

YouTube Link: Hamachi with Plums
More Videos: Helen's Kitchen Channel

For 4 appetizer servings:

1 Lb sliced hamachi

Plum Salad:
1 large plum
1 spring onion or a few scallions (can also use shallots of red onions)
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp olive oil

Sesame Sauce:
1 tsp black sesame paste (neri goma) available at Japanese stores and on Amazon.
1/4 cup labne or Greek yogurt

Raw Fish Safety

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Spicy Tuna with Nori Chips (a quenelle plating technique)

YouTube Link: Spicy Tuna with Nori Chips
More Videos: Helen's Kitchen Channel

Recipe for 4-6 first course portions:

Spicy Tuna:
1 Lb tuna
1/4 - 1/3 cup mayo (or to taste)
sriracha hot sauce to taste
1 tsp soy sauce or to taste
2 scallions (white and pale green parts) finely minced

Tempura Batter:
142 g unbleached all-purpose flour (1 cup, scooped and leveled)
1 tsp Diamond Crystal Kosher salt (or 1/2 tsp table salt)
1.5 tsp baking powder
354 g ice-cold water (no ice cubes) (1.5 cups)
oil for frying

4 nori sheets cut into 1.5 inch squares
english cucumber for garnish
green parts of scallions for garnish