Eclectic Bistro Fare

April 3, 2009

March 25, 2009

Char Siu Shrimp w Peas and Garlic

Tonight was a great meal! We don't have any Dim Sum out here...So I made some.
After some research, I began by making the dough.

6 c. ap flour
1 tbs. baking powder
1 3/4 c. warm water
1/4 c. sugar
2 tbs. unsalted butter
2 tbs. olive oil
1 yeast package

I combined my yeast, water and half my sugar and let it grow for 10 minutes.
Then I put the rest of the sugar in my mixing bowl and creamed my butter. I sifted the baking powder and flour, into my mixer, turned it on and added the water/ yeast mixture and then slowly added my oil. Once the ingredients came togetherfully, I turned off my mixer so not to over mix. Let it rest for an hour and a half. It should triple in volume by then.

Tonight was a great meal! We don't have any Dim Sum out here...So I made some.
After some research, I began by making the dough.

In the mean time I shelled and chopped up about 1 lb. of 21/25 raw shrimp and added the following ingredients to it...

1/2 c. peas
1 tbs. fresh ginger, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbs. hoisin sauce
1 tbs. oyster sauce
1 tbs. sugar
2 tbs. mirin
and a shot of sriracha ( optional)

note...this is basically the ingredients for kung pao minus the chicken stock and peanuts.

I rolled the dough out on a floured surface (retro '70's counter top) and rolled it into a baguette shape, about 2 1/2 in. x 14 in. long. At this point I cut it into 1 inch patties and individually pinched and rolled them into nuce little saucers with which to fill the shrimp mix into.

Then I pinched and twisted the edges toward the center. Let it rest for ten minutes longer so the dough relaxes.

Steamed for ten minutes...

voila! create your own sauce or use mine...

shot of toasted sesame oil
1 tbs. sherry vinegar
2 oz. mirin
3 tbs. sugar
soy sauce to taste

March 24, 2009

Pan Seared Halibut Steak w/ Israeli Cous Cous & Caper Vinaigrette

Hi friends! Just giving you some more food porn...
As you know, I love fish. Big or Small, Fin to Tail, I LLLLOVE FISH! Oh! (wiping away drool) Sorry, I can't help it. And if it has a large bone in it, the flavor is even better! Any way, This is one of my favorites so I cook it as often as I can. Here I pan seared it with some seasonings of mustard, thyme, paprika, garlic and coriander (of course salt and pepper) and served it over Israeli cous cous with trinity veg, veg stock, and fresh oregano and thyme. Topped on it was an emulsion of dijon, cilantro, crushed capers, white wine vinegar, lemon juice and olive oil. I hope you enjoy it too!

March 17, 2009

Chicken & Basil "Saltimbocca" with Truffle Butter Sauce

Every time I make this dish it gets better. It changes with the seasons and depending on what ingredients I have on hand. I love it! Here I've wrapped the paillard of chicken breast with basil leaves and prosciutto de Parma and made a delicate butter sauce with Oregon Truffles and Fleur de Sel. The sides are Basmati rice infused with leeks and some sauteed veg. Enjoy!

March 14, 2009


O.k., is this another kitty litter box or something??! I don't know about you Cheffjonny! ....
Wait a minute, what is that aroma?
Is that what I think it is?!
Oh, my! What will you do with those?

March 13, 2009

Two Cakes, Two different reasons...

Its not allowed on MYSPACE and yet I think it will become famous. My dear friend Toni sent me an email this nauseus cake as a tribute to a long running inside joke between us. It involves cats and poop and how she'll own 20 to 30 of them when she's an old maid. So I'm supporting this cake as a comedic approach to the otherwise (sometimes) pretentious culinary world. I hope you enjoy!

On a lighter note, I made a birthday cake for my daughter's "under the sea" birthday party! I'm not that skilled at cakes as you can see but it tasted awesome. It was a two layer Vanilla Bean Sponge Cake with a Vanilla pudding center and a Lemon Butter Cream Frosting.

March 11, 2009

Northwest Style Granola!

With the economy in the tank and no light at the end yet, I have many excuses to start canning, preserving and drying...(summer's a good reason too.) Also, simple foods made with the best ingredients can be a big hit and a lot of fun to make.
Here's my interpretation of a granola recipe my Grandmother used to make. I grew up eating this stuff! When its fresh out of the oven, it smells like hot oatmeal cookies or wintery mulled spices. MMMM...

4 c. rolled organic oats
1 c. wheat germ
1/2 c. hemp seeds
1/4 c. flax seeds
1/2 c. hazel nuts
1 tbs. cinnamon
1/2 tbs. cardamom
1 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg
1 c. dried cranberries
1 c. medjool dates
1/2 c. orange blossom honey
1 stick salted butter
1 vanilla bean ( split and seeded )
1 star anise seed

Preheat oven to 350*. Toss the first 8 ingredients together in a bowl. Begin melting butter with honey, vanilla, and anise in a small pot. Pour the honey butter over the bowl of dry ingredients and toss together with a spatula. Discard the vanilla pod and star anise. Lay out the mix on a parchment lined sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes then remix the ingredients and bake for 10 more minutes. Let cool on sheet pan and voila! Ther you have it! Keep it in your fridge and it will last up to a month in an air tight container. Although mine only lasts a few days. Enjoy

January 28, 2009

...asiatic / polynesian fever!

Miso Sesame Broiled Halibut- rice noodles, scallions, bell pepper, peanut sauce
Fried Chicken Katsu- sticky rice, baby bok choy, mushrooms, tonkatsu

January 27, 2009

Buffalo Tri-Tip & the BBQ King

Back up a few years in my career as a chef and you'll find that I worked and trained under the infamous "BBQ King" Ralph Blevins at Rutherford's Catering & Premier Events in Reno, Nv. He was an unsinkable, unshakeable, old grizzly of a man that knew all the tricks of the culinary trade (even inventing a few). When I came to work for him, he was in need of someone whom he could mentor and train in running his company, due to the fact that he had recently suffered some medical issues. Ralph had more trophies and awards than I've ever seen outside a trophy shop. All of them were for Barbecue. He was considered by all in the barbecue world as the West Coast King. While working for him I learned about hot and cold smoking, grilling better than the rest and dry rubs that enhance the flavor of the meat rather than mask it. He was the best at what he did.

Out of my respect for the late - great man and my love for Northwest inspired foods, I have come up with my own ways of smoking barbecue. Using my own little outdoor grill, I'll show you how to get the maximum amount of kick ass smokey flavor for your upcoming Summer Barbecues. We'll start with a buffalo tri-tip, some of my own experimental wet rub using black berries and smoking with cedar wood...

We begin making a wet rub out of the following
.1 c. blackberries -rough chopped
1 tsp. arabica coffee - fine ground
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. merlot
1 1/2 tbs. sugar
pinch allspice
salt & pepper to taste

Soak some small 2" x 3" x 1/4" cedar planks in water for one hour and allow rub to sit on the meat for the same time. Fire up your barbecue ( I use coal ) and allow embers to turn white before placing on the grill. I don't want the temperature of my grill to reach over 260* f. so I let them go a while before adding my soaked cedar planks to the coals. You can test this with a thermometer in one of the vents (some barbecues come with a thermometer built in). Cook the meat until the internal temp reaches 125* f. for a perfect rare. The cook time depends on the size of your tri-tip. Try it out and you'll have the best smelling barbecue on the block!

Until next time! - Cheffyboy

Blackberry Coffee Smoked Buffalo Tri-tip w/ Peruvian Purple Mashed Potatoes & Sherried Bacon Green Beans

January 15, 2009

January 10, 2009

New Year, New Food!

Crusted Tuscan Shrimp on Cannelini Beans & Baby Spinach w/ Grilled Polenta & Harissa

We had our 1 year anniversary at the restaurant and celebrated it for a whole week. I was a bad blogger and had no time for taking pictures on New Year's Eve. (Spankings are much deserved.) We were in the weeds all night and if it wasn't for the Oyster Bar, everything would have gone a little smoother. But despite all that, the night was a success and the community reached out to our little 50 seat restaurant to give us some love.

Up and coming dishes are popping on the Menu for this year. Here's a sneak preview...

Herb Grilled Pork Chop on Apple Risotto & Baby Spinach w/ Saffron Dijon Cream

Morroccan Steak on Sauteed Confetti Orzo w/ Piemontese Caper & Basil Puree

Indian Spiced Rack of Lamb w/ Paprika Cilantro Oil & Herb Crusted Potatoes
I hope you all had as great a New Year's Eve as I did. I'll Post again soon with another Duck Blog to further explor it's many uses.

December 31, 2008

New Years Eve Menu

Happy New Years Everyone!
Tonight's Menu is as follows...I hope everyone has a blessed and safe night! Whoo Hoo! 2009!
Pictures will be posted soon.

Martini Style Dungeness Crab Louie w/ Green Goddess Dressing
Oyster Bar w/ Raspberry Mignonette & Organic Nation Vodka Shots
Chicken Lettuce Wraps w/ Cucumber & Lime Chili Sauce
Scallops St. Jacques over Roasted Leeks

Vegetable Curry w/ Eggplant, Yam, Basil & Spinach Leaves
Kobe "Wagyu" Burger w/ Crispy Leeks & Truffled Fries
Chicken Picatta on Angel Hair Pasta & Fried Capers
"Bistropub" Top Sirloin w/ Steak Sauce, Beer Battered Onion Rings & Rogue Blue Cheese
Sesame Crusted "Surf & Turf" Ahi & Filet Mignon, Wasabi Mashed Potatoes & Ponzu Sauce

Buttermilk Panna Cotta & Mexican Hot Cocoa "Duet"
Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee
Assorted Cakes

December 13, 2008

Herb Grilled Porkchop w/ Saffron Dijon Sauce, Caramelized Apple Risotto, Wilted Spinach and Anise Scented Dried Apple

Here's a throwback even your Grandma will understand, reminiscent of the famous casserole of porkchops and rice she used to make. A fantastic Bone-In Porkchop rubbed with rosemary, sage and garlic. The sauce is a light cream and white wine reduction with shallot and saffron. For the Risotto I caramelized apple dices in sugar and apple cider vinegar with shallot and parmesan cheese. Also, simply wilted, a handful of baby spinach leaves in butter. Enjoy!

December 5, 2008

Duck Four Ways(or how to get the most out of your duck)

Lately everyone I know is feeling a pinch in their wallet. I recently bought a duck and so not to feel guilty about spending the money, I felt I should show you how you can utilize every bit of this bird. Some of the product I've made here will be used for months to come.

After this entry I'll begin conducting a monthly series on using Duck in as many ways as I can so as to educate you on what I call Beak to Foot cooking. Not one part of this beautiful foul will be wasted.

To start, we will begin with your basic stock and turn it into a demi-glace. A demi-glace is basically a stock that has been concentrated. Why would we make a demi-glace anyway? Because it has more uses than a stock, has a longer shelf life and is more flavor in a smaller package taking up less space in the fridge.

Things you'll need...

  • 1 leek

  • 2 carrots

  • 1 yellow onion

  • 4 cloves garlic

  • 2 celery stalks

  • 1 gallon water

  • 1 duck - neck, backbone, pelvis, breast bone and wings only (remove all skin and reserve)

  • 1sprig- thyme

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 tbs. black peppercorn

  • 2 cups red wine- I use pinot noir.

  • pinch of salt

I begin by bringing all ingeredients ( minus wine) to just before a boil on high heat. When the water begins to boil, I reduce the heat to low and simmer for about three hours. The liquid will reduce to about 3/4 the original volume. Then I strain all of this through a seive and put the stock into a fresh pot. At this point you have a beautiful stock for soups or gravies.

Next I add the red wine to the liquid and reduce to half of this volume. This is demi-glace. Some people add tomato paste and roast the bones but I don't think caramelization works with all sauces so I refrain from this when doing a demi made from a bird.

November 28, 2008

Seasonal Salad

I'm in the mood for tuna....Yah! Ahi! ...or is it Aha! ?? That'll be my special for tonight! A little champagne, good olive oil, cranberry sounds good, and oh here's some pistachios, some lemon, potatoes, oh maybe parsley pesto, and greens. Heh Heh! They'll love it.

November 20, 2008

Doro Wat for the Soul

This was a hit with my daughter and I didn't make it too spicy! Its not much to look at but this is some great chicken stew. Probably the best African dish you'll ever try. I love Ethiopian food with a passion. I can probably best describe it as an African "Chicken Jambalaya". It all starts with a spice mix called Berbere. I sautee these spices and vegetables in butter...fenugreek, allspice, clove, ginger, cayenne, garlic, nutmeg, black pepper, onion, and carrot. Then I add chicken stock, thyme, tomato sauce and a dry white wine (apple juice works too), and add the juice of one lemon. Make sure that you have a good amount of liquid in the pot to cover your chicken. I place all parts of a broken down chicken into the pot (bone-in) minus the innards, and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. After this I add a few eggs (in the shell still) and let it cook for about 15 minutes more. I pop the eggs out and cool them down under cold water, peel and dice and add back to the stew. Stir it up and serve over rice, cous cous or make some nice Ingera bread. I hope you have more time than I did to locate some Tef Flour. If you live in a city with a significant Ethiopian or Eritrean population you might find a nifty little cultural market that has some. Aren't one pot dishes a pleasure to clean up? - Enjoy.

November 18, 2008

Mushrooms Galore!

It's the Autumn Mushroom Season again and somehow I have been too busy to post many pics lately even though I have had quite alot of ideas and half finished posts about how wonderful it is to do what I love (Cooking). Here is two lovely fungi I have been using alot. Hedgehogs (left) are great for a quick sautee but I recently used them in a Slow Braised Top Sirloin Dish w/ Cab. Sauv., Pumpkin and Leeks. They cooked down so fast that they became a thickening agent for the sauce which added complexity and richness to the dish.
Pig's Ear are smooth and have a silky texture similar to perfectly cooked squid. They hold up well to frying or a hard sautee. They taste similar to toasted walnuts.
Good Stuuuuuufff!

October 30, 2008

Sushi Night at my house!

Left to Right, Top to Bottom: Spicy Shrimp Philly Roll, Lemon Shrimp and Crab Roll w/ Scallions, Seared Rare Spicy Tuna Sashimi, Wasabi & Fresh Made Pickled Ginger, Two California Rolls, and an Inside Out Shrimp Avocado Sesame Roll.

Its been a while since we had a sushi night here at the house... Not having alot of money lately and a real craving for some yummy sushi prompted us to rifle through the freezer and cupboards. We had everything we needed to do it except for an avocado and some shrimp. See what a well thought out list of onhand items can get you! And it didn't cost more than $20.00 either! Enjoy.

October 28, 2008

"Potted" Vanilla Cupcake w/ Cardamom Maple Yogurt Cheese Frosting & Ovaltine Sprinkles

We had a little fun at home today with a cupcake recipe from Magnolia Bakery...Yes, the same as Sex & The City. I found the recipe online and had to try it, only I substituted the vanilla extract for a real vanilla bean. Also I wanted to try a yogurt cheese frosting and see if cardamom, maple, vanilla, and malty Ovaltine would play with each other well. They did and we will have to schedule another playdate soon!