Eclectic Bistro Fare

June 19, 2008

Blackened Chicken with White Grape Buerre Blanc

Summer is just around the corner and my cravings are changing from warm to hot. It is a well known fact that cayenne and other chiles cool you down but something is needed to chill out your tongue after you indulge in their firey goodnes. So I came up with this accompaniment of white grapes and kiwi. I simmered some Provencal herbs in the wine and lemon juice as I reduced it, then added some cold butter to thicken. The kiwi wasn't just for show, it brings a sweetness and acidity to the dish that I felt was much needed to balance out the heat from the blackening spices. It turned out really well. I'll definitely make this sauce again. Maybe next time I'll roast up a quail or two for it.

June 16, 2008

Honey Miso Glazed Seabass, Toasted Pistachios & Thai Blue Crab Salad w/ "8 Spice" Ginger Lime Vinaigrette

I love this fish and rarely ever get it because it commonly comes from Chile and is over-fished. But I came across some imported E-friendly Seabass from France and I think its just as good. I wanted something light on this 85 degree day. No starch needed. Just fresh, lightly acidic and complex. So this came out! - I'll get into ( recipes ) detail later. But for now, enjoy!

June 13, 2008

Steak Salad w/ Feta Cheese & Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette

After all the comfort food I've been eating lately, I felt like making a fresh salad. Everything on this plate was grown or raised in Southern Oregon - minus the Greek feta ( I haven't had the chance to get to Pholia Farm yet.) And with produce and meat this fresh and awesome, I'm having a hard time enjoying it with one hand and typing with the other... so till next time. :)

June 10, 2008

Lavendar Flan

I crave custard year round whether Pot au Creme, a Brulee, or a simple Flan like this one. Done correctly, there is no need for garish or frills. Sometimes you have to let the food speak for itself. The difference between this dish and other flans is the lavendar scent in the caramel and the ratio of condensed milk to whole milk. Most substitute for evaporated milk and condensed 50/50 but I like to use fresh whole milk. This can be tricky since evaporated milk is 60% reduced. So to compromise I made this recipe.

  1. 1 Tahitian Vanilla Bean

  2. 4 lg. eggs

  3. 1 lavendar flower and stem

  4. 1 14 oz. can condensed organic milk

  5. 3/4 c. whole local milk

  6. 3/4 c. raw (fine ground turbinado) sugar

  7. 9" cake pan

It is all in the ingredients for this dessert. If you don't skimp on the source, any dish (executed properly) will be a work of art.

June 9, 2008

Steelhead Trout w/ Dijon Creme Fraiche and Potato & Beet Lyonaisse and Husk Roasted Corn

I love cooking fish. And the region I'm in ( Rogue Valley) has some of the best fishing in the Nation. Here's a prime example right from the other side of the mountains ,on the coast. When I bought this it was almost still flippin' around.

For those of you who may not know, most trout are purely freshwater but the Steelhead makes it's annual spawning run from the Pacific Ocean like Salmon. What's so great about this is that it retains excellent ocean flavor even after it enters the rivers far from the coast.

rrrrrrrRRRR! (brakes) I need to demystify something right now....semi-off-subject! Creme Fraiche is about the biggest marketed scam I've seen in the market for up to $10.oo for 8 oz. So I'll give you a (not for the impatient) recipe....1 c. Heavy whipping cream + 1 tbs. Buttermilk - Leave out for between 24-36 hours at room temp. --- I know, I know! That's not sanitary! Health Department blah blah! Servsafe nag nag! --- How do you think the stuff was discovered??! It's called a live culture people...totally kosher. Well, maybe not kosher but you get the point. Anyways, put it in the fridge after that or it will spoil and you'll know if that happens by the stank! - Bon Apetit!

June 4, 2008

Sweet Tooth Parties!

I recently came across an article about a Miracle Fruit...No, it doesn't walk across water or feed five thousand people but it does something incredible enough to have N.Y. and S.F. chefs piqued with curiosity. I have to say, it has me concocting schemes for a flavor tripping party in the Southern Oregon Area. Check out . Maybe the food science bar just got raised a little higher in " Terra Culinaria " but in Africa people have known about this for a long time. It brings new insight into how much we as chefs don't know about wild edibles. Daydreams of malted chile truffles and key lime marmalade spread on sourdough crostini and other sorts of new strange creations are racing around in my head... Ohh! Rapture! What new ideas would you, the reader have if you got a hold of this fruit?