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Posts Tagged ‘charlie trotter’

Yuki was talking with her parents the other night about quinoa and her dad said that he’s never had it before. Since they’ve been doing most of the cooking the past week I took that as a cue to get my ass back in the kitchen, something I’ve been jonezin to do. I referred back to the Charlie Trotter recipe that I’ve used before for inspiration. Again, this dish is not his exact recipe, but it is inspired from it. These recipes should feed 6 adults provided their not all fat Americans.

Before getting to the chicken and quinoa I made a cauliflower puree soup that we could eat while the chicken roasted. My mom was with us also, and she is not a fan of cauliflower. I took that as a challenge to show her that cauliflower, when not referring to a boxer’s ears, is a beautiful thing.

I took one head of cauliflower broken down, 1 yukon gold potato chopped, 2 garlic cloves chopped, 1 inch of ginger chopped, 1/2 onion chopped, 1 cup of chicken stock, and 3 cups of water.

I simply threw everything into a stock pot, brought it all up to a boil, covered the pot, turned the heat down to med-low, and let it all simmer for about 30 minutes.

After that I just turned off the heat and let it cool down a bit. Then I poured it all into my blender and pureed it up. I poured it back into the pot and seasoned with salt and pepper. Before eating it I just heated it back up. My brother sprinkled a little shichimi togarashi in his which lead me to do the same. A wise decision!

Before we got to the soup I got everything else going. For the apricot curry sauce I put 3/4 cup dried apricots, 3/4 tablespoon curry powder, 1/4 cup rice vinegar, and 1/2 cup of water into my small blender and let ‘er rip for about 5 minutes or so.

Then I strained the sauce. I reserved the solids for use with the bird. I set the sauce aside and let it rest until serving time.

I had a 3.5 pound chicken to roast. I seasoned it inside and out with salt and pepper, squeezed some lemon juice all over the skin, then stuffed the cavity with the solids from the curry sauce and the lemon that I used to squeeze all over it. I put it in my roasting pan and threw it into a 450 degree oven. After 15 minutes I turned the heat down to 400 degrees and let it go for another 40 minutes. Then, I turned off the heat, slightly cracked the oven door open, and let the bird rest for about 15 minutes.

While the bird was roasting I got the quinoa ready. I used 1/2 each of an orange, yellow, and red bell pepper diced, 2 small Persian cucumbers diced, 5 tablespoons of orange juice, 1.5 cups of quinoa rinsed, and some chopped chives.

In a hot pot I poured in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and then sweat down the peppers for about 5 minutes. Then I added the quinoa and let it sort of toast in the hot oil for about 3 minutes. After that, I poured in 3 cups of boiling water. With everything boiling I covered the pot, turned the heat to med-low, and let it simmer for 15 minutes. When that time passed I turned the heat off, kept it covered, and let it sit for another 15 minutes. Just before serving I added the cucumber and orange juice, seasoned it with salt and pepper, and then fluffed it up with a fork.

I also roasted some asparagus while the quinoa and chicken were cooking. I just took some asparagus spears and drizzled them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and ground sesame seeds. I threw them into my toaster oven set at bake for about 10 minutes at 375 degrees.

While all of that was going we sat down and ate the cauliflower soup.

When we finished the soup I took the bird out and cut it up. Honestly, that’s one area I’m not real good at. I butchered that thing pretty good. I got most of the meat off, but there was some left on the carcass that I didn’t get. Oh well, I’ll just have to keep roasting birds until I get better at carving them. No matter though, the meat was juicy and delicious.

To serve it, I drizzled the sauce all over the plate and then sprinkled over the chives.

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So, this recipe is loosely based on a Charlie Trotter. The sauce is his, and the overall flavor concept is his, but I added some of my own touches and served the quinoa mixture in lettuce cups. Honestly, I think he’d prefer that I use his recipe for inspiration rather than to have me follow it to the teaspoon.

First thing I did was make the apricot-curry sauce. I took 3/4 teaspoon of curry powder, 1/4 cup of rice vinegar, 3/4 cup dried apricots, and 1/2 cup of water and blended it all together in my small food processor until all of the little apricot chunks were hacked up to a pulp.

Then I strained it while pressing it through with the back of a wooden spoon. I covered it in plastic and put in the fridge while I cooked everything else.

For the quinoa I used a handful of fresh chopped parsley, some red leaf lettuce leaves, 1 clove of garlic minced, 1/2 inch of ginger minced, 5 green onions chopped, 1/2 red bell pepper diced, a handful of dried apricots diced, 1/2 cup of quinoa rinsed, and 1/2 lb of skinless boneless chicken thighs chopped up.

In a hot pot I poured in about 2 tablespoons of canola oil and added the garlic and ginger. I let them sizzle for about 30 seconds and then added the bell pepper and green onions. After about 5 minutes I added the quinoa and let it sort of toast in the hot oil for a few minutes. This brings out its nutty flavors.

Then I added the chicken and let it just start to cook. I poured in about 1 cup of water, seasoned with a little salt and pepper, let it come to a boil, covered the pot, turned the heat to med-low, and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. Then, I turned off the heat but kept it covered for another 15 minutes. After that I took off the lid, added the parsley, and fluffed it up with a fork. I tasted for seasoning and that’s about all there was to it.

To serve, I simply laid some of the lettuce leaves down, spooned on some of the quinoa, then topped with the curry sauce.

I served some white rice and miso soup along side.

For this miso soup I used miso, 3 shiitake sliced, 3 green onions sliced, 1 block of fried tofu diced, and some wakame. I used my typical miso soup making method.

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I was perusing my Charlie Trotter cookbook the other day and came across a recipe that uses a very similar marinade to one I often use. Since he’s the great Charlie Trotter I thought I’d give his a try. Oh, and yakigyu is simply Japanese for grilled beef.

His marinade consisted of 1/2 cup of tamari which is probably the most ancient style of Japanese soy sauce as it contains no wheat and is a little richer than regular soy (it is the byproduct of making miso), 1/4 cup of mirin, 1.5 tablespoons of sesame oil, and 2 tablespoons of grated ginger. Once I mixed up the marinade I set 3 tablespoons aside and then thinly sliced 3/4 pound of sirloin and threw that into the marinade. I covered it with plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge for 2 hours.

Then, using some bamboo skewers that I soaked in water for an hour, I threaded the meat and got it ready for the grill. Since the meat was thin it only needed about 2-3 minutes on each side over a medium-hot grill.

To accompany the meat I made a quick vegetable saute of 5 shiitake sliced, half an onion large diced, and 5 radishes. I separated the greens from the radish and thinly sliced the radishes with my mandolin slicer. I could have used my knife, but the wife was wondering why I got a mandolin slicer if I never use it. So, there you go sweetheart, I used the mandolin.

In my hot pan I poured 1 tablespoon of soy oil and sautéed the onion first for about 5 minutes. Then I added the shiitake and let that go for about 4 minutes. After that I tossed in the sliced radishes. Those cooked for about 4 minutes until I poured in the reserved 3 tablespoons of marinade. I let that boil down for a few minutes and then added the radish greens. Once the radish greens wilted down, about 1-2 minutes, I turned of the heat as this was ready to go.

Instead of regular white rice I made hijiki and carrot rice, a recipe that Yuki taught me a long time ago and has become one of my favorite rice preparations. First, I took a heaping tablespoon of dried hijiki and soaked it in some cold water for about a half hour. I also diced up a small carrot. Once the rice was washed and in the rice cooker bowl (I only made one cup of rice) instead of regular water I poured in 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon each of sake and mirin. Then, the get the right amount of liquid I used the hijiki soaking water to fill it up. Once the liquid was at the right level I threw in the hijiki and carrot. Hit the on button and a half hour later my rice was ready.

I have to say I was very disappointed in Trotter’s marinade. Tamari is a little bit stronger in flavor than soy sauce and it really made the beef salty. Too salty for Yuki’s taste and almost too much for mine (I tend to like food a little saltier than she does). Old Chucky Boy should know better than to have used so much tamari. I would have been much better served to have used the classic marinade I usually do, 3 parts soy, 2 parts sake, and 1 part mirin (1.5 tablespoons of sesame oil is ok). Besides the soy being a little lighter in flavor, cutting back on the amount and replacing it with sake (or vodka if you like) adds a little more depth the marinade. A little grated garlic wouldn’t have hurt either. While I have had good luck with some of his recipes in the past, this is one I will not be using again.

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