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Friday, March 27, 2009

The Rumble LA - April 2

Fresh off the SxSW heat, Future Sounds brings you The Rumble in LA on April 2. It's going to be a good one, so if you haven't come out before, let this be your first.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Shrimp & Turnip Rounds with Hoisin-Sake Sauce

Percentage-wise, few people use variety in the kitchen. Most people, I think, believe variety somehow takes longer- costs more- is too much work. For me, I think variety often comes from what you already have on hand. The cupboards, the freezer, the shelves. For this one, I wanted to use turnips as my base ingredient. Sweet, yet bitter- they're interesting. But I didn't want them alone, so...

Peel and cube (1/4") 2 small turnips, pan fry for about 5-7 minutes, until nicely browned and soft
pan fry 4 or 5 shrimp with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, and butter- cool and dice (1/4")
Cook a handful of edamame according to instructions, cool, separate beans, discard shells
[here's what I did - 2 dates, chopped- the result was horrible. The tasted blended well, but not the texture. Maybe if I let the dates rest in warm water for 20 minutes, or something, but that's up to you.]
[here's what I should have done - 2 strips of bacon, cooked crisp, then chopped. The salt would add a nice variety, and the texture would have been amazing in this simple dish.]

Stack it all. Layers are attractive, but you could also put everything in a bowl, and mix. I used a biscuit cutter to mold this one.

Then I figured I needed a sauce. Since I added edamame, I figured something Asian-influenced would pair well.

1/4 Cup sake, add to small pot, bring to quick boil, then lowest heat setting.
Add 1-2 TSP hoisin sauce, stir quickly- don't let it burn or settle on the bottom of the pot.

Heat this, stirring constantly, for maybe 2 minutes, then drizzle over your vegetables.

In this picture, you also see a blood orange vinaigrette over pan fired crispy chicken. I'll let you know about that one in a different post.


~ Brock

Blood Orange Vinaigrette (over pan fired crispy chicken)

In my earliest post for Shrimp & Turnip Rounds with Hoisin-Sake Sauce, you saw a picture of a red vinaigrette over chicken. That's this one here...

Juice of 1/2 a blood orange
2-3 TSP white wine vinegar
1 TSP deli mustard
1/4 Cup olive oil

Mix well, and drizzle over whatever.

Pan Fired Crispy Chicken:

4 boneless chicken strips- salt and pepper them well.
Dump some cornstarch over the chicken, and press it into both sides to cover. Shake off the excess.
Heat 2 TSP vegetable oil in a pan, then fry the chicken a few minutes on each side.

~ Brock

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sweet Profiteroles (dessert puffs)

This is based on the Choux (pronounced "shoe") from France.

These are a fairly quick and fun dessert. I had my 4 year old son in the kitchen with me, helping me pour and mix ingredients. The best part is making them with your favorite toppings or filings. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Here's what you need:

1 Cup water
1 Cup flour
3 Tsp butter - cubed
1/4 tsp salt
4 eggs

Put the water, salt, and butter in a saucepan and warm to a simmer- no boiling. Then add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon quickly and constantly until a ball forms. By this point, it shouldn't stick and should look sort of translucent. Maybe takes 1 - 2 minutes doing this part.

Remove from heat.

Drop the ball into a mixer (or into a mixing bowl so you can use a hand mixer). Cool it for about 4 minutes, then one-by-one add the eggs, mixing constantly. At first, it will look lumpy and eggy. After a few minutes, it will turn into a thicker paste. Make sure you keep mixing until you passed the lumpy stage.

Use parchment paper on cookies sheets. Dollop heaping tablespoons of paste onto it about a few inches apart. If the paste starts to run or deflate, it's not mixed enough.

Bake for about 25 minutes.

Remove and cool. Slice open and add your favorite inserts- pudding, cool whip, ice cream, etc. You can also sprinkle powdered sugar, melted chocolate, strawberries, or other things over the top.


~ Brock

Monday, March 16, 2009

Pan Fired Flank Steak with Red Pepper Aioli and Red Onion Gremolata

I wasn't sure about an aioli on a steak, but I saw a picture on a magazine and thought, "why not?" Plus, I'm a big fan of red meat. Didn't feel like firing up the grill, which left the pan - iron skillet, that is. Thought about finishing in the oven, but come on, don't you love the smoke of a pan fired steak? Now you can't live by meat alone (particularly when you're married), so I needed at least one vegetable. Had recently acquired some rutabegas, so there you go.

Now if you follow me, you know I like a lot of small accompaniments. I was sort of craving a pesto- maybe tarragon, but didn't have any. I did have fresh spinach. I also had some almonds. It was all coming together. I pictured it in my mind, but I needed something to top with the pesto- why not potatoes? Mashed, of course. Maybe sounds strange, but potatoes -- pasta -- potatoes...close enough. Plus, what's the point of only eating what you know. You'll never know anything if you don't try everything.

Pan fired flank steak:

bring 2 pieces of flank steak to room temperature. Sprinkle with ample salt, pepper and garlic powder. Put some olive oil on your hands and work in the oil and spices into both sides of the steaks. Let them sit until you're ready.

Heat an iron skillet to high- almost smoking. Drop your steaks in. Leave for maybe 4 minutes, then flip and leave for another 3 minutes (rare-ish). Remove and lay on cutting board, tent foil and let rest for 5 - 10 minutes. Then slice thinly.

Pepper Aioli:

1/4 mayo
1 TBS crushed red pepper
1 TBS olive oil
1 tsp white wine vinegar
salt to taste
4 cloves garlic- minced or through a press

Mix all ingredients well. If it's too thick, just add a bit more oil and/or vinegar (experiment with the taste to check your prefences). Top a glob on your sliced steak.

Red Onion Gremolata:

1/2 red onion, minced
2 green onions, finely chopped
zest of 1 lemon
1 TSB lemon juice

Mix well. Top on your steak.

Rutabegas with Leek and White Wine:

Peel and chop your rutabegas into 1/2 inch cubes
slice the white part of 1 leek
1/8 C white wine
1 TSP butter

In a large ramekin, put everything except the butter and mix well. Place in oven on 400 degrees for 15 minutes, stirring occassionaly.

Meanwhile, place 1 TSP oil in pan and heat to medium high. Remove ramekin from oven and pour everything into pan and fry until coloration is nice and rutabegas are soft. Divide onto plates and top with sea salt.

Spinach Pesto:

1 C fresh Spinach
small handful of toasted almonds
2 glugs olive oil
1/4 C grated parmesan cheese
4 garlic cloves

In a processor, add spinach, almonds, salt and garlic, and olive oil. Process until smooth. Remove from processor to bowl. Add cheese and stir until mixed. Top off on mashed potatoes or even your steak.

Horseradish Mashed Potatoes:

2 russet potatoes, pealed and cubed
1/2 C whipping cream
2 TSP butter
2 glugs olive oil
2 TSP horseradish

Boil enough water for the potatoes, and boil them for 15 minutes. Drain, then return to dry pot.

Add all ingredients and mash together until you reach nirvana.

This is a pretty simple meal, so make it quick and enjoy!

~ Brock

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Broiled Japanese Salmon on Endive with Honey-kumquat Vinaigrette

Healthy and quick. This meal can be on the table in about 15 minutes. I love fish, and salmon is a staple in my house. My fishmonger is 30 minutes away, so I often have to rely on something frozen. I've grown to like Costco's frozen bagged fish- salmon and Mahi-Mahi. I've ventured into their frozen shrimp as well (taking me away from Trader Joe's frozen shrimp, which has been pretty bad lately). Anyway, dealing with frozen salmon is almost as easy as fresh- just run some cool water over for a few minutes, then let it rest to warm up. It's usually ready to go within 30 minutes, because the filets aren't too thick.

Take two salmon filets. Cut them into 1 1/2" cubes. Toss them with soy sauce, brown sugar, sake, sesame oil, ginger, salt and pepper. Place on foil in broiler for maybe 10 minutes. Play it by ear- your broiler might be different than mine.

Lay out your endive. Maybe slice some onions too. White or red would go best.

Honey-Kumquat Vinaigrette-

2 TSP honey
2 TSP kumquat juice
A splash of sake
1 tsp sugar
1/4 olive oil

Mix well.

Top your greens with the fish and onions. Add some chopped green onions in here too if you like - they'd go well with it. Drizzle your vinaigrette over it all. Top with toasted sesame seeds and maybe some black pepper.

~ Brock

Friday, March 13, 2009

Lamb Ciabatta Sandwich with Mint-Horseradish Aioli

I hear it a lot..."I just want something easy," or "it doesn't have to be anything too fancy." What's the difference? Does it take less time to boil a hotdog than it does to make a lamb sandwhich? Nope. Sorry, haters.

Start with a small cut of lamb...something that looks like a ribeye or t-bone. Who cares which one- just pick one. It will be good anyway. Get beyond the instructions and take a chance. Douse it with olive oil, salt, pepper, and fresh minced garlic, and bring it to the counter for at least 1 hour before cooking. Then take your iron skillet and get that thing smoking (literally) on high. Slaughter the lamb on one side for maybe 4 minutes, then flip it to the other side for 3-5 minutes, depending on thickness. This will be about what you see in my pic. Your kitchen will be full of smoke- maybe even the whole house. Open some windows and chill. When it's done, remove it to a cutting board and let it rest for 5 - 10 minutes. Slice for your sandwich- thick or thin, you choose.

While that's all going down, slather some olive oil and pepper on your ciabatta and toast it. When it's done, open the oven door and move the bread near the opening. Lay some slices of brie on those bad boys and let it soften, while remaining in the warmth of the oven.

You'll need some arugala, crumbled blue, feta, or gorganzola cheese, pepperchinis, and olive oil and pepper. Add those to your liking.

Assemble your sandwhich - might want to add some red onions in there too.

Why not add a spicy aioli? 1 egg yolk, about 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 TSP white wine vinegar, 1 TSP lemon juice, 1 TSP horseradish, 2 TSP chopped fresh mint, salt and pepper. Mix well and chill for a bit. Drizzle the stuff over everything.

I think you'll like it. If not, freeze it and give it to me when you see me.


~ Brock

Friday, March 6, 2009

Licensing versus Distribution: Why the Eminem Case Matters

Maybe you followed it, but probably not. You saw "Eminem" and thought, "oh, the great white hope!" Ha! Or you thought, "who cares about him anyway?" Either way, he wasn't even directly involved in the lawsuit touted as Eminem's suit for millions! The case was brought by Eminem's former publishing companies (at least according to a report). The question was whether digital downloads constitute a purchase or a license. If they are a purchase, then it's the same thing as a CD sale and the royalty is a distribution royalty. If it's a license, then the royalty is much higher- usually 50%. Big difference when you're talking millions of downloads, but a difference of roughly $1.78 when you're talking about your average artist.

The court sided with Universal and said the the digital download is a distribution- a purchase, and not a license. A win for the labels.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Hints of Italy and Greece

You can always make a quick gourmet meal with just a handful of ingredients. For what you see here, the main items are white beans (the white bean dip towards the top left), garbanzo beans (the hummus you see towards the center), cucumbers, red onions, feta cheese, and pitas. This is a vegetarian take in this picture, but most of the time I some type of kabob or something like that.

White Bean Dip

1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tsp water
juice from 1/2 lemon
1-2 glugs olive oil

mash the ingredients together and leave some chunks. Sprinkle some paprika and olive oil over the top.


1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 C tahini (sesame seed paste)
6 cloves garlic, minced
juice from 1/2 lemon
1-2 glugs olive oil

Everything in a processor. If it's too thick add a bit of water. You might want to experiment with the tahini and lemon juice to find the right taste for you.



The Rumble LA Brings a Fitz

It don't stop