New Years Menu

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New Years Menu
For New Years I'm making a Moroccan tagine with buttery couscous. What goodies do you have planned?

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Jacob Burton's picture
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Here's the four course tasting menu we'll be serving at Stella.

First Course - (choice of)

seared diver scallops, popcorn “polenta,” roasted monterey mushrooms, micro-herb salad

cauliflower soup with fire roasted florets, mâche, grated winter truffle

Second Course - (choice of)

seared sonoma valley foie and butter poached lobster napoleon, vanilla roasted onion brioche, watercress & meyer lemon salad, quince gelée

root vegetable terrine, mâche and crispy shallots, sauce vièrge, spiced almonds Third Course

Entree  - (choice of)

pan-roasted japanese mero, salad of braised leeks & shitake mushrooms with new potatoes, ginger jus de poulette

twice-cooked fillet of beef, roasted salsify salad with frisée & foie, marrow bread, jus reduction

wild chanterelle risotto, mushroom fumet, mâche, shaved winter truffles, argan oil

Dessert - (choice of)

triple chocolate mousse napoleon, espresso, armagnac, bourbon-vanilla, tuile

winter citrus terrine of blood orange, cara cara, grapefruit and meyer lemon, fried basil, toasted macadamia, armagnac anglaise
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We're having
Spiced cashews
Black olive tampanade with goat cheese on bruschetta

Entree:
Prime rib
Gratin of potato and fennel with a grating of parm 
(not sure about this one) roasted asparagus or roasted broccoli with olive oil and garlic
Roasted king oyster mushrooms
A large sour dough country bread

Dessert:
Lemon meringue pie
Key lime pie

@Jacob, I am intrigued, what is polenta popcorn?



 
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[whine]  I wanna go to Stella for supper on New Years Day.  [/whine]

So, what is "twice cooked fillet o'beef"?

At our house we have a New Years Day tradition.  I take the day off and rather than a feast we snack all day long.  I'm in the process of making the snack menu right now.  For sure there will be Ro-tel Queso dip, cheese platter, charcuterie platter... get the point?  The most culinarily ambitious menu item I envision on that day will be Chinese lettuce wraps.  I call that "taking the day off".
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Brian I'd love to go to Stella's too, but there is this whole country in the way, oh well.  Why not shake things up a bit?  Chinese lettuce wraps AND chocolate mousse!

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@ Nina,

For the popcorn "polenta" we pop fresh popcorn, boil the popcorn in water until it becomes soggy and then strain. The water is reserved and the soggy popcorn is pressed through a tamis, giving it the texture and appearance of polenta. We do this in batches, each time re-using the same popcorn infused water, which intensifies the popcorn flavor. The popcorn polenta is then seasoned with a little sea salt and mounted with bugra butter (the high fat European kind).

Corn and scallops has always been a great pairing and the popcorn polenta is much lighter then regular polenta; it really is a unique dish and has quickly turned into a top selling appetizer. Just to give credit where it's due, the popcorn polenta idea was originally inspired by Daniel Patterson's "popcorn grits" that he serves as a standalone course at his restaurant Coi in San Francisco.

@ Brian,

The twice cooked fillet is seared, sous vide in a thyme-wine-shallot demi-glace for 1:15:00 at 55°C. The demi-glace, which now has a really nice beefy flavor, is strained off and reserved for the sauce. When we get an order, the fillet is seared again and this time we drop it into a baggie of clarified beef butter that has been infused with dry fruit, bone marrow and some other aromatics. The bag is sealed and placed into a circulator bath again at 55°C and allowed to come up to temp for the next 20-40 minutes.

The actual demi we use to sous vide the fillet in is a reduced, roasted veal stock that we re-inforce with all of our fillet scraps which we also roast in our wood fire oven. This leads to a pretty intense sauce and the best fillet I've been able to make to date.
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Shall have to try that popcorn polenta. For a scaled-to-home-use version, How much popped corn (or how much of the corn kernels before popping) would be needed?

On the subject of odd ideas for popcorn, here's a recipe I originally found in The Inn Cookbook: Favorite Recipes from New England Country Inns, by Marjorie and Igor Kropotkin, and the recipe is from the Middlebury Inn in Middlebury, Vermont. It's delicious! In another forum where I posted it a couple of years ago, several people went bonkers over it and even started using the recipe (just shaped differently) for their hamburger buns, etc.

Popcorn Bread
(Makes 3 loaves)


Ingredients:

  • 1 C Boiling water
  • 1 C Cold milk
  • 1 1/2 Pkgs Dry yeast (1 1/2 Tbsp)
  • 3/4 C Sugar
  • 4 C Popped Corn
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1/3 C Melted Butter
  • 7 C All-purpose flour
  • Melted butter for crust
Instructions:
  1. Combine the water and milk in a large mixing bowl and stir in yeast and sugar.
  2. Let stand about 10 minutes until surface is bubbly (proofing).
  3. Pick through the popcorn and discard any unpopped kernels.
  4. Run the popcorn through a blender or food processor until it is the consistency of cornmeal.
  5. Add to the mixture in the bowl with the salt.
  6. Beat in the eggs and melted butter and gradually work in all the flour.
  7. Turn out on a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or so, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  8. Grease a large bowl and put the dough into it, turning to coat the entire surface.
  9. Cover and let rise in a warm spot, usually 25 to 30 minutes.
  10. Punch it down while still in the bowl.
  11. Cover and let rise once more.
  12. Turn out onto a floured surface and separate into 3 pieces.
  13. Shape into loaves and place in 3 greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pans.
  14. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  15. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown and tests done.
  16. Remove from oven and brush melted butter over top.

 

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@ Jacob, WOW!!  Both of those dishes sound really stellar, oh yeah, eat like a star!  Lovely

This idea of using popcorn for polenta and bread sounds delicious, and so clever.  I'll have to play around with this.  

@ Labs, have you made this bread?
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Everyone's menu's sounds great!  For our family get together were doing  "Football Food" which is fine with me.  There's been a lot going on this week!
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@Jraiona, What kind of tagine recipe? Also. how big is the recipe? My tagine is too small to cook a whole chicken, but it works well.

@Nina, Yes! Many times.

One comment I would add, upon looking at the recipe afresh, would be that I didn't boil the water, but used it within the normal, 105-115ºF range (actually a bit higher, for me, since I can only get instant yeast that gets mixed in with the dry ingredients). Also, be prepared for the popcorn to be a little difficult to handle after the food processor, due to static electricity.

Other than that, it's a great recipe and, as I said, those other people I knew started using it for making hamburger buns - even hot-dog buns.

Here's one of the reviews:

Had to try this yesterday - oh my, it's as good as everyone is saying. I made three different sizes - one a large loaf, one a little smaller and then four burger size buns that I wish I'd put in a larger pan so they were bigger in diameter and not at high... oh well, I bet they will be good later today with the Pimiento Cheese Burger!!!

Popcorn Bread
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@ Jacob,

If you get a chance, I would love to have the cauliflower soup recipe.  I had some recently in a restaurant in Boston that amazed me with how creamy it was although the chef told me there was no cream in the soup.

Thanks

Elliot
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I'm intrigued by the vanilla roasted onion brioche. i'd love the recipe

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chicken tagine with cracked green olives and preserved lemons. my tagine can accomodate a medium sized chicken but not much larger than that

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@Elliot,

I plan on shooting a video for our cauliflower soup and adding it to our sauces and soups series. We're just now catching our breath here at Stella, December was crazy, but in a good way. I have a shoot list about 25 videos long and of course I need to get back on track with our bread series. The cauliflower soup video will be one of the first I shoot.

I do add a little bit of cream to my cauliflower soup, but more for mouth feel then texture. The creamy texture comes from blending in a vita-prep and adjusting the consistency with Xantan Gum.

@Jraiona,

For the brioche I make a standard brioche recipe that will yield about two 9" loaf pans. To the dough I add 2 yellow onions that have been diced and caramelized and when I scald the milk I add the inside of one bourbon vanilla bean.

After the brioche is baked and cooled, I slice it into 1/2" thick slices, ring mold out the center and fry the round piece of bread until golden brown. It serves as the base of the lobster-foie napoleon.
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@ Labs,

For a scaled down home version I would pop a six quart pot which really isn't that much. Should make about one small bowl of popcorn polenta.
wchatcher
I know it's a little past New Years, but I thought I would share what we did for our New Years meal. 
For a snack I made some French Onion Dip from scratch.  Had to learn how to make it like that since one of my kids is very sensitive to MSG, and all the pre-made French Onion dips and soups that I have found have MSG in them.  Then for dinner I took two chickens and applied a dry rub and placed them in the smoker.  Once the thighs reached 160° I applied an Orange Marmalade glaze made from Orange Marmalade, Apple Cider Vinegar, Lemon Juice, Cilantro, and Jalapeno.  Since we are from the South, we had to have Black-Eyed peas with it as well.

I saved the chicken bones and placed them in the freezer to make a chicken stock later.  My wife's birthday is this week, and she enjoyed the chicken so much she requested it again for her birthday meal.  Looks like after this weekend I will have plenty of bones for my chicken stock.  Now the question is do I also roast the bones, or use them as-is with that nice smoked flavor?
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Which dip recipe did you use, Bill? I've been considering trying THIS ONE from SeriousEats, but just haven't gotten around to it, yet.
wchatcher
This is the one that I use.  It is real basic, but everyone who tries it always wants the recipe.  The original recipe just calls for Mayo but I use Helman's Mayo with Olive Oil, and usually an organic Sour Cream we buy from Sprouts.  Not sure of the name of it, but it has a purple cow on the packaging so I just call it the "Purple Cow Sour Cream" when I have my wife pick it up.  :)  I have used Daisy, and it works just as well, but I think the organic tastes better.  Also the longer it stays in the fridge, the better it tastes, and I try to cool it over night.  The longer it stays in the fridge, the more it will give it that caramel color from the onions and the other flavors will diffuse through the mixture.  Enjoy and let me know what you think.  :)

Ingredients:
2  Tbsps Olive Oil
1 1/2 Cups Diced Onion (I do half of a large onion, or use the whole onion if more of that onion taste and also texture)
1/4 Tsp Salt
1 lb Sour Cream
2  Tbsps Helman's Mayo with Olive Oil
1/4 Tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 Tsp Ground White Pepper
1/2 Tsp Salt

Directions:
In a sauté pan over medium heat add oil, heat and add onions and 1/4 tsp salt. Cook until the onions are caramelized. Remove from heat and let cool.
Mix sour cream, mayo, garlic powder, white pepper, and 1/2 tsp salt. Add cooled onions and stir.
Refrigerate about 2 hours, stir and serve.
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Whenever I have a smoked carcass I always end up making a gumbo.  The smoked flavor is just so perfect for it.

wchatcher
@Labradors,

I looked at that recipe you posted the link to.  I am not sure why they are calling for the sugar since heating the onions releases their own natural sugars to caramelize them.  Also do you know what reason behind the baking soda?

I may add the deglazing step to my recipe and also try the addition of a little Worcestershire and lemon juice and see what that does to the flavor next time I make it.  Thanks for sharing that link!! :)
wchatcher
@Nina,

Gumbo sounds really great, but I have never made a stock before and am looking forward to trying it.  Course I don't have a china cap or a chinois, but I do have colander and some cheese cloth to make do.  Then again this just gives me an excuse to go to the kitchen gadget store and do some shopping. :)
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@Bill,

Thanks for the recipe. I may have to try both so I can compare the results.

The link that I posted was only the recipe for the dip. That recipe was part of THIS ARTICLE about caramelising onions.

The article mentioned that the baking soda speeds up the cooking of the onions and improves the browning. Check out the full article for all of the details.
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Hi Jacob.  I was watching your latest completed dish video which looks awesome!  I'm hoping we can get back up to Stella for my birthday.  Towards the end of the video I saw your citrus terrine video and I wanted to go over the recipe again.  For the life of me I can't find it on here and was hoping you could tell me where to search.  
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@ PM,

I never actually released the recipe for the citrus terrine, but here's how you do it.
  • Weigh citrus supremes in grams, multiply by .6 and add that amount in sugar.
  • Let sit for 1-2 hours until the sugar dissolves into a liquid, strain off liquid and weigh in grams.
  • Multiply the weight of the liquid by .004 and add that amount of agar agar to the liquid. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly, and once it boils, simmer for 4 minutes while whisking constantly.
  • Add liquid back to citrus segments, gently fold together and pour into a terrine mold lined with plastic wrap.
  • Chill for 12 hours in refrigerator before slicing and serving.
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Sorry to hear that one of your kids has a sensitivity to MSG.

 

In my case I thought I may have been one as well. It actually turned out it was more likely to be onions. Since most savory food has onions in it and MSG-containing foods often have more of it, I completely missed my food allergy.

 

Home things are going well for your family. One resource I found really useful is Chef Ming Tsai’s resource page:

 

http://ming.com/foodallergies.htm

 

Hope it helps someone.