Yikes! that was a long post title! I always struggle with post titles. I wanna summarize what the post is about and not come off entirely lame yet pay attention to SEO hocus-pocus, etc.. but you be the judge. Now, if you don’t care for that sorta thing, I mean, blog post titles… and you want to instead try something really cool and awesome in the kitchen, today is a fortunate day. Both passion for cooking sous vide and my renewed passion for home fermentation come together here in the nicest of ways. If you’ve been paying attention, I’ve posted about hot sauces recently. About a month ago I changed my approach and stopped using vinegar all together for making hot sauce, switching my attention over to lactic acid instead. Lacto-fermentation not only preserves foods in an acidic environment that welcomes good bacteria and good yeast even good molds, it also has a tremendous impact in flavor and texture. I figured I could take advantage of this and combine it with a popular sous vide preparation: Garlic Confit.
Venezuelans like their tender cuts of beef lean and medium rare. No fancy seasonings or brines, etc… just salt, maybe pepper. A great golden crust is a must and that’s pretty much it. When it comes to side dishes… delicious fried yucca is pretty common and so are a few fresh sauces. We like guacamoles and guasacacas, chimichurris are also pretty standard. Now when it comes to bread, that’s hardly ever there. Instead we have mini arepas which are a traditional staple of steak houses back home. Always deep fried and always paired with a cool bowl of natilla which is similar to crema latina. Depending on where you live you might easily find natilla/crema latina or not at all. Sour cream is a close substitution.
Never thought it would come to this but here we are, game day, chicken wings. I officially joined the other 3 trillion food blogs featuring wings today in America. Nothing wrong with that. I love those marvellous things so why not make my own wings my own way. I have to be honest. I don’t know anything about football. I plan to keep it that way too. I’m more of a soccer guy… like every 4 years for a couple of weeks and then I’m left with ZERO interest in watching sports again. But we’re here to show off these little sticky guys not to talk about sports, so hang in there. Who won this Super Bowl? The correct answer. I don’t give a S###.
This recipe like any other wings recipe is simplicity in itself. Wings are the fattiest part of the chicken. They only have a bit of meat and a delightful amount of awesome fatty chicken skin. They are packed with flavour and make the best finger food when prepared correctly which like I said, it’s really really simple.
Having been away from my kitchen for about a month the craving of home cooked meals is tremendous. I’ve been fantasizing about making all these new recipes and the second I get home, my mind goes blank. I can’t even put together a decent sandwich… ok I take that back, mayo and toast is a pretty awesome one. We could talk cubans here too but that’s probably a longer conversation or you can check out my take on it. Anyways, I will have to put off my cooking for a few more days until I figure out what to make.
A few more days passed. I have a jar of squid ink in my fridge and a renewed disposition to wash dishes and sharpen knives. Finding a beautiful piece of sturgeon at the local grocery store seldom happens and must be seized. I have never worked with sturgeon. I’ve only consumed the eggs and the fish itself at nice restaurant once. I bought 3 fillets. I figured I would get a crash course on sturgeon pan frying at least.
Arepas are definitely a Venezuelan food staple. Maize flour defines this dish and many others in Venezuelan cuisine. Arepas are also popular in colombia and go by the same name. In El Salvador they’re called pupupas and are slightly different but the idea is the same. What makes this dish Venezuelanly unique is the flour that is used which happens to be a local invention. I found this in wikipedia which is super cool:
Counting the seconds to Thanksgiving day but in the mean time no reason to NOT be eating delicious homemade stuff. Specially with this super crap weather we’re having in the beautiful city of Vancouver. Gotta fix my shitty mood somehow.
I’ve never made tacos before. I’ve had tacos before. Like a million times. Having lived in LA for many years I was kinda forced to like them. There are taquerias everywhere. There are taquerias inside taquerias. I will admit I did not care much for them before I moved to LA or even many years after that but overtime I learned to appreciate them. There are a lot of mediocre taquerias out there too. I have a few go-to places. It’s cheap food but that doesn’t mean it can’t be amazing. For an amazing taco, if you’re ever in Vancouver, check out La Taqueria. The tacos there are simply, yep, amazing. So yes, tacos have officially entered this blog’s menu and I hope to be making other kinds soon enough. My taco debut features an unusual meat in taco making but a meat that I love. Lamb. A few things I find annoying in general cooking and tacos. Dry meat. Overcooked meat. Overly seasoned meat to cover the mistake. But that’s because cooking meat correctly is kinda hard. I went with the french here and prepared my lamb a la sous vide. The end result was fantastic. The texture of this meat was quite incredible and impossible to reproduce with traditional cooking methods. Another option would have been the pressure cooker. I’ll save that approach for another post.
I had no problem breaking a few rules here tonight. When do I ever 😉 It’s cooking anyways, breaking rules, taking names, that’s how we do. If you haven’t noticed, hoisin sauce is one of the most delicious substances in the world and pairs really well with lamb (or any meat known to man) I also used dumpling wrap as my flour tortilla (go ahead, judge me). They’re thinner and their texture is more delicate. It’s not a requirement but I like the size too. Mini tacos basically. I also used the sauce that comes with chipotles in adobo. Basically, the adobo sauce and the core of the super amazing and popular chipotle sauce. Really spicy but the smokiness of it is incredible. Mix hoisin and adobo sauce together. Pretty sexy stuff as you can imagine. So here we go mexi-asian lamb tacos yo! Let’s get goin’!
So this ebook thing. I’m getting pretty excited about writing one. I’m still looking for a good software use. InDesign by Adobe seems like good option. I have no clue how to use it but I just downloaded the 30 day free trial version. I’ll play with it when I get a chance. I want to structure this book in the simplest way possible and add tons of pics1 and diagrams. It’s gonna be a fun little project about food photography and food styling. I hope it goes well. Just gotta find the time.
Tonight I ducked out of work early. See what I did there?, funny stuff. I haven’t cooked duck breast in a while. I have maybe one recipe on the blog that features duck. Check out Pan Seared Duck Breast : Fermented Lettuce and Parsley “Kimchi” Pea Shoots. The basics are the same. If you aren’t using sous vide equipment, the traditional approach still pretty good as long as you pay close attention to the temperature but when should you not. All you need is a pan and a stove.
There’s not enough time lately to get back into kitchen adventures of larger proportions due to external and very annoying forces. A simple dish will have to do for now. Simplicity. And simplicity of the simplest kind. A lonely side dish. A vegetarian one too (what’s happening to me…) Anyways, there’s little time so let’s get into it. Yucca is my ingredient of choice tonight and I shall attempt to demonstrate that no dish is small enough if cook like you give a f$#%. I guess the only way for you to find out is to make this yourself. Let’s go!
I start every post with a photo. Another fact about this blog. No ads. Ok, another one. It’s not a site about recipes, It’s a journal. I write about my adventures in cooking and I share them. That’s how this blog started and that how it stays. One more, ok. As much as I bash on traditional cooking (I really don’t but I have had questioned it in many posts), I love traditional cooking and wish I could cook as deliciously as our beloved basque grandma. Ok, last one… even though there’s not a single post about spam on this blog, I love it. There it is, I said it. Deal with it. Unsubscribe. Do what you gotta do.
So… remember that octopus dish from like 20 minutes ago… leftovers went into a second dish which was basically a simplification of the former. I love squid ink. I know it looks terrifying but the flavor is quiet spectacular. I would expect nothing less from (let me get my reading glasses…) a highly developed bio-defence mechanism. And… mayo? yes please. Any day. Any amount. On anything. Love this stuff. If you want to make your own, maybe you wanna check this post. Takes about 2 minutes to make. And if you wanna learn about how to pasteurize it, then check this post. I finally have enough posts to link back to them and rewire my whole site! I’ve been making some progress.
Today has been one of the dullest Saturdays of the year. I have little to log. Will finish post and re-watch the ending of Whiplash like 20 more times before I go to bed to spice things up a bit. Best movie ending ever. Ah right, the octopus. Here we go.