So yes, it is 1:30 a.m. and yes, I am writing in my blog. What the heck is going on here?? Well, I have been all over today. I started by picking up Jason D. He is one of my cooks who, to tell you the truth, is just a great guy to be around. So he and I set out to create two dishes today. First, a salad of in-season local"ish" produce. What did we find? Blood oranges, local golden beets (Prairie Creek Farms), arugula, Granny Smith apples, and walnuts. Second: I have my white truffles from last weekend’s adventure so I wanted to build a dish around those gems, and what I came up with given my poll results was White Truffle Risotto with Pan Seared Diver Scallops and Fried Sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes). We headed to Northwest's City Market where my friends at Newman's Fish pointed me towards some great looking scallops – U10's (under 10 scallops per pound). I picked up some arborio rice and my produce. All together my total for a dinner to feed 5 people was $44.50 – pretty good given the quality of goods.
First off I started getting all of my risotto preparation done as it will take the longest to cook. The recipe will follow. Once we finish our risotto prep, I begin to write the recipe. Jason asks, "You're writing as we go?" "Yeah, what did you think we were gonna do?" The reality – I have made enough risotto in my life to know a damn near ideal ratio for the basic of basics. So we start dicing and weighing our onion, weighing our rice, measuring our water, fish stock, thyme, dill, truffles, salt, and cheese. We have our Mis En Place! Write that down! Very important! Mis En Place!! We fry our sunchokes, and these little buggers are flipping awesome!! I also have a sunchoke fritter recipe. I love ‘em. We prepare the risotto and allow it to rest while we prep our salad.
I'll be honest; at this point as I set out to create an amazing risotto it was lacking in color, the flavor was "dope," but the all light color made for a very dull at sight dish. Our salad on the other very – bright and full of body, could have used some crushed walnuts a top but really nice nonetheless. Oh, or some aged Manchego cheese. Oh yeah, that'd be awesome.
So here are the photos of both dishes. \Please critique or ask questions.
Overall, a very productive day. Tomorrow, back to work and with some luck, a chance to write here about what it means to be a Chef and whether or not "I" think we are artists. Have a great night and great day!!