Finished Plate of Belly

Playing with Pork Belly

In the past I had played around with pork belly. Specifically testing different times and temperatures. Well I had another chunk of belly in the freezer so I decided to cook up a little something for the fella’s at work.

Well since I had already determined that my preference for belly was cooking it at 160 f for 16 hours, it was just a matter of what to do with it. Deciding that I wanted to put a little bit of an Asian spin on my flavors here is what I did.

I tossed the pork belly in a bag with some soy sauce, mirin, rice vinegar, sesame oil, real wasabi powder and a little nori furakake. The reason for adding the furakake was because I was hoping to get a big umami punch from it. Having sealed this up in the bag I dropped it in the water and let it go.

Finished Up side of Pork Belly

Finished Pork Belly

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Sliced and layered tongue side by side

Another Round of Beef Tongue

A while back I had done an article on sous vide beef tongue. So I thought it was time for another round of beef tongue. Again the plan was to sous vide it to start with. But I wanted to try to replicate a dish I had eaten before.

The first time I had ever eaten tongue was at a little basque restaurant here in town. It was a really amazing and eye opening experience. So to start with I sealed my beef tongue up in a bag simply seasoned with salt, pepper and a little olive oil.

I didn’t want to go to heavy handed on the way it was seasoned because I wanted the flavor of the beef to speak for itself. Once I got it all sealed up I heated up my water bath to 170 F. My plan was to cook it the same way that I did the last tongue. However I wish looking back that I would have gone a longer time. I only cooked it for around 10 hours.

This time around the beef tongue that I got was significantly bigger. If I had gone just a little bit longer I think it would have had a slightly better texture and flavor. Now having said that it still turned out amazingly tender and delicious. Continue reading

Sealed Akaushi Steaks

Playing with Some New Steaks

One of the great parts about living in Idaho is all of the great beef we have access to. Well recently I was made aware of a new source and a new kind of beef. Enter the Akaushi beef, roughly translated to “Red Cow”. This is a Japanese Waygu cattle breed that produces richly marbled and tender meat. What’s better is that it is being raised locally and is grass fed. Lets check out some new steaks and see how they compare to your average steak.

Now how could I not want to jump on this band wagon and get my hands on some of this amazing beef.  Well you guessed it, I went and picked some up. And you can tell by the pictures just how beautiful these steaks are marbled.

Sealed Akaushi Steaks

The Marbling on These Steaks is Amazing!

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Sous Vide Bacon in Pan Cooking

Sous Vide Bacon

A few weeks ago one of my favorite blogs, Serious Eats, did an article about overnight sous vide bacon. How could I not try this. Two of my favorite things, sous vide and bacon! This was the perfect opportunity to try out a new device that I got. I was fortunate enough to get some awesome sous vide magnets from SV Homewares. These are a great concept for pinning bags in your water bath down and to the sides of your water bath. As you can see in the pictures these are the little red things on the bath.

As I am sure all of you who have done anything sous vide have run into the problem with a bag trying to float or wanting to be able to organize your bags better. This is the perfect solution. You put the magnet on the bag and outside the container and then you can slide them around! These get an A in my book of creative things that are a great addition to your kitchen.

Sous Vide Magnets by SV Homewares

SV Homewares Sous Vide Magnets

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Gift Ideas for a Foodie

This time of the year can be a lot of fun. I absolutely love giving people gifts. I find a lot of joy in trying to find the perfect gift for friends and family. But at the same time it can be so difficult. So I have decided to write up a quick little gift guide for the perfect gift idea’s for any foodies or up and coming chefs in your life. So here we go, these are a few of my favorites

RawSpiceBar

This is a monthly subscription that is a really awesome service. You sign up for their service and they send you out a pack of 3 spices along with recipes on how to use them. All of the spices they use are sourced for quality and ground, mixed and toasted by chefs. It is a great way to try lots of new and exciting flavors. On top of that you don’t have to worry if you’re giving this to someone on a specific diet. They have packages for gluten free, paleo and all sorts of others. You can subscribe in a 1 month, 6 month or 12 month plans. You can sign up for yourself or you can set this up as a gift through them to someone else!

RawSpiceBar: $5 off your first subscription or any 6 or 12 month gift order, code: RAKFLAVOR

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Chicken Feet, Maybe a New Favorite

There has always been one thing in the meat department of the super market that has caught my eye. And at the same time that in intrigues me, it has scared the crap out of me. Yes by the title I am guessing you figured it out, chicken feet.

I know that for a lot of people feet are kind of a taboo ingredient. However as a chef I find that it is my duty to be open minded. So over the last couple of weeks one of my coworkers and I have been playing with new foods. And this week we tackled the one that neither one of us had tried. We had no idea where to even start with these things. But oh my gosh, did we hit the jackpot. So let me walk you through what we did.

So to start with we spent a good day talking and brainstorming what to do with them. We decided that we would sort of treat them as wings. And as I have recently just moved back from Portland, when I thought wings my mind instantly went to Pok Pok. One of the best wings that I have ever eaten.

So chicken feet are mostly just skin, tendons and cartilage. The decision was made we needed to give them a nice long cook to break them down. As many of you know, to me this screamed sous vide. I found the recipe for Pok Pok wings and sealed the feet in a bag with fish sauce, sugar and garlic.

Chicken Feet Sealed in Marinade

Chicken Feet Sealed in Marinade

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Sous Vide Lamb Shank

Sorry for the long delay in a post. We have been seriously understaffed at work which has resulted in me having to work 6 days a week. As you know this is not the first time this has happened, it has been several times since I have moved back to Portland. While this is not a bad thing paycheck wise, it does have some serious downsides. One is the fact that I don’t have a lot of extra time to play around with food and write up posts about it. But here we go. Time to let you in on my amazing sous vide lamb shank! Continue reading

Vitello Tonnato

A couple of weeks ago at work I was lucky enough to be able to show off some cooking with an immersion circulator. The dish I was able to show off with was vitello Tonnato. This is a traditional veal dish with a tuna and caper sauce. Yes, I am aware that this sounds like a bit of a weird combination but trust me it is such a delicious pairing.

Veal Tenderloins

Veal Tenderloins

So to do this dish we were using a veal tenderloin that was cleaned of the silver skin and excess fat. Continue reading

Sous Vide Creme Brulee

This has been a question that I have been asked several times now. How in the world do you make a creme brulee in an immersion circulator. Well let me share the secrets to this delicious dessert and change the way you look at it forever.

So this is a super easy to do. You start with your favorite creme brulee recipe or you can use the one I am posting at the bottom of this post. Continue reading

Grilled Octopus on Marinara Sauce

Experiments with Sous Vide Octopus

I decided this week I needed to get my cooking and experimenting groove back. So on my days off I decided to pick up an octopus. My goal, techniques and experiments with sous vide octopus. Now getting an octopus isn’t as easy as running down to the local grocery store and picking one up at the seafood counter. So I got to take a trip to one of my favorite stores, Uwajimaya. Oh how I can get lost in that store. I really need to go in there some time with someone that can tell me what everything is. However I really love shopping there. They have such an amazing seafood department as well as the deli.

Left to Right: Buddah's Hand, Finger Limes, Octopus

Left to Right: Buddah’s Hand, Finger Limes, Octopus

So I grabbed my octopus right off and then decided that I wanted to walk through the produce section. I found two things that I have always wanted to try, finger limes and Buddha’s hand. Finger limes have been something that have always intrigued me. When you cut them open they expose a bunch of little spheres of  flavor delight. Buddha’s hand is another citrus which is known for its amazing scent and the zest is often used in desserts and drinks. Continue reading