Prelude to Palo Alto Grill part 5 - Birds, Eggs, and Meat

Well we've been busy.  Lots of cookin'.  Most experiments smashing successes so far.  Few failures.  To catch everyone up, I'll be going relatively quickly through this blog post.  If you miss something you were hoping to hear more on, feel free to comment, I'll happily reply.  Just try and get the Pork Belly recipe.  That's a cool one.

For one of our hot appetizers, we are doing a Soy-Glazed Pork Belly, with Charred Kale and Pickled Carrots.

Ingredients: (serves 6)

1 1/2 pounds Pork Belly

2 Tablespoons Salt

2 Tablespoons Sugar

6-7 each Baby Carrots, quartered, pickled in 50/50 water and vinegar

2 each Baby Carrots, shaved into curls

2 cups Kale, stemmed and blanched

1 tsp minced Garlic

Juice of 1/2 Lemon

Soy Glaze, recipe follows

First, mix the sugar and salt and liberally coat the pork belly.

Allow the belly to marinade under refrigeration for 8-24 hours.

Rinse excess seasoning from belly.

 Roast belly in oven at 450F for around 35 min to 1 hour.  (This is very high heat, be careful the belly does not burn, but this initial high heat roasts the belly and melts the fat out, which allows the belly to self confit)

Lower the heat to 275F until the belly is jiggly and tender and nicely browned.

Refrigerate belly until chilled and set.

Once pork is completely chilled, trim off most of browned exterior and cut into brick shapes.

To finish pork belly, brown in a dry pan over medium heat until crisp on all sides.

Once pork is crispy, drain off extra fat (CAREFULLY!)  Then pour in 6 Tablespoons Soy Glaze. (recipe follows)

Toss pork lightly to coat and set aside.

Money Shot.

The Kale is allowed to

slowly char on one

side in oil, sprinkled

with salt and the garlic

and finished with

lemon juice.

To make the Soy Glaze:


3 Tablespoons Light Soy Sauce

2 Tablespoons Honey

1 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar

1 teaspoon Cornstarch, dissolved in 1 Tablespoon Water

Mix all ingredients in a small pot and bring to a boil.  Set aside until ready to use.

Other cool tricks employed for these dishes:

We wrap beef fillet in plastic and tie into a tube shape before setting in the freezer until firm, which gives us a great round shape for our Beef Carpaccio.

The capers for the Carpaccio

are fried crispy in oil

With our Circulated Egg dish, we wanted to put something crispy and smokey, reminiscent of bacon.  Instead of using bacon, I'll be using mushrooms, to keep the dish vegetarian.

We marinade the mushrooms in salt, sugar and paprika until they wilt their juices.

Once this happens, the mushrooms are drained and then smoked over Applewood chips before being dried until crispy.

The dish begins with a puree of english peas, some lightly steamed peas.  A bit of white wine and shallot cream and finished with the egg.  A circulated Egg is cooked at 62 degrees until fudgy in the center and custard-delicate on the outside (about 1 hour).  The crispy mushrooms finish the dish with their bacon-like flavor and texture.

For the duck, we begin by pricking the skin repeatedly with a dog brush (a brand new one, or at least one which has never met a dog)

The cage of the duck (all the breast and its attached bone, with all else set aside) is removed from the rest of the duck.

The skin is scored and salted before being roasted at 300F until the interior reaches 125F.  Allow the duck to cool before refrigerating.

Once completely chilled, carve the breast from the cage.

The sauce begins with orange skins, shallots and white wine.

The sauce is further enhanced with caramelized sugar, sherry vinegar, duck stock and orange juice.

Once the sauce is ready, sear the duck breasts over medium heat, allowing as much of the fat to render out as possible.  

Carve the breast, once lightly cooled.

The dish is finished with Kabocha squash browned in butter, with sauteed bitter greens and orange segments.

We did have one failure dish in this last batch: The roasted Quail.  It is stuffed with a chestnut stuffing and has a balsamic glaze.  Looks nice, but a mouthful of Thanksgiving in March is not mucho sexy.  We shall revisit soon.

Thanks all for following along.  Soon we'll be getting to the Meat of the matter....if you know what I mean.


Cool Beans

Ryan Shelton