TODAY’S TIDBITS

  • Bottled Lemon/Lime juice is cloudy because it has been pasteurized – this changes the flavor profile, to something much less desirable – yuck – use fresh lemon/lime juice.
  • Eggs in Japan have a much shorter expiration date – because Japanese use a lot of raw eggs in their cooking, so they need to build in a wider margin. (courtesy of Miyako).
  • During a fire, before going through a door touch the door to see if it is hot – but use the back of your hand. Because if you scorch the front/palm of your hand you can no longer use your hand, but you can if you scorch the back. (courtesy of the fire marshal at the fire drill).

The ICC follows ‘Meatless Monday’ – originally driven by an attempt to get Americans to eat less meat, Meatless Mondays further gained traction from environmentalists (fewer methane producing cattle required), and activist vegetarians (e.g. Paul McCartney). Now it’s a global phenomenon.

Alton at the tilt-skilled grilling quinoa
Alton at the tilt-skillet grilling quinoa
Jess preparing our beet salad.
Jess preparing our beet salad.

For us today, this meant lots of veg protein dishes – namely fried Quinoa Patties (boiled quinoa, cheese, onion, garlic, chiles, bread crumbs, Salbitxada Sauce), two lentil preparations (Jess and I did a roasted beat and lentil salad). There were also delicious roasted butternut squash, fried potatoes and fruit salad – so the plates were looking pretty full and worked well together. The big revelation for me today was Yuzu juice. The acid for our vinaigrette was Yuzu & Lemon juice. I find Yuzu hard to describe…. sweet lemon?…but amazing delicious. Apparently the Japanese have several of these types of fruits that aren’t widely yet known in the West, which hopefully we’ll get to cook with. Most of today’s recipes came from Yotam O.’s vegetarian bestseller “Plenty More”. At one time, I was a bit worried that we weren’t getting enough ‘international’ exposure, but we’re getting our share here in ‘family meal’ for sure.

benphone
Chef Ben makes an important call to Commissioner Gordon
The line looked pretty good today
The line looked pretty good today

It was bit hectic today. We had a fire drill (see main pic) in the middle of it all, so suddenly everyone was a bit behind. The Quinoa Patties were the eye of the needle today. Alton was on the tilt skillet, frying the patties and we were getting them ‘to the line’, ‘just-in-time’.

After lunch we had our regular debrief, and then it was off to prep for tomorrow. Alton and I are doing a coleslaw, which sounded a bit boring, but we’re tasked with spicing up with some Asian sauces (either something peanutty, something with a fish sauce, or spicy, or something new). Chef Ben has left it up to us, so we’ll be up late into the night figuring out what to do. We have a list of ingredients: Togorashi, brown sugar, peanuts (for roasting), black and white sesame, soy, rice vinegar, limes and herbs….sounds like fun… if anyone has any ideas I’m all ears.

The crew pounding pork for tomorrow
The crew pounding pork for tomorrow
L'ile Flottante at Cherche Midi
L’ile Flottante at Cherche Midi
Stewart on the mandolin
Stewart on the mandolin

Several of us went to one of Keith McNally’s restaurants on Friday called Cherche Midi. Miyako knew the chef so we went back to the kitchen and spent a few minutes with him. He had more tattoos than I have freckles. The food was amazing, and their crème anglaise around the “Ile Flottante” would definitely have passed our Level 2 practical with flying colors.

Stewart Borden
As a graduate of the International Culinary School, Stewart is currently testing recipes for a NYC Italian chef's cookbook. He is a film and theatre composer as well as an accomplished pianist and the bassist for the band Men in Suits.