Thoughts

Black Cod with Potato-Chorizo Vinaigrette

Black Cod with Potato-Chorizo Vinaigrette
Potatoes that have been fried in crumbly rendered chorizo, loaded into a tortilla, and splashed with salsa verde makes for a very awesome and very satisfying taco. That is the initial point of inspiration for this dish.

We took the classic potato-chorizo combination and distilled it into a simple broken vinaigrette. In counter intuitive fashion, we chose to manipulate the potato into the acid phase of the vinaigrette. Potatoes are first cooked at 70 degrees C and chilled in order to pre-gelatinize their starch. They are then cooked again until fall apart tender in vinegar and blended smooth. 

For the oil phase of the vinaigrette, we took good olive oil and infused it with all the spices that would normally go into our chorizo.

Now a vinaigrette needs to dress something, so we used simple mind mapping to figure out what that would be.

Our chorizo takes cues from Mexican cooks, but chorizo in general has Spanish roots which made us consider cod as a pairing. Being from New England, I was weened on cod and have always found its flavor to be insipid so from here we jumped to black cod. Black cod is rich and oily and takes well to smoking. Smoked black cod is marketed as sable fish in NYC appetizing shops and given that NYC is our home we decided that this was the right move.

Smoked black cod is sliced like sashimi. Half of it is garnished with pickled potatoes, chorizo spices, and chorizo mayonnaise. The other half gets some salsa verde, onion and cilantro. A squeeze of lime is applied to all the slices and our potato-chorizo vinaigrette acts as a condiment for all of it.

Bay Scallops and Sea Scallops with Aji Dulce Dressing

Bay Scallops and Sea Scallops with Aji Dulce Dressing

Local bay scallops are in season. They are small and sweet and we love having them on our menu until they are all gone. We thought it would interesting to juxtapose them with their macro sea scallop brethren in this composed ceviche inspired composition. In much of South America, ceviche can be fast food fodder much the same way burgers are for us up north. It's not odd to see ketchup and mayonnaise packets served with it in much the same way. 

Here we take sea scallops and gently poach them. The scallops are sliced and punched into neat little discs using a ring cutter and arranged on a plate. The poached scallop scraps are minced, dressed with mayonnaise and formed into a quenelle. Celery, cucumber and raw bay scallops are arranged on the plate along with a sweet onion puree. 

Next, we make a leche de tigre of sorts and stain it pink with aji dulce chile and ketchup. This is used to dress the dish at the table. 

The result is a restaurant composition that retains some street food dna and credibility.

Devil Eggs

Devil Eggs

To me, when I hear the term deviled as a descriptor for food, I think spicy. This is why deviled eggs are odd to me because they never seem to be spicy at all. 

I also think it's weird that something associated with the devil could ever be white and yellow (the colors of angel robes and sunshine!?).

If you look at traditional Yucatecan recipes, there are many dishes that utilize hard boiled eggs. I never have found out why, so I must assume it was just a highly available source of protein once upon a time.

During your research, you will also see repetitive use of pickled red onions, habanero chiles and a jet black seasoning paste called chilmole.

We took all of this and used it as inspiration for our own version of deviled eggs.

Egg whites are stained red with beet juice and the pickling brine leftover from our pickled red onions. The yolks are blended with chilmole to create a black heart. 

To ensure heat we serve it with a little side of Yucatecan style habanero salsa.

Breakfast Burrito

Breakfast Burrito

For the record, I have never been on team burrito. The tortilla to filling ratio has always bothered me and watching office drones line up to buy and eat these sadness wraps before rushing back to the office is acutely depressing. 

Despite all this, one night at home, my wife Lauren wanted one so I made them and they ended up being delicious to me in a dirty sort of way. 

Hard cooked scrambled eggs, pinto beans fried with jalapeños, bacon, chorizo, grated cheese and rice that was made with one those packets that makes everything orange…This was all wrapped up in a flour tortilla and served with a side of warm tomato salsa enriched with Valentina hot sauce and pigs foot stock.

We made them small which I love because it takes it all into the realm of a noncommittal snack. 

We ate them late night with some tequila and it felt good so I decided to put these breakfast burritos on the menu at Al Pastor where we have zero intention of ever actually opening for breakfast.