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REPORT: Chile Fest Plus! Silver City/Hatch

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#1 gfron1

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Posted 30 August 2008 - 06:51 AM

I'm getting the topic kicked off although my time so far has been spent in the kitchen so I have experienced much of the weekend. Chris Hennes and Misstenacity showed up almost at the same time last night. I scurried them off to the tamale/tortilla workshop while I kept prepping for the tasting dinner tonight. I heard many pics were taken so I'll let them talk about the workshop. They'll be off for the Chile Fest in just a bit. Many, many more details to com.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#2 misstenacity

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Posted 30 August 2008 - 12:00 PM

I scurried them off to the tamale/tortilla workshop while I kept prepping for the tasting dinner tonight.  I heard many pics were taken so I'll let them talk about the workshop.  They'll be off for the Chile Fest in just a bit.  Many, many more details to com.

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Chris did take quite a few photos while explaining that he was no match for the tamale prepping. I made a good dozen and all of them were corrected in varying degrees by Consuelo. :-)

The food was amazing - we were warned that it could be just our fresh tortillas and beans since the tamales of course needed steaming. however, Consuelo had made a bunch ahead of time, plus there was guacamole, chorizo and sauce for the tortillas to make Sonora-style enchiladas . . . and margaritas with tangy potency from Tyler.

Needless to say there really wasn't a good reason to have had gelato before the workshop, but I did anyway, since Alotta Gelato is better than the inferior stuff in Albuquerque.

On the way back from Hatch to see the Silver City gem/mineral show and cool our heels before gfron's big "show" tonight. Oh, and I've barely eaten so far today. *grin*
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#3 misstenacity

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Posted 30 August 2008 - 05:22 PM

Quick update before I head off to get into slightly nicer duds for dinner.

We stopped in Hatch yesterday for the World's. Best. Bowl. Of. Green.

This was at B & E Burritos, a teeny dive of a joint, and the only scenery you need is this:
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....and then later we had to have some gelato, at Alotta Gelato.

Choc-coconut + chocolate:
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Pistachio (the BEST):
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More later.... :-)
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#4 Verjuice

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 12:48 AM

:sad:
:sad:
:sad:
:sad:

Vicarious living- can't go with it, can't go without it.

On, the other hand, looks like you guys are having fun! :cool:

#5 misstenacity

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 10:04 AM

Wow that was a quick stay. After downpours this AM and a killer diner breakfast (killer in the sense of "families and grandmas" atmosphere rather than the food), we're about to head northward, this time towards Reserve for about 60 extra miles and some different scenery than I-25.

I have a sack full of tamales and treats from another eGulleteer, and a red chile brownie from the festival yesterday - yum!

:-)

Dinner photos from last night will wait a little.... sorry.
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#6 andiesenji

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 11:14 AM

I am having huge pangs of envy. I feel I am missing a fantastic adventure.
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
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#7 gfron1

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 07:49 PM

Talk about teases! I'm just waiting to throw my head on a pillow again! What a fast weekend. I have absolutely NO PICTURES! So when Andrea and Chris get home, they'll have to do that work and I'll post my details. It really was a great weekend. Andiesenji's snacks (the ones that Andrea referred to) were wonderful. Since I never had time to sit for a full meal, I lived on her pistachio balls and candied ginger yesterday. I would love to have find out more about the balls - I just know that I can fit 5 in mouth comfortably.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#8 misstenacity

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 09:13 PM

Let there be tamales!
(aka Silver City, night one)

We convened on the neighborhood home of Consuelo and Tom, high on a hill and lovely in decor. Immediately the prep work was beginning, even as Tyler arrived with margaritas in a pitcher and no limes, which Tom was dispatched to retrieve. Even with that addition they were rather strong cocktails - again I was reminded that I'm a cheap date. :blink:

First, the knowledgable Consuelo preps her kitchen island:
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Next, we all try our hand at patting the masa into place, after some tips from the master (click link for youtube video):
Tamale Video

Hilarity ensues as some of us really aren't that good at all (me, a few others I won't name) as well as those of us who learn quickly (Tyler) all crank out several specimens - each one of which is "adjusted" in some way by Consuelo. Even the one from Tyler she said was "perfect!" :biggrin:

So that we wouldn't starve (ha), the steamer was opened up to reveal already-made tamales just finishing their cooking:
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A quick demo of making corn tortillas followed (no pics), and those were assembled into Sonora style enchiladas with chorizo, beef, tomato sauce, and cheese:
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Our completed tamales and their filling sat waiting to be frozen for later cooking by us as well as many of Consuelo's neighbors and friends:
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Enormous bowl of guac ready for fresh tortillas and chips:
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Pile o' tamales:
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Hot steamy tamal-on-tamal action:
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Lonely and blurry tamal on my plate:
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Consuelo enjoys a hard-earned stiff margarita and husband Tom chows down:
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In attendance were Chris and Karen, myself and Dave (who arrived later), Consuelo and Tom, Tyler (no gfron as he as cooking) and two other ladies whose names I've already rudely forgotten.

The highlights were Consuelo's constant wisecracking - she's quite a sparky woman, the really great tamales with rich pork filling and very thin masa (even though I do like a lot of masa these were still great), and the ancho-parmesan flavored corn tortillas hot off the dry griddle.

Afterwards we all toddled off for a nights' rest before the chile fest in the morning.
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#9 Chris Hennes

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 09:41 AM

After misstenacity's report I don't have much to add except to echo her comments, so I'll just add a few photos onto the pile before we move on the reporting on the Chile Festival in Hatch the following day and the wonderful dinner that followed.

Consuelo uses the Morrell lard, but says that freshly rendered would be even better. She also reconstitutes the masa using the heavily-seasoned pork-cooking liquid, rather than just water. The masa harina she uses is the regular kind, not the one labeled "for tamales" and she makes it much softer for tamales than for tortillas.
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I'm a sucker for avocados, so I feel obliged to include the guacamole prep:
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Consuelo showing the appropriate amount of filling:
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And the proper folding technique:
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Just can't get enough of that "hot tamal-on-tamal action"? Here ya' go:
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I now have enough tamales in my freezer to feed me for the rest of the week!

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#10 Chris Hennes

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 10:01 AM

The next morning we got up and drove two hours to Hatch, NM, the self-proclaimed "Chile Capitol of the World!" :
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The main event was held at the local airport just outside of town (and was apparently sponsored by Bud :smile: ):
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Despite the overcast weather (it's monsoon season in NM), plenty of people showed up for the festivities:
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They were coming to see these beauties:
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...and maybe some of these...
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There were people around making more:
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And some dried powder available as well:
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But of course the real highlight of the festival is hiding in these bags:
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One of the greatest smells ever invented, roasting green chiles:
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All to get one of these:
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#11 misstenacity

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 11:13 AM

Nice shootin', there, Chris!

Obviously having a killer camera helps a little bit with the low light photos (I'm using a 7MP point-and-shoot with a maximum "lens width" of 38mm) - my dinner photos are going to be horribly dark, so I might wait to see what comes out of Chris's batch.
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#12 andiesenji

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 11:36 AM

Lovely photos guys. Makes me hungry (sic) for more!
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
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#13 Chris Hennes

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 12:32 PM

Nice shootin', there, Chris!

Obviously having a killer camera helps a little bit with the low light photos (I'm using a 7MP point-and-shoot with a maximum "lens width" of 38mm) - my dinner photos are going to be horribly dark, so I might wait to see what comes out of Chris's batch.

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I wish I could take credit, but almost all the photos from the tamale workshop were taken by my wife while I carefully "studied" Tyler's margaritas :smile:. This batch is from me being a pest at dinner, however, harassing the other guests with constant flash photography. The sacrifices I make!! :biggrin:

I'll start out with the main set of photos of the food itself so you can get a sense of the food, and move on to the "action shots" in another post (there were a couple courses that were a bit complicated!!). I'll also let gfron1 do the talking about the food, just giving the titles he gave each course here.

First, the menu that was at each seat (18 in total):
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Course 1: Pixie Stix
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Course 2: Pan de Vida
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Course 3: Roasted Corn
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Course 4: Sushi Nofishi
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Course 5: Tuna Tempura
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Course 6: English Channel
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Course 7: Bison Under Pressure
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Course 8: Summer Fruit
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Course 9: Curso Queso
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Course 10: Tooty Fruity
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Course 11: Tamal Dulce
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Course 12: Margaritas
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#14 mizducky

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 12:37 PM

Oh, I am (chile) green with envy!

(I do have the remains of my stash of last year's green chile still in the freezer. I'm now getting inspired to thaw a little out and see if it's still good ... :cool: )

#15 Chris Hennes

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 01:13 PM

Action Shots:

Course 1: Pixie Sticks
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Rob had a syringe full of gelatin-clarified green chile essence that he added to the glass before we drank them.

Course 4: Sushi Nofishi
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There was a green chile "caviar" added right before service.

Course 5: Tuna Tempura
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From a diner's perspective this was the most complicated dish: the presentation involved lighting a piece of chile on fire at the table, then covering it with what looked like a hurricane lamp glass. The smoke from the chile wafted up and scented the "tuna" tempura, which was placed across the opening to the glass.

Edited by Chris Hennes, 01 September 2008 - 01:14 PM.

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#16 gfron1

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 01:15 PM

My comments:
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This menu was inspired by Hatch Green Chiles. I didn't want to beat folks over the head with HGCs but I wanted the food to play off of the experience of the morning at the festival. As much as was possible, I wanted to source my products locally. Here we go...

Course 1: Pixie Stix
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Let's just start it off with straight HGC! I gelatin clarified roasted HGC, eye dropped it into tart Granny Smith juice and a sprinkle of wasabi. This was served in a long tube that reminded me of those Jumbo Pixie Stix when I was a kid - you know, the ones where we ate 2 cups of flavored sugar in one fell swoop.

Course 2: Pan de Vida
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Chronicled HERE, this is my sourdough shaped into chiles. I've had such amazing success with this sourdough and I owe much of it to hummingbirdkiss. This was the first time I made a small bread out of it, normally making batards.

Course 3: Roasted Corn
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This was the course I was most looking forward to making. A piñon tuile with a roasted sweet corn panna cotta served with fresh garden tomatoes and a piñon horchata soup.

Course 4: Sushi Nofishi
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I pureed HCGs, added a bit of egg white and corn syrup, spread them on a silpat and slow baked at 175F until dry. I then cut them into nori squares, added hitomobore rice, fresh mango and some sodium alginate HGC caviar from my gelatin clarified batch. It would have been more visually stunning if I had used my non-clarified chile.

Course 5: Tuna Tempura
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I'm starting to have fun now! I wanted folks to expect the fish tuna, but instead I took prickly pear tuna (which I had been playing with HERE). I seeded them, stuffed them with chuchupate, an indigenous herb infused into local honey, white chocolate and topped with blueberries. I tempura battered and fried them. They were served on top of an oil lamp chimney, which had an Everclear soaked square of green chile at its base. The burning chile gave a brief, but dramatic moment, but what I really wanted was that whisp of roasting chile. HERE'S my experimentation with fire.

Course 6: English Channel
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I had many failed trials HERE. I ended up with beet soaked tapioca pearls flavored with rice vinegar and soy sauce (ala TheSwede), set over a soft poached Guinea Fowl egg and a bit of gold leaf for good measure.

Course 7: Bison Under Pressure
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This is the only course where I felt out of my element and it showed in the results. Sous vide bison tenderloin pan seared to finish with a molè verde, homemade ravioli with pancetta, parmesan and piñon, a light limoncello butter sauce, and a smear of morel infused ganache. The ravioli was the only self-anointed disaster of the night.

Course 8: Summer Fruit
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I roasted some of my garden tomatoes, skinned, pureed, seasoned, gelified every so slightly. I served it with 25-year balsamic (guests said it was lost in the overall dish) and powdered basil oil.

Course 9: Curso Queso
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Whiskey cheddar fondue with fried cornbread and microgreens. Just a transition course.

Course 10: Tooty Fruity
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Hungarian sour cherry stuffed bao/bun served with lemon chantilly soup and sour cherry geleé cubes. I was afraid that this might be too bulky at this point in the meal, but none came back, so then I was worried that it wasn't enough food...so...

Course 11: Tamal Dulce
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I re-created my dish from the Iron Baker Challenge and made the orange infused masa tamale with mincemeat filling, pan seared to finish, served with sage/agave ice cream (very melted in this pic).

Course 12: Margaritas
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A little after dinner drink. I had been chatting incessantly with Kerry Beal on this since I had never made a pate de fruit. In the end it was exactly the finish to the meal that I wanted. Margarita pate rolled in sugar, salt and lime zest.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#17 andiesenji

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 01:52 PM

Stunning!
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
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#18 Chris Hennes

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 03:06 PM

Stunning!

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I think you'll recognize these next few shots :smile:. andiesenji could not join us in person, but she managed to be with us just the same, by sending along these delights ---
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#19 gfron1

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 03:55 PM

The ginger was my breakfast today and the pistachio balls were my lunch on the trail - very addictive!

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#20 andiesenji

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 04:19 PM

The ginger was my breakfast today and the pistachio balls were my lunch on the trail - very addictive!

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I'm happy they are being enjoyed.

In cooler weather, as around the holidays, they can be dipped in chocolate!
I can't have chocolate but I have friends who enjoy it.

My version of the "energy bar" in bite-size portions.
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
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#21 Tri2Cook

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 04:27 PM

That's awesome Rob. I've been wanting to do something like this for a long time, I even have several fully developed menus filed away, but I never seem to get around to it. Time at the restaurant, catering jobs, keeping up with my cycling, mountain biking and running (more like walking right now, dealing with a nasty bout of plantar fasciitist), conflicting schedules of potential guests, etc... cop-outs, excuses and justifications, oh my. Anyway, everything looks great and I don't doubt it tasted at least as great as it looks. That roasted corn dish is a work of art and the many creative ways you used the chile is really cool. This is inspiring, maybe I'll get off my arse and do something one of these days.
It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

#22 gfron1

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 04:30 PM

And now you can see why I really wanted to consult with you - many techniques and flavor combinations that are right down your alley. Unfortunately, I just couldn't make the time to send you enough info to get the help.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#23 Chris Hennes

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 04:34 PM

The roasted corn dish and the cornbread fondue were my favorites. I know the cornbread was a toss-off in-between course, but the cheese you chose was so wonderful that I can't help but list it as one of the best of the evening. Hard to go wrong with a good sharp cheddar, in my opinion. And the tomatoes you used with the roasted corn were so perfectly ripe and fresh that they really did remind me that the tomato is really a fruit. I've never experienced tomatoes used in a so nearly sweet manner, and they were wonderful. And the tuile was perfect. And pretty cute, to boot :smile:.

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#24 gfron1

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 06:32 PM

It turns out I do have a few pics. Here is my prep on the green chile nori.

First I juiced one pound of roasted, skinned chiles:
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Added one egg white and a T of corn syrup (for flexibility), spread on my silpat as evenly as I could without leaving holes:
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And the final result:
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Very flexible, and mostly stable green chile nori. I thought it was beautiful.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#25 gfron1

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 06:40 PM

Here's my pate de fruit margarita mis en place:
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Minutes before I ran out the door from my cafe kitchen to the site (10 miles away), here are my stuffs - everything got numbered by course and labeled so I would have no confusion during service, especially with all of the tubs of juices and clarified juices...they started looking the same. You can also see at the top of the poster paper that I only had one course that I was still drawing out (earlier drafts had everything drawn) - that was the Tuna Tempura. That course really stumped me as to how to get the flame from the kitchen to the table. I ultimately trusted the knowledge of the group with my star servers - John, Mike and Cathy, and my sous, Alysha (all were rock stars that night!). They decided to light the flame at the table and have all servers work one table together for that specific course.
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And finally, did I mention that I had a cater for 240 wild strawberry macarons for the same night. Only about 60% were this pretty. The rest weren't...had to give a discount.
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Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#26 Tri2Cook

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 07:56 PM

I don't think you needed to consult with anyone. It looks like you had a vision and made it reality. The green chile nori is going straight to my blatant-rip-off file. That sage-agave ice cream sounds interesting too. What was the flavor balance for the pixie stix? Did it lean towards the apple with a chile/wasabi kick or was it more chile with some apple sweetness and a wasabi kick? And tuna tempura with the fruit instead of the fish! Brilliant. I followed the link about your dessert from the Iron Baker Challenge which led me to search up and read all of the rounds from that challenge. Makes me wish I'd been around the forums when that was going on so I could've followed along as the ideas were being developed. Still a fun read after the fact though. Anyway, very cool stuff. Thanks for sharing.

Edit: That macaron looks great to me. I rarely (very rarely) make macarons and I'm far from being good at it but I'm actually working on an idea right now for them. It's a bit odd and I have no idea if it will work but if it does I'll post about it.

Edited by Tri2Cook, 01 September 2008 - 08:05 PM.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

#27 gfron1

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 08:30 PM

What was the flavor balance for the pixie stix? Did it lean towards the apple with a chile/wasabi kick or was it more chile with some apple sweetness and a wasabi kick?

Chris and Andrea can answer better since they tasted it, but I wanted sour apple with a hint of chile and subtle bite of wasabi. I heard from my spouse that he didn't taste the chile, just felt it on his lips...that's fine with me too.

I followed the link about your dessert from the Iron Baker Challenge which led me to search up and read all of the rounds from that challenge. Makes me wish I'd been around the forums when that was going on so I could've followed along as the ideas were being developed.

Yeah, those were a blast! Our outdoing of each other did wear us down however :(

Edited by gfron1, 01 September 2008 - 09:24 PM.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#28 TheSwede

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 03:50 AM

Do you have a recipe (or just general guidelines/percentages) for the paté de fruit margarita?

#29 gfron1

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 05:17 AM

Kerry Beal gave me the recipe, so with her permission I'll share it. I'll ask...

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#30 Kerry Beal

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 09:01 AM

Kerry Beal gave me the recipe, so with her permission I'll share it.  I'll ask...

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Of course you can. When I get home later I'll try to remember to put up the version I made at home as a tester.





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