Ed's Birthday - Oyster poutine

Today I grabbed a package of fanny bay oysters from the supermarket, I also had some fresh cheese curds from the farmers market. Hmmm, how to make cheese and seafood work together....

I deep fried the oysters after a quick breading. I made some duck gravy from the duck stock that I pulled out the other day, and I combined the three, garnishing with bacon and green onions.


Duck Breast with Potato Foam Gnocchi

Today I wanted to try making potato foam gnocchi that I had read about - originally a Ferran Adria creation - and had attempted once before rather unsuccessfully (last time I used cream with the yams, and the texture turned out like whipped cream rather than foam).

I also had a duck breast in the fridge that needed to get eaten up. At the store, I came across some sea asparagus and nice crimini mushrooms. All that was left was to figure out a sauce for the dish, so I took some duck stock out of the freezer.

The gnocchi are created by combining some mashed potatoes, potato water (the water used to boil the potatoes), seasonings (I added a touch of truffle oil), and sodium alginate (about 5g) in a whip cream gun. The gun is then charged with a nitrus oxide canister and then squeezed out into a water bath that has some calcium chloride (about 5g) mixed in. The chemical reaction between the sodium alginate and calcium chloride creates a gel layer around the foamed potato mixture. It comes out as a big long snake, so you have to snip it into gnocchi sized pieces with a pair of scisors. The end result is a delicate gnocchi that pops in your mouth releasing the potato foam interior.

I pan fried the duck breast, blanched the sea asparagus, and sauteed the crimini mushrooms. I reduced the duck stock and added a couple crimini mushrooms to it to give it more body. The end result was a very enjoyable dish. The flavours all worked great together and the gnocchi was an enjoyable success.

Mexican Chorizo Sausage

Today I had the idea to make some sausages. I went into the grocery store hoping to find some pork shoulder - just to my luck, it happened to be on a crazy sale and I walked out with a hefty shoulder for $5.

I then went on to break it down by hand (this I've heard gives a finer texture, and I happened to not have a meat grinder) and season it. I had taken a couple notes from a recipie for mexican chorizo just before I left the house so I loosely followed those suggestions (some cumin, oregano, hot paprika, cayanne, pablano peppers, onions, chipotle, garlic, red wine vineagar, tequila, salt, and pepper) to create a spicy and savory seasoned meat. I didn't have any casings so I just balled up the sausage into meatballs this time (the leftovers I took the time to suran wrap in the shape of sausages so I can boil them, unwrap, and finish by frying).

I also oven roasted some roma tomatoes, and steamed some broccolini. I cooked up some bucantini pasta (one of my favourite pasta forms), dressed it in some olive oil, and piled everything into a bowl. It was delicious, truly satisfying. To top it all off, I fed enough sausage to co-workers to make everyone happy, and I had about a dozen sausages left over to put into my freezer for later.