Well.. Yea.. Sort of of I guess! Actually this knife (it’s an 8 inch gyoto made in damascus steel) have become one of my favourite knives mostly because of how light it is and how easy it is to work with. In the past I’ve tend to use quite heavy european knives and after a couple of hours of cutting, chopping or whatever your hands and arms tends to get a wee bit tired. The gougiri knife on the other hand is much lighter and I don’t get that same numb feeling in my hand after excesive onion chopping. So that’s a good thing.
And the price is good!! You get a awesome knife for a reasonable price!
Do I have something negative to say? Well, no… Not really. It’s a solid knife thru and thru and it’s, as I previous mentioned, my go to general purpose knife! The only thing that I would change with the knife is the handle. I’d like a more ergonomical shaped handle
After a lengthy break from the blog I´m back with a new recipe! One could say that my work life got in the way of my blog life but I´ll try to be a bit more active in the future. Anyways… Enjoy!
Duck breast with variations of kale and wild mushrooms.
4 duck breasts
200g of Brussel sprouts
50g of Lacinato kale
1 clove of garlic
50g of Pine nuts
20g of Green kale
200g of wild mushrooms
250g of Veal stock
1 clove of Garlic
A sprig of thyme
100g of red wine
Turn the oven to 80°c (176°f). Trim the breast (save the trimnings!) and score the skin on the breast. Season with salt and black pepper. Fry the breasts quickly in a medium hot pan until the skin side have a nice colour and a crispy texture.
Put the breasts in the oven until the inner temperature reaches 58°c (136°f). Let the meat rest for at least 15 minutes before serving.
Cut the sprouts in half. Blanche them for 2 minutes then let the sprouts cool in ice water.
Dry the sprouts with a kitchen towel. Fry the sprouts with a knob of butter and a sprig of thyme for a couple of minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Rince the kale in cold water and let it dry. Fry in a pan with olive oil over medium heat with a finely chopped clove of garlic for a minute. Season with salt and some pine nuts (let the nuts get slightly roasted!).
Deep fry in oil until the leaf is “stiff”. Season with salt.
Clean from dirt. Pan fry in some high quality butter over high to medium heat. Season with salt and black pepper.
Fry the trimmings until the meat is dark, almost burnt. Add the wine, garlic, thyme and veal stock and let it reduce until half remains. Remove the trimmings, garlic and thyme sprig before adding a knob of butter.
Is this fine dining or junk food? Some times the lines gets blurred and the biggest difference between the two is plating skills, attention to detail and respect for the produce. This is the kind of food I love to create, fine dining that shamelessly flirts with street food. The hybrid bastard between El Bulli (or NOMA) and McDonalds (OK, more El Bulli than McD!! Not a big fan of McD!) if you will. Food that doesn’t make you feel like you got to wear a suit and tie! Eating at a restaurant should be a joyous experience and not fill you with doubt whether or not you should use this fork or that one.
So maybe I have something to say anyway?
The other day a dish by a famous swedish chef, whos name I shall not mention (Björn Frantzén), caught my eye and the general respons to said dish was an outburst of superlatives (best dish never!) and adjectives (purdy!). To me it looked like.. well, it looked like something a dog does effortlessly on a daily basis. Brownish dullness galore with lichen on top and I figured that it was time to adress the elephant in the room. Let me tell you my friends that that was a big mistake. The comment “don’t feed the troll” was on of the nicer ones but there were others with superlatives and adjectives and the odd case of a misused adverb and all I said was that I didn’t think it looked that good and that his dishes generally looks alot better! But no, colour me a troll!
And no, I don’t compare myself to said chef whos name I shall not mention (Björn Frantzén) in anyway. We don’t play in the same league. Hell, it’s like we don’t even play the same sport!
“The History of every major Galactic Civilization tends to pass through three distinct and recognizable phases, those of Survival, Inquiry and Sophistication, otherwise known as the How, Why, and Where phases. For instance, the first phase is characterized by the question ‘How can we eat?’ the second by the question ‘Why do we eat?’ and the third by the question ‘Where shall we have lunch?” Douglas Adams
In the media the restaurant/kitchen is often portrayed as place where only the tough endure and thrive. Well, it´s not like that.. it´s much worse than that! You get to work with awesome men and women who is, at best, social misfits.
Or is it?
It´s actually like any other job. Sure, the stress is from time to time astounding (especially between 6 pm and 10 pm!) and yeah, it´s not for everyone! But then again, being a rocket scientist is most definitely NOT for everyone!
Working as chef is at times a arduous waste of time, but when I´m at rock bottom and weary I think to myself “maybe I took a wrong turn, maybe I should have become an electrician instead (I wanted that for a brief period)?” Short circuits and stuff like that.. screwdrivers.. (still like screwdrivers tho but I prefer the kind you drink!) Nah, I´m better of here peeling potatoes!
So what´s the general idea with the Douglas Adams quote then, one might ask? Well, nothing. Not a goddamn thing! It´s just a really funny quote!
Pan sear the chicken. Roast in oven at 100°C until inner temperature reaches 62°C. Let the chicken rest for at least an half an hour at room temperature. Just before serving sear the chicken skin side down until the skin is crispy. Apply salt and pepper.
4 large potaoes
Goose or duck fat
Melt the goose fat in a sauce pan. Peel the potatoes and cut them into cubes or barrel-shapes. put the potaoes in a roasting tin. Pour over the melted goose/duck fat over the potatoes. Roast the potaotes for 30-35min in a oven at 200°
Red wine jus
1 shallot, sliced
1 clove of garlic, lightly crushed
2 sprigs of thyme
3 sprigs of parsley
50g of balsamic vinager
200g of red wine
500g of veal stock
Acacia honey (optional)
A knob of butter
Sautè the shallot and garlic clove in butter at medium high heat for a minute or two. Add the thyme and the parsley. Continue cooking for two minutes. Pour in the vinegar and the wine and cook until reduced by two thirds. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and let the sauce reduce by two thirds. Add a knob of butter and maybe a little honey.
A whisk of olive oil
Bring water to a boil. Let the shallots cook for 2-3 minutes. Peel the shallots. Do not remove the root stem. Cut the shallots i half lenghtwise. Oil the shallots and let the sear in a grill pan until you have a nice pattern. Keep warm.
fresh lemon juice
Slice the carrots as thinly as possible. Boil the carrots in cream and milk until the carrots are soft. Mix the carrots with a little salt and a few drops of lemon juice, with a stick blender until you have a smooth creme. Keep warm
For me is cooking the ultimate art form because it moves all of my senses, I enjoy the creative process and the taste sense is the one that speak the most to me. Everyone thinks about food at least a couple of times every day and the fact of the matter is that we need food to survive.
In order to think food you got to have experiences, in other words, something to relate to. Every time you got to make a food relateted choice your imagination kicks in, for example when we go shopping or ordering from a menu etc etc. As a profesionell chef I think about food all the time, which is onlys natural since it´s what I do for a living but it´s also one of my greatest interest in life. That doesn´t mean that I´m constantly craving food but from experiences comes thoughts and ideas. To see possibilties not obstacles, take advantage of the produce properties. To think food is an on going process, an impression leads to a thought leads to an idea which gives birth to a dish.