Archive for the 'Fermentation' Category

Tostada Special


March 12th, 2010

tostada
This week, I ran another special…tostadas! They featured a corn tostada with spicy ‘beans’, salsa, and queso fresco with a quenelle of mango guacamole and mole sauce.

queso fresco
Thes secret ingredient was definitely the queso fresco which my instructor, LADAN, helped me with. She’s been developing ALL KINDS of fancy cheeses lately. This one was a macadamia nut cheese fermented with kefir (have I mentioned that I have developed quite the kefir addiction while being here) and dehydrated into a crumble.

tostada
It seems like they went over pretty well. They sold out right away. So, I offered them again the next day. I was really excited because my boyfriend was passing through town that day, and he actually got to try one of my dishes! He really liked it. He is going to be so happy when I come home with all these new recipes in my repertoire!

date
 

Exotic Cheeses


March 2nd, 2010

assorted cheeses
When she’s not busy in the Academy, our Level II instructor (LADAN) doubles as the kitchen director. Last week, she developed some really exotic cheeses. If you are in Oklahoma City at dinnertime, you should definitely check out the cheese plate!

making cheese
Here is Ladan (well, her hand anyway) demonstrating her technique to me.

blue green cheese
The blue cheese is amazing with the candied walnuts.

plain cheese
This cheese looks like a plain. But pair it with some lavendar honey, and it’s a party in your mouth.

black pepper and truffle
Black pepper and truffle flavor. O. M. G!

herb
Mmm…herbs. You can’t go wrong.

assorted cheeses
And you know what the best part about them is? They’re good for your digestion (not like the other kind), AND they don’t cause ASTHMA attacks. This is a particularly attractive feature for SOMEONE like me.

date
 

New Year, New Decade, New Life: Part One


January 1st, 2010

plants

Happy New Year, everyone! I love New Year’s. New possibilities are so uplifting. I found this post I wrote for NEW YEAR’S 2008. It’s kind of interesting to look back at things you saw as possibilities (back then) with the benefit of hindsight. A lot has changed in that short time and little did I know how much IMPACT my wheatgrass plan of 2008 would have. Well, this time it’s not just a new year. It’s a new decade. Time for a more ambitious plan.

kombuchaMy goal for 2010 (the year) is simple. I just want to kick this CANDIDA INFECTION to the curb. There seem to be a million different ideas out there for how to go about doing that. But I think I’ve settled on a strategy that seems to be working for me. Here is a batch of kombucha I have brewing to help combat the infection. You can see that the SCOBY has started to separate into a mother and a daughter colony. That means it’s almost ready! I have a couple of these going right now. So that I can have a constant supply of affordable kombucha.

yogurt

This morning for breakfast, I had some homemade dairy-free YOGURT made from coconut meat. This batch was a lavendar-vanilla. Basically, the mantra is to kill the bad stuff and re-populate with the good stuff.

probioticThis is the acidophilus I’ve been putting in my yogurt. I’ve been doing probiotic capsules too, but they’re really expensive. So, I’m hoping that I can get more bang for my buck by incorporating it into my food. This entire bottle ran me about $12. A bottle of capsules would be at least 2-5X that (depending on what you get). We’ll see how it goes. I’ll keep you posted on the effectiveness. I can say that although I am still having die off symptoms, they seem to be getting less severe. It’s only been a few weeks though.

Beyond that, I don’t have big ambitions for this year. Basically, I want to focus on my health issues one at a time until I stop having them. I’m hoping that this is the last of my health dramas. As far as the decade goes, well that’s a little more complicated. So, I’ll save that for part two.

date
 

Kombucha


November 25th, 2009

kombucha
Here are the three flavors of kombucha I made for my first batch. I actually INOCULATED my tea a couple weeks ago and have been allowing it to sit in at room temperature (away from direct sunlight) to ferment.

scoby
Here you can see my little SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) growing tentacles. It kind of looks like a jellyfish.

pouring kombuchasOnce it’s fermented, all there is left to do is to pour your kombucha and add flavoring. You can flavor it however you like. In my case, I used grapefruit and blood orange juice. You can leave it out at room temp a little longer if you want it to be fizzier. Or you can refrigerate it. Just be sure to drink it within a week or so. My boyfriend is hopelessly addicted to these. He drinks one to three a DAY. I am going to save so much money! HOORAY!

date
 

Fermentation


November 13th, 2009

making kombucha
This week, we focused on fermentation. We discussed it’s health benefits, and we made lots of recipes using it…including my first batch of kombucha. Kombucha is a fermented tea which contains probiotics. You start by preparing a tea. Mine was made with oolong tea and honey.

scobyNext, you add the SCOBY and a little kombucha. The SCOBY is actually a mass of living organisms…a zooglea. It’s like a culture of probiotics growing in your tea. You can kind of see mine floating in the tea here. Once you have your culture set up, you need to let it ferment for about two weeks. Then you can flavor it however you like.  At this point, the SCOBY will have reproduced into a mother and a daughter SCOBY.  These can be separted into two new batches of kombucha.  I’ll check back with you about that when the time comes…

vanilla mango yogurt
We also made yogurt this week from coconut meat. We started out with a plain yogurt base which we allow to ferment in the dehydrator overnight. This is what it looks like when it comes out of the dehydrator.

vanilla mango
Then, you can flavor it however you like. I made vanilla mango yogurt. I LOVED it.

cheese to dry
We also made a couple different kinds of cheese. This is the initial formation of my cashew cheese which we made using probiotics.

berbacious
We also made a cheese using miso as the fermenting agent. This one was much more herbalicious and used almonds for the base.

fig compote
This was the fig compote we made to garnish our cheeses.

Lavendar honey
We also made a delicious lavendar honey.

cheese plate
Here is a picture of my cheese plate. The cashew cheese was garnished with a black pepper crust. The herbalicious cheese crumbles were garnished with the lavendar honey. The green cheese is a pumpkin nut cheese (which we actually borrowed from the RESTAURANT), and it was garnished with the fig compote.

cheese platesOnce we were all done making our cheese plates, we had a little cheese tasting party with a glass of white wine. I couldn’t really drink mine, but it tasted wonderful. Ladan also invited Matthew Kenney to come check out our plates.  I might be having cheese plate for breakfast.  It was tasty, but I was already too full to eat it.  That’s the problem with culinary school.  You’ve got to pace yourself.  Though as far as problems go, it’s not a bad one to have.  🙂

class pic
Ok. Well, I’m off to school…

date
 

Getting My Garden Fix


July 2nd, 2009

garden
Since I’m away from my own GARDEN now, I’m having to get my garden fix elsewhere. But as luck would have it my friend, Heidi, is happy to oblige.

heidi
She made an APPEARANCE on my blog at this time last year too. We signed up for BIKRAM YOGA this week. There was an intro deal at a STUDIO here – unlimited classes for one week for $20). Here she is doing a spontaneous yoga pose on a cement divider.

toilet planterI love how they used their old toilet as a planter. I suppose it’s not technically a planter. I think she originally planted something else in it, but now it is FULL of super nutritious chickweed. We put some in our smoothie this morning. We’ve also harvested some radishes, baby beets, and raspberries. Her garden is SO HUGE. I need a garden this huge (especially if we are going to start a catering empire with locally grown produce from our own gardens – our not so secret dream).
.
.
spider
This is the cute little spider that made a home for itself between her tomato plants.

nn
MMM…SMOOTHIE. It’s starting to turn into a tradition as I always seem to show up when her raspberries are in season.

date
 

Fermenting Cheese


November 28th, 2007

fermented cheez

Well, you learn something new every day. Because I didn’t even know this was possible until I found mention of it in my NEW BOOK (this book covers a LOT of ground). As you can imagine, I was more than pleased to find out about this. Not only do I love cheese, but it’s fermented. And fermentation is GREAT for people with digestive problems (and I am the QUEEN of digestive problems). I made 3 batches (walnut, cashew, and sunflower seed cheese). Here I have walnut and cashew mixed in the VITAMIX to a clunky consistency with water and unpasteurized miso (I used white). Then, they’re allowed to ferment for up to 12 hours at 85-95 degrees F. This was actually not a problem for us. Ever since they turned on the heat, our apartment (steam radiators) has been hovering at 85-90 degrees (we live on the top floor). I grew up in Texas, so it’s actually pleasant for me, but my boyfriend is pulling his hair out.

cheese start

pre-cheese mixture 

Anyway, once that’s done all that’s left to do is separate the cheese from the whey (liquid). I strained mine through a cheesecloth. I supposed there’s something you can do with the whey, but I haven’t done much experimenting with that yet. Of the three, I LOVED the smell of the fermented walnut. We have big plans for this cheese. I’ll keep you posted…

date