Spring pasta

We have recently received our first batch of spring vegetables including spring onion, spring garlic, fiddlehead ferns, favas, english peas, and some flambeau radishes. I love spring vegetables the best out of all of the seasons. The flavors are so fresh, the colors are so bright, and you can use pretty much every part of each vegetable(and even though some of the vegetables are a bit tedious to clean, they are sooooo worth it).

So the other day the Chef de Cuisine, Aaron told me to come up with the idea for the pasta that would work with parsley root puree, (our first batch of) soft shell crabs and house made tagliatelle. So, I looked through the walk in and picked through some of the vegetables. I wanted to keep it as fresh and bright as possible. Simple, clean flavors.

What I came up with was spring onion used 4 different ways. Puree, Grilled, Braised bulbs (along with cippolinis), and burnt. I also cleaned and pickled the roots, but they're not done yet.
Then I took some flambeau radishes and compressed them with some meyer lemon zest, fleur de sel, and J. Leblanc Olive Oil.
I finished the plate with cherry tomatoes, arugula and meyer lemon vinaigrette, and the pasta is tossed in some butter, meyer lemon and herbs.

I tried to have one of the guys snap pictures of the plating process so you could see the bright, fresh colors.

this was for a vegetarian

Wild Boars

I recently received some Florida wild boar from one of the servers at work. I deboned the shoulder, ground it with a 3/8" die and let it marinate over night with some garlic, red wine, dextrose, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, cardamom, ginger, and some piment d'espelette. I then reground the meat and then the fat through the 1/4" die. Stuffed it into hog casings, fermented for about 36 hours at 74 degrees and the hung in the curing chamber. Since they were so small, they cured quick. This one had 45% weight loss after just 12 days. The boar is super gamey, but the "wintery spices" if you will, come through nicely. My only problem is that there are some minor air pockets in areas, and I didn't really get much heat from the piment d'espelette.


I apologize now for the lenght of this post, but without further ado....

The other day we went to Ocala to visit Torm Siverson of Pasture Prime Wagyu and the first ever Florida raised and killed Mangalitsa pig. It was awesome to actually get to see the slaughter process from start to finish seeing as its been about 14 years since I last saw a pig slaughtered and 8 or so since my calf experience. I snapped a lot of photos, however I will try to keep the blood to a minimum.

the pig weighed around 300 pounds before the slaughter
and about 225 after cleaning

here he is rolling around in the mud

here is Torm with him before they took him in to slaughter

the pig is bled and prepared for removing the hair

the water bath the pig is placed in

removal of the hair

the pig after removing the innards

me and my march mustache admiring the size of the jowls

Since this was the first pig, we only received sample parts which consisted of the head, a shoulder, the loin and a belly. I was able to get my hand on some lardo, the belly, some jowl and the ears. This is what I came up with.....


The jowl and ears were sous vide for 24 hours and then pressed.

And then it is seared and crisped up, it was pretty good

there are some cracklings too.....


Like I said I was planning on showing my trials, hopeful successes and errors. Unfortunately this is an error. Well, maybe not so much of an error, but an unsuccessful attempt none the less. In the previous post I believe that I talked about the fact that the casings were wayyyyyy too big for the loins. So after talking to a couple of different chefs, and Scott from sausage debauchery I decided to remove them from the casings, wipe down with a vinegar solution and hang bare. Well, as you can see in the following pictures I lost a couple to mold (which was my main concern from the beginning. It all started under the casing). I was however able to save three that were covered with white mold, thankfully.

this was actually two loins I cased together, originally there was no separation, but I pulled it apart to see how the inside smelled and of there was any mold. They smelled great actually, but the outside is whats scary. I am looking forward to cutting into the others though.

On a brighter note, I took a trip to Ocala to see the first ever Florida raised and killed mangalitsa pig from Pasture Prime Wagyu. I will post more on that soon, but for now you can check it out Bluechefs or Wooly Pigs.