Sample Dinner Menu
Cooking for My Life/Cooking for My Wife
If my life is on the line for one meal, or the woman of my dreams will decide on my marriage proposal based on one meal, this is the menu I “think” I would serve. I could re-write this every day for a month and would probably get 15 different versions, but this is it today.
The Popcorn Project v46.1
Agora Farms preservative-free popcorn (the only popcorn I've ever found that requires refrigeration) pops with the size of “mushroom” kernels and the tenderness of hull-less kernels and are the best I've found to date. They are cooked in avocado oil and seasoned with butter and my custom “white cheddar, black truffle, wasabi, and soy sauce) seasoning salt.
Dr. Amy's French Fries
When an old friend wants to open her dinner with a “French Fry and Champagne” course, it tends to send a chef down a path to trying every way to make a fry to find the best. These fries are par-boiled, air-dried, and then finally fried at a high temperature. The fries are seasoned with truffle salt, wood-fired garlic powder, and white cheddar seasoning.
Black Bean & Lamb Velouté
For the last nine years, I've been lucky enough to be invited to the best service industry potluck/party that exists in DC. It's not a competition, but everyone knows who brought what. Attendees don't have to bring food – there's always too much food, so wine or whiskey are perfectly acceptable contributions. If you're a chef, however, and you do bring food, that dish really needs to be... let's just say it should reflect your best efforts. I brought this dish a few years ago. A fellow chef/guest tasted it and offered to trade me a pricey bottle of whiskey for the recipe... I would've given it to him for free, but thanks for the whiskey, Tony.
Heritage black azuki beans from Japan, roasted poblano peppers, leeks, and roasted garlic are all braised in a 4-hour lamb stock, and pureed. The soup is topped with slices of lamb chorizo sausage that is cooked sous vide, de-cased, and seared. The soup is finished with scallions and a horseradish & yuzu crème fraîche.
Cubes of “Big Glory Bay” King Salmon are tossed with a house-made poke sauce and blended with diced avocado, lardons of slow-roasted black pepper bacon from Epic Curing, finely diced shallots, red onions, and poblano peppers, served with fried wonton crisps and topped with paddlefish caviar because sometimes excess is not a vice.
Twice-Cooked Pork Belly
Heritage breed pork belly is marinated for 4 days in a buttermilk and beer solution, and cooked sous vide with An (in)Appropriate Amount of Butter. The belly is cooled, sliced, and deep-fried. It is served on a parmesan and sundried tomato polenta and finished with smoked mustard seasoned with the “juice” from the sous vide bag.
Spicy Creamy Tomato Sauce
The first time I served this bowl of pasta to a client she said “this dish balances the heat and creaminess like a 100 foot seesaw sitting perfectly straight atop the Washington Monument”. Some compliments stick.
Slow roasted San Marzano tomato sauce (too long of an explanation for this purpose), are blended with caramelized onions, braised pork shoulder (marinated for 3 days, dry-rubbed for 1 day, seared and braised), melted goat cheese, hot-pepper butter, a touch of cream, served over fresh linguini and topped with grated pecorino.
Irish Cream Whiskey Cheesecake
Imagine a cheesecake and a Bavarian cream had a love child, now imagine that love child is age appropriate and we got her drunk on Irish Whiskey. Kinda like that. Served on a pillow of Irish whiskey-scented whipped cream, and finished with Irish whiskey caramel sauce.