Replicating Memories and Cooking for a New Audience

It would not feel right to host Our Growing Edge this month and not participate.  First I would like to thank Genie for allowing me to host her super cool event.  Just to be safe I’ll go over the guidelines again; it’s all quite simple:

  • Write a post about a new culinary experience.
  • Include the phrase “Our Growing Edge” in your post.
  • Include the “Our Growing Edge” badge.
  • Add links to the host (which is moi this month and to Genie at Bunny Eats Design).

After those 4 things it is pretty much a free for all, you can do as you please.  So this is my formal invitation to all my readers to get on with your culinary bad selves!  Try a recipe from another culture, find a new ingredient or visit a different restaurant.  Go out in the world and let the culinary creativity flow.

As for me, I thought I would share some of the things going on in my new kitchen.  Apart from training my new staff I have been playing with ingredients and fine tuning recipes, which has been incredible fun.  It is always a challenge to cook for a new audience, but so far everyone has thoroughly enjoyed the food we are putting out, which of course only makes us want to create even better things.

When I created the menu for Costa Rica Beer Factory I tried to tie together my Texas country roots, adopted Costa Rican culture and knowledge from my travels over the past years.  Although I like everything on my menu, there is a particular section that I am incredibly fond of, that goes by the name of Chef’s Recommendations.  Some of the dishes in said category include a pork belly inspired by Kylie Kwong and a currywurst that takes me back to the streets of Vienna.

When I decided that I wanted to make desserts available, something quite unusual on the local bar scene, I knew my main goal was to be playful.  This led to me channeling my inner child via dutch oven pancakes and adult s’mores with beer marshmallows.  The s’mores were quite the challenge, seeing as I had to figure out how to make graham flour and replicate the memory of the graham crackers I used to eat on girl scout camp-outs.

The other dish I am extremely happy with is the gluten-free coconut fried shrimp.  They are better than their gluten counterpart and have been very popular with every taste bud to come their way.  Other than cooking and recipe tweaking, each day brings new things into our culinary habitat.  Last week I bought a tray of microgreens, which looks like a mini jungle apt for the children in ‘Honey I Shrunk the Kids’.  I began experimenting with cold infused herbal waters.  My favorite so far, surprisingly, has been the 48 hour rosemary water.  In other news, my new favorite toy, an industrial blowtorch, has been put to very good use over the past few days.

Seeing as I have shared recipes the last two times I participated in Our Growing Edge, I could hardly leave them out this time; so here are a few that I hope will inspire you to get cooking or get someone to cook for you:

Our Growing Edge

Graham Flour

340g all purpose flour
60g wheat bran
10g wheat germ
Combine all of the ingredients and mix until well blended.  Store in an airtight container. 
Makes 410g

Our Growing Edge

Camp Out Graham Crackers

180g graham flour
65g sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
95g butter
20g single varietal honey
30ml milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).  Combine all of the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Cut in the butter until you have a fine-grained texture.  Beat in the honey, milk and vanilla just until a dough begins to form.  Take care not to overbeat.  Roll out the dough on a floured sheet of parchment paper or a silicone mat.  Pre-cut the cookies and prick them with a fork.  Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until deep golden brown.  Store in an airtight container until needed.
Makes 16 – 20 crackers (2.5-inches x 2.5-inches)

Our Growing Edge

Gluten Free Coconut Shrimp

200g shrimp, peeled, veined, tails left on
50g dried shredded coconut, unsweetened
1 egg, lightly beaten
50g cornstarch
Season the shrimp with salt and pepper.  Set aside.  Ready a breading station with 3 bowls and a tray.  Place the cornstarch in the first bowl and season lightly with salt and pepper.  Place the lightly beaten egg in the second bowl and season lightly with salt and pepper.  Add the coconut to the last bowl; do not season. Hold the shrimp by its tail, dredge it with cornstarch and remove any excess by tapping the shrimp with your fingers or a fork.  Dip the shrimp in the beaten egg and then bread with shredded coconut.  Place the shrimp on a parchment paper lined tray and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes. Heat 3 inches of oil in a medium pot.  Fry the shrimp for 90 seconds to 2 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove the shrimp from the oil and drain over paper towels and serve with the sauce of your choosing.
Makes 1 serving

Be sure to participate and submit your link below:

Happy Edge Growing Ya’ll!

5 responses to “Replicating Memories and Cooking for a New Audience

  1. Thanks for hosting this month Chandler! You should take a photos of your new kitchen and the food you are putting out.

    I’m sure it’s happening all over the world but pub/bar food is really slick these days. It means that people are planning to dine out when they go to pubs. A good thing I think. Especially when there are really good local craft beers to try. Do you do a beer and tapas tasting menu? That could be really fun even if it’s just a one night, fundraising special.

    • It has been my pleasure! I am in the photo taking process as I go along. It is quite the challenge to have one finger on the shutter button and the other in a pot.

      At the moment we don’t have a pairing/tasting menu, but it is in the works. We have been open for 2 weeks so we are making adjustments here and there, trying to get settled and then the projects will begin! 🙂

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