Jordi

This delightful appetizer will please any guest. The hearty quail eggs topped with the salty green olives provide complex and delicious flavors you don’t find at the “average” cocktail party.

Notes

Recipe compliments of Takashi Yagihashi

Ingredients

  • 8 toast points (or baguette sliced in 1/4 inch slices)
  • 8 teaspoons minced green olives
  • 4 hard boiled quail eggs, sliced in half
  • 4 small cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 8 avocados, sliced in 36 pieces each
  • 1 Tablespoon small capers
  • 16 anchovies, julienned
  • 2 Teaspoons aioli
  • 2 Teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 leaves micro cilantro or fennel

Servings8

Calories Per Serving1191

Folate equivalent (total)678µg100%


Veganized: This Vegan Fajita Recipe is a Perfect Weeknight Dinner

After a long day of school or work, it can feel difficult to come home and still have to cook a meal. It can be especially daunting since cooking also requires cleaning up afterward. I made sure to keep this in mind when creating this recipe and kept the dishes used to a minimum. When testing this recipe, I wanted to create something that was quick and easy without compromising on flavor. While doing some research, I noticed that many vegan fajita recipes used mushrooms. I must confess that I am not the biggest fan of mushrooms and wanted to use a different ingredient that was still a great source of plant-based protein. I was quickly drawn to tempeh.

I find that tempeh has a great texture that mimics the texture of various dishes that are traditionally meat-centric. This lead me to the creation of the "veganized" series. I want to take recipes that normally rely heavily on animal-based ingredients and create something that is equally delicious and cruelty-free. Since I want to start out simple, I chose to make this vegan fajita recipe the beginning to the series. The best thing about the recipe is the ability to make so many different variations. Personally, I enjoy adding some zucchini or squash. Although it is written for only one serving, it is very easy to increase the servings to feed a family or a party. Once trying this recipe, I know that it will quickly become a go-to weeknight dinner.

Side Note: Has anyone ever had issues with fresh cilantro wilting in the fridge? I know I used to until I discovered this method to help increase the shelf-life.


Share All sharing options for: Look Inside Pastry Mastermind Jordi Roca's New Dessert Cookbook

Peter Pauper Press/Official

Along with his two brothers, Jordi Roca owns and operates the best restaurant in the world, according to the World's 50 Best list, E l Celler de Can Roca located in Girona, Spain. Though the brothers' success lies in their unique three-way collaboration, Jordi is responsible for the sweet side of the menu. Like the food, the dessert menu at El Celler skews avant-garde, with memories, the senses, and conceptual art serving as jumping-off points for desserts enhanced with perfumes and interactive elements that look modern but taste classic.

This month, Peter Pauper Press publishes an English language version of Roca's 2011 book Los Postres de Jordi Roca. In it, there is a gentle attempt to bring the magic of El Celler de Can Roca into the home kitchen. There are foams and infusions and perfumes, but there is also Roca's take on a cupcake, innocent-looking gumdrops, and a reimagined candy apple. Take a look inside The Desserts of Jordi Roca, below.

The Desserts of Jordi Roca is now available for pre-order on Amazon. The book will hit bookshelves and mailboxes on July 29.


HOMECOOKING WITH TERESA

Patatas bravas is on of the most famous tapas dish in Spain. You can find them in almost every single tapas bar and they are super delicious. However, like many other traditional dishes, every one seems to have their secret ingredients when making the tomato sauce - salsa brava. This recipe is from a famous Catalan chef, Jordi Cruz, who was awarded his first Michelin star when he was only 18. I have adapted his recipe because I was short of time, but would love to confit the potatoes next time I make this recipe. I must admit, the sauce is to die for, it's heaven on the plate.

INGREDIENTS

- 1 kilo of ripe tomatoes or 3 x 400g cans crushed tomatoes
- 300 g onions
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 red chillies
- Nyora (optional) soaked in hot water, and pulp scraped
- 2 g of sweet paprika
- 3 g of hot paprika
- 10 ml Worcestershire sauce
- 100 g of double concentrated tomato
- Salt and pepper

For mayonnaise foam (or, if we want, just mayonnaise)

- 100 ml of sunflower oil
- 250 ml of Arbequina olive oil
- 1 whole egg
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 blanched garlic without the germ
- 6 g of salt


Jordi Cruz

Precociousness applied to cooking. Jordi is a unique example of how vocation (that wonderful feeling of “being called to learn and then to teach it”) can appear naturally, without coming from the outside. Let us explain.

Jordi Cruz (Manresa, Catalonia, 1978) is one of the chefs of the well-known Spanish avant-garde cuisine. But he is not just another chef. One of the things that are probably most surprising about him is his professional precociousness. As he has said on several occasions, Jordi realised that he wanted to be a chef when he was seven years old. And not only did he realise it, but he did all he could as a child to make it happen.

He was a little boy who knew what he wanted. We don’t know what his family thought about this, because no one around him worked in anything remotely connected to catering. So, when he was 14, he began working in the kitchen of the Estany Clar restaurant, in a town in the province of Barcelona. When he was 18 he was appointed head chef and at 24 he was awarded his first Michelin star, which made him the youngest Spanish chef (and second in Europe) to receive this sought-after accolade in the profession.

Years later he left Estany Clar and began at another restaurant, L’Angle, where he was awarded another Red Guide star. His big break in Barcelona came in 2010, when the González Simó family, owners of Hotel Ábac in the city, offered him the position of head chef in the hotel’s restaurant, replacing Xavier Pellicer. In the following edition of the Michelin Guide, presented in November 2011, the inspectors awarded the Ábac restaurant two stars, which confirmed Jordi Cruz’s good work, passion, technique and personality.

One of Cruz’s maxims is to “cook simple dishes with logic and care, also applying the principle of proportionality so that diners enjoy each and every one of the courses on the menu and they are equally enthusiastic throughout”. The Catalan chef likes to define his cooking as “evolving and inquiring, based on the product, where there is room for creativity and tradition”. One of the cooking techniques that he is passionate about is vacuum cooking. He has written about it extensively in his first book, Cocina con Lógica (Cooking with Logic), which he applies based on what he learnt from one of his best teachers, George Praulus, in France. Jordi Cruz paid him an emotional tribute at the BCN Vanguardia conference, which was part of the Alimentaria Barcelona 2012 exhibition.

In mid-2012, Jordi presented an interesting project to Barcelona food lovers, which aimed to enhance the city’s gastronomic map even further: the 10's-Ten’s tapas bar, a temple for signature tapas, also created by the family who owns the Hotel and Restaurant Ábac. The bar offers ten fixed or essential tapas, and others that change every week and get more and more complex.

The fixed tapas include patatas bravas (spicy potatoes), or Andalusian-style squid, while guest tapas can be popular dishes from the Ábac like cherry ceviche or foie gras with figs, for example.

In 2013 l'Angle restaurant changed its location, from the village of Sant Fruitós del Bages to Barcelona city center, in Hotel Cram where Jordi Cruz is also gastronomic adviser.


Sant Jordi in Barcelona

As with many traditions that are firmly rooted in society, today we know very little about their origin. To understand the traditions on the day of Sant Jordi, one must immerse oneself in some of the stories and legends that have sprung up around Saint George.

Although George was venerated in the Middle Ages in Europe, today we know very little about this historical figure. It is certain that he served as a Roman soldier around 300 AD. He was regarded as a Christian martyr who would not be questioned about his beliefs. The name "Georgius" means farm, which is perhaps the reason why the Catholic liturgy chose this day in spring as his name day. He is also regarded as a protector of the harvest.

In addition, he is also regarded as protector of lovers, which explains why since the 15th Century a large rose market takes place around the government palace (Generalitat de Catalunya) in Plaça Sant Jaume and in its courtyard on the day of Sant Jordi.

Because so little is known of the historical figure, the myths and legends around the Catalan patron grow. A legend tells of his seven-year Mathyrium. In the seven years of torture Sant Jordi never lost his faith. This legend explains why Jordi was chosen as patron saint of the Knights of the Byzantine Empire. During this time he was called out for help to win against the "infidels". In addition to Catalonia he was also chosen as the patron saint of England, Georgia, Greece and Serbia and many more.

The best known and most popular legend describes how he defeated a dragon in the infinite country Silene. This dragon poisoned the air of a village. And to appease him, the people always sacrificed a lamb and a virgin who was chosen. One day the princess of the country met this fate George killed the dragon and freed her. The Princess and the entire population were converted to Christianity. Since the 13th century the most widely used figure of Sant Jordi is the scene where he kills the dragon with a lance while riding a white horse.


Uyen Nguyen

2008 Las Vegas Rising Star Uyen Nguyen was born in Vietnam but grew up in Orange County, CA. After earning a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of California, Irvine, she attended the internationally acclaimed culinary school, l’Ecole Lenôtre in Paris. With Grand Diplôme in hand, Nguyen embarked on a culinary career at celebrated establishments like Pâtisserie Gaulupeau in Versailles, as well as at Las Vegas establishments Le Cirque at the Bellagio and Fleur de Lys at Mandalay Bay. As pastry chef at the Las Vegas venue of the famed Parisian restaurant, Guy Savoy, Nguyen returns to her French culinary roots and brings extensive skills to the task of working with an exceptionally talented team.


Chicken Stir-Fry With Bok Choy and Garlic Sauce

jeffreyw / Wikimedia Commons

A tangy sauce is a great contrast to the sweetness of bok choy in this tasty chicken stir-fry. The recipe cooks up fast, though you do have to remember to allow half an hour for the chicken to marinate.

The stir-fry is simply chicken strips and bok choy. It is the sauce, however, that really makes this dish stand apart. For it, you'll combine chicken broth, garlic, and both white rice vinegar and black rice vinegar. It's a taste you simply have to try.


‘Chef’s Table: Pastry’ Recap: Jordi Roca Turns Dirt into Dessert

The Jordi Roca episode of Netflix’s Chef’s Table: Pastry tells the story of how a rudderless young guy found his true calling in his older brothers’ kitchen, and in doing so, turned their restaurant into one of the world’s most acclaimed fine-dining establishments.

“I am much younger than my brothers,” Jordi says at the start of the episode. “They weren’t my parents, although they acted like they were. I felt small, inferior.” His brothers Josep and Joan Roca — who are 12 and 14 years older than Jordi, respectively — followed in the footsteps of their parents and opened a restaurant in their hometown of Girona, Spain. El Celler de Can Roca debuted with Joan in the kitchen and Josep managing the wine and the front of the house. Jordi started as a waiter when he was around 19 or 20 years old, long after it was established, but he eventually landed in the kitchen because the hours were less intense. By his own admission, Jordi was not anywhere near as ambitious as his brothers. “I didn’t see myself, in 10 years, being in a partnership with them,” he explains.

Jordi was not excelling in the kitchen, so the restaurant’s pastry chef, Damian Allsop, made an agreement with Joan to take the youngest Roca brother under his wing in the hopes that he might find more inspiration in the pastry section and also learn some discipline. “When I started with my brothers in the restaurant, I was treated like the boss’s son, and it was bad for me.” Jordi remarks. “Damian spoke man-to-man to me, like a normal person. And when I had trouble concentrating, he’d yell at me.” Jordi quickly got sucked into the world of pastry making, and working in this department helped him understand what he calls the “game of the kitchen.”

Around nine months after he joined the pastry team, Damian had an accident that put him out of commission, so Joan and Josep put their younger brother in charge of desserts. This was a risky move for the elder Roca bros, considering that they’d received a Michelin star, and were now asking someone with relatively little experience to be an integral part of the restaurant.

“I was forced to not do one thing at a time, but, rather, I had to keep track of 15 or 20 things at a time,” Jordi explains. “I had to run more, start to be more agile.” He did a capable job cooking Damian’s recipes, but his work wasn’t really doing anything to improve the restaurant.

One of Jordi Roca’s desserts Margaret Stepien/Netflix

Jordi decided to take a class in ice cream making to learn a bit more technique, and this unlocked something in his brain. The chef explains:

I didn’t know it was that possible to go that in depth into ice cream. One day, the teacher talked about how the air is important for an ice cream. It is very important that the air is completely clean. So the ice cream does not absorb odors. So it does not add another flavor. I went home and thought the other way around.

This inspired him to make ice cream that was infused with cigar smoke, a dish that completely blew his brothers’ minds. “The door opened for me, and I thought, ‘I can try new things and make mistakes,’” Jordi says of this creative transformation. “I felt recognized. I felt like a grown-up. I was part of the team.”

From there, Jordi began experimenting with this style of sensory-stimulating desserts. One of his most famous creations, “The Rainy Forest,” actually includes distilled dirt as one of its edible components, to evoke a sense memory from childhood. Another dish, made with sheep’s milk ice cream and edible spun wool, is inspired by spending time with his baby nephew. “It’s like putting a baby to bed,” he explains.

Jordi’s desserts helped propel El Celler de Can Roca to a new level of critical acclaim. The restaurant finally scored a three-Michelin-star rating, and it landed at the top of the World’s 50 Best list, twice.

Oh and one final note: This is a particularly dramatic episode of Chef’s Table thanks, in part, to Jordi’s husky whisper-narration of his own life’s story. The chef contracted laryngitis a few years ago, and his voice never fully recovered. “It’s a kind of silent life I’ve been forced to live,” he notes. “But I am saying much more in my work. That is incredible.”

Click here for all Chef’s Table coverage | And head to Eater’s new Facebook group Eat, Drink, Watch to talk about this and other food-focused shows and films


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