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Aioli

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During the month or so I’ve worked at Heirloom, I learned that making aioli is either an art form or a science…or both.  Either way, almost everyone messes up their first attempt.  At school, we had to make hollandaise and mayonnaise by hand multiple times, tasting them the whole way.  Hollandaise, mayonnaise, vinaigrettes, and aioli are all made through the same process: emulsification.

The process of emulsifying combines two ingredients that are not friends (example: oil and vinegar in vinaigrette or mayonnaise).  To create an emulsion, one must whip one ingredient while slowly adding the other.

Aioli

1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon dry mustard

pinch salt

ground white pepper (you can use black pepper, but you will see it in your finished product)

3 egg yolks

3 cups vegetable oil

optional: crushed garlic to taste

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Put all of your ingredients except the oil in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whip attachment.  If you do not have a mixer or are feeling adventurous, you can easily do this by hand.  You may mess it up once or twice if you are not careful.  Whip these ingredients up a little bit on medium and leave the mixer on.

Begin to slowly stream in the oil.  At first you may only want to add a drop at a time and wait for the drop to emulsify.  If you put in all the oil or too much at once, the mixture will whip up, but will not emulsify.  The trick here is to whip quickly enough to suspend the oil in the egg yolk/vinegar mixture.

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When the mixture begins to thicken and get lighter in color, the liquids are emulsifying.  You may begin a steady stream of oil.

You will reach a point where the mixture resembles mayonnaise, but all the oil has not been added.  At this point, you may add as much oil as you wish.  Since the liquids formed an emulsion, you cannot break it by adding too much oil.

In the end, if your aioli is too stiff you can add a little water and whip some more.  The goal is to have a light, fluffy aioli.

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Your aioli should look something like this!  Tasty.

Flavor with herbs or garlic and use in place of mayonnaise on sandwiches or in salad dressings!

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Heirloom’s First Field Trip

 

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The staff of Heirloom had its first farm tour last Sunday.  After our staff meeting, we all piled into cars to make the drive out to Darby Farms located in Good Hope.  For those of you not familiar with Good Hope, it’s a small town off of Highway 78 West.  Daniel Dover rents the thirty acres that comprise Darby Farms. While Darby Farms is primarily a pastured poultry farm – they produce eggs, turkeys, and broiler chickens- Daniel also has three Great Pyrenees, six pigs, and numerous kittens.

Daniel walked us around the farm while he did his nightly chores.  In the picture above, he showed us the trailer where he processes chickens to be sold.

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Teenage Chickens

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Daniel moved the pigs’ feed so they would relocate to another piece of land.  This has to be done frequently; the land the pigs were on has to rest for four months before pigs can be on it again.  The pigs tried to eat my shoelaces.

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A happy guard dog.  They loved to play with the kittens.  Daniel told us that these dogs have to be trained to their animals.  Initially, the dogs wanted to eat the chickens.  They had to be taught to lick the chickens instead of killing them, then they learned to guard them rather than terrorize them.  Now they patrol the roost at night to keep away coyotes and other predators.

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Teenage Turkeys

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The chickens’ roost, complete with stadium seating.   Facing the roost is the coop (not pictured), housed in a similar trailer made of scraps.  Daniel bartered with a friend for the coop’s frame – in return, he made the friend a trailer of his own.

Head here for a fun article from Flagpole about Darby Farms.

High Road Roy

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Meet “High Road Roy.” He is the delivery man for High Road Craft Ice Cream and Sorbet (see previous posts).

Why yes, he is wearing a top hat.  You may not be able to see this, but he also has on a bow tie, a white dress shirt, and white gloves – not plastic gloves, either!  Jessica says that he wore a tuxedo the last time she saw him.  I don’t know what Roy has to do with the magic of High Road, but he was our favorite person today!

What do you do when you get in four new flavors of ice cream?  Have a tasting party, of course!

    The flavors we got today included Mission Fig, Salted Cajeta (goat’s milk dulce de leche), Blueberry Sour Cream Sherbet, and Bourbon Burnt Sugar.

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 Teri and Liz trying Blueberry Sour Cream Sherbet.

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This is one of the many reasons I love my job.  We buy from local farms and businesses like High Road, which means we also support the people involved with these endeavors.  I think it is our duty to find out more about High Road Roy.   I guess everyone will just have to come eat more ice cream so we can see Roy again very soon!

Soda Fountains

Since I was just talking about High Road,  here’s a fun article about the new soda fountain trend:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/06/dining/a-bid-to-restore-the-allure-of-the-soda-fountain.html?pagewanted=1&_r=3&hp

and I can’t wait to dive into this blog:

http://brooklynfarmacy.blogspot.com/

My First Dessert Menu

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I recently took a job as a pastry cook at the new farm-to-table restaurant in town.  After a week of training (also known as playing around with all the ingredients in the walk-in) and a few days of dry-runs, we had a rough draft of our pastry department.  Every morning, the pastry case should be stocked with cookies, mega-muffins, and scones.  Quiche, biscuits, and pancake batter need also be prepared for breakfast service.  Add two types of ice cream sandwiches and two desserts for dinner service to the to-do list, and there is plenty to accomplish throughout the week.

Week two of being open was our pastry chef’s family vacation week, which left me all alone.  Finishing the big batches of muffins, cookies, pate brisee, scones, biscuits, and quiche custard was enough work to keep me busy.  Wednesday rolled around and it was time to come up with desserts.  I never would have gotten it done without the help of Liz.

The best part of this job is having a whole walk-in full of fresh local produce and delicious cheese at your disposal.  We decided to use the award-winning cheesecake recipe I got from Chef Bill at school and incorporated fromage blanc from Split Creek Farm for tang.  We layered thinly sliced figs on top and drizzled it with lavender-infused honey.  We also made gorgeous blackberry galettes with mint whipped cream and continued our love affair with ice cream sandwiches using High Road Craft Ice Cream.

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Ted and I went out for dessert a few nights later.  He stole the dessert menu and framed it.  What a sweet guy.