Balut

This weekend I tried balut for the first time. For those that don’t know, balut is a fertilized, partially developed duck egg. It is considered a delicacy in the Philippines. It was…interesting…
Check out this clip of me trying balut. my first balut

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The Fat Duck Cookbook — Orange and Beetroot Jellies

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This weekend I made my first attempt at tackling a recipe from The Fat Duck Cookbook. I attempted orange and beetroot jellies as the recipe seemed fairly easy and blood oranges and beets are in season. The key to this recipe is it is supposed to create jellies that fool the diner with their colors. The orange jelly is red and the beet jelly orange due to the use of blood oranges and yellow beets — or at least that’s how it’s supposed to turn out.

On Saturday we went to the farmers market and picked up blood oranges and yellow beets. I also picked up some 170 bloom leaf gelatin. The next day I went to work on my jellies. The blood orange jelly went off without a hitch. It turned out a beautiful beet red color, was smooth, and delicious.

The beet jelly, however, was not without its problems. I had a very hard time juicing the beets. No matter how much I tried, I could not get more than a tiny bit of liquid out of them and I ended up breaking my blender in the process. To add insult to injury, the more I tried to juice the beets, the greener the liquid became. I ended up taking the green pureed beets and forcing as much as I could through a fine mesh sieve. I ended up with more of a thick green paste than a golden liquid. I decided to go ahead with the beet jelly as by that time I had invested quite a bit of time in juicing the beets. Plus, if the key to the dish was surprising colors, I certainly had that with my green jelly! The result left a lot to be desired. It tasted like beet paste and looked like baby food. I don’t know that I would try this dish again. Even if I were able to get yellow juice out of the beets and create a more delicate jelly, I’m not really sure that I would want to eat beet jelly again. I haven’t quite figured out how or why to incorporate that as part of a meal.

Perfect Pineapple Rings

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For Christmas I got a strange looking contraption from my mom. I had to call her to find out what it was. She said it was a pineapple slicer.

ImageI tried it out this morning and discovered what a marvelous contraption it is.

Step 1. Cut off the top of your pineapple.ImageStep 2. Insert pineapple slicer.

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Step 3. Twist until you reach the bottom.

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Step 4. Gently wiggle and pull the slicer to remove.

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Step 5. Take the slices off the contraption. Voila!

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Clean — Spice It Up and Favorite Green Shakes

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Yesterday I made the Spice It Up Shake from the Cleanse Sample Meal Plan (page 22). As Clean shakes go, it was about average. This shake includes raspberries and carob powder which sounds really yummy. However, the flavors are rather muted. I added cacao nibs and fresh raspberries on top to give it some textural contrast and brighten up the flavor. The shake was slightly bitter so I should have also blended in a couple of dates to add some sweetness.

ImageTo start the new year off right, I once again turned to the Cleanse Sample Meal Plan this morning for a nutritious shake. The Favorite Green Shake (page 22) is bluish-green thanks to the spinach, blueberries, and spirulina. The spirulina adds an algae-like taste. While that may sound off-putting, I find it appealing.