This is how you celebrate springtime!

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  Every year from April to September millions of blue crab molt their old hard shell for a new one. Not all market places or cities are close or lucky enough to be able to take part in this yearly event, atleast in a cost efficient way. This delicacy must be harvested at just the right time from the water before hardening. The mouth and abdomen is discarded along with the gills or “dead man’s fingers “for you old timers. After cleaning the crab you can eat it whole, typically deep fried or sauteed.

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Medium pan seared strip steak rice and cornmeal fried soft shell crab

I always fry my soft shell in flour but this time I switched it up to a fine yellow corn meal. Some recipes call for an egg batter which I feel is tasty but can overshadow the delicate crispness of the fried shell. I should’ve used a better grade of cornmeal but altogether I think now I’m switching forever. Another note on switching forever! The strip steak you see was perfect melt in your mouth tender after the normal few minutes in the pan then finish in the oven with a rest time. The main difference between this steak and any other was the fact that it was all organic raised grass fed beef! I never thought I would truly be able to tell. I feel it had more flavor and more tenderness. It could’ve been the butter and rosemary I basted it in.

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Cuisine prep for Japan

No doubt about it I’m going to Japan one day! It’s been a goal of mine for years and I’m feeling the travel bug hard now! This trip would be business before pleasure though!http://gofund.me/Npjapan Please take a minute to read my story and mission to gain knowledge, business connections and meet amazing people. I figure I should get accustomed to some of the flavors of the country to reduce culture shock! So from time to time I’ll grab something from the land of the rising sun that I’ve never tried and share with you! I’ve decided to start out light with Mochi!

Mochi is a Japanese rice cake made of steamed short grain rice, pounded into a paste and molded into desired shape. The rice cake can be flavored or filled with a sweet paste, used as a dumpling, or covering for fresh fruit and ice cream.

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I came across a pack of Mochi balls one half filled with sweet adzuki bean paste the other grassy, earthy matcha. Strange words for candy I agree! You can feel these things are super soft through the package, comparable to a marshmallow .

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Red bean and matcha Mochi rice cakes

If you’re a food texture person then at first you may not like the gumminess of Mochi. With a texture somewhere between taffy and marshmallow the rice cake is often advised to be eaten in sections to avoid choking! That’s the kind of texture I’m dealing with here. Atleast it dissolves quick! I thought the flavor was good of both Mochi but the ice cream was definitely special. The Mochi surrounding the frozen dessert isn’t as gummy as the candy and is just a cool way to eat ice cream! Stay tuned for more cuisine samples from Japan and around the world!

Bacon Wrapped Trout Stuffed With Fresh Dill

 

“First knife skills. Then,knowing how to control heat. Most important is choosing the right product…the rest is simple.” -Justin Quek
 
      What better way to celebrate the springtime weather than fresh fish and herbs?! This is an easy way to turn an otherwise less flavorful fish into a quick,sexy,savory filling meal.  This recipe only uses 6 ingredients , four of which should always be in your kitchen . The dill works with the lemon to add a soft sweetness to the flesh while olive oil and bacon juices keep the meat irresistibly moist. I used uncured bacon with this fish because I didn’t  want the extra saltiness and added preservatives. If you worry about contaminants while eating fish you’ll be happy to hear trout has the lowest amounts of dioxin levels of all oily fish.

Bacon wrapped trout stuffed with dill

1 whole trout

Salt and pepper

4-5 sprigs dill

2-4 lemon slices

2-4 slice uncured bacon

2 tablespoons olive oil

      1. Pat fish dry and season with salt and pepper then stuff with dill sprigs.

      2. Lay lemon slices inside or on top of fish. Wrap fish with bacon slices nice and tight. 

      3. Heat up olive oil in a large pan and sear the fish on both sides to lightly crisp the bacon.

       4. Flip fish back to serving side and finish in preheated oven at 425degrees for about 20 minutes depending on size    Garnish with lemon and dill

       

“Always let your meat rest.” – Dad

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” Context and memory play powerful roles in all the truly great meals in one’s life. ” – Anthony Bourdain

I wish I could take credit for this dish but I must give it up to my father who is one part of the reason I’m obsessed with all things food. Every now and then I get to enjoy a home cooked meal that reminds me of why I started Fond Media and The Fond Chef blog. I want to show how the act of preparing and eating good food is more than what you see. It’s trial and error, it’s history, it’s science,it’s beautiful, it’s love,comfort, nature, simplicity, and the surest way to humility!

Seared Porkchops with Onion Fig Reduction

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Pork chops and onion fig reduction

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Ingredients :
2 Pork chops
Salt and pepper
Cooking oil
1/2 white onion julienne
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 Lemon tea bag
1 1/2 cup water
4-5 brown turkey figs halved or mashed

Step 1.
Season pork with salt and pepper

Step 2.
Combine tea bags, sugar, figs and water bring to a boil and remove tea bags.

Step 3. Add onions and simmer on low heat until reduced to desired thickness stirring frequently.

Step 4.
Pan sear porkchops with cooking oil about 3-4min each side. Remove to serving plate and top with fig and onion reduction.

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“The fact is that it takes more than ingredients and technique to cook a good meal. A good cook puts something of himself into the preparation. He cooks with enjoyment, anticipation, spontaneity, and he is willing to experiment .” – Pearl Bailey

The other side of happy hour!

  First off let me say sorry for being away so long!  I’ve been hitting the gym hard as well as sampling the cuisine and nightlife. The rare occasion happened when me and a coworker both had the day off. We ended up at Lindey’s in the historic German Village in Columbus, OH. Although established in 1981 Lindey’s feels like you stepped into a 1950s upscale restaurant. Everything shines, leather seats, and the bartenders wear long sleeves and tucked in ties.

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Honey sriracha wings and truffle fries

Our sampling began with honey sriracha wings and truffle fries. This was my first time having truffle oil fries and although pleasing they were overshadowed by the wings. Under the sticky sweet glaze that didn’t drip off was the amazing crisp skin. The thing about these wings is they didn’t get soggy as they cooled!
For dinner I ordered Tempranillo red wine and beef carpaccio. My wine choice was based solely on the fact that I never seen Tempranillo on any other wine list in the area.

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Tempranillo is the dimunitive of the Spanish Temprano (“early”), a reference to the fact that it ripens earlier than other Spanish grapes. Tempranillo has low acidity and sugars so is often blended with merlot or cabernet to liven the flavor profile. The aromas and flavors can include plum, berries, tobacco, leather, and vanilla. I definitely get a berry aroma followed by a plum like flavor.

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Most people know I rarely eat beef but I have heard so much of this dish it’s been on my list for awhile now! The Italian version of sushi, beef Carpaccio, is thinly sliced beef marinated in olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper, topped with mushrooms, parmesan, and spicy arugula. So simple but so satisfying!

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Do like I did and take advantage of happy hour at various places to sample the atmosphere and goods for cheap and save money for dates and business dinners . Then when your ready for date night you are familiar with all the restaurants in the area.

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Pan seared Scallops and foie gras with butternut squash puree, fruit mostarda and microgreens

” Eating is not merely a material pleasure. Eating well gives a spectacular joy to life and contributes immensely to goodwill and happy companionship. It is of great importance to the morale. ”

– Elsa Schiaparelli Italian fashion designer