Cooking with David Mincey: Parts 4 & 5

HEADER45Advanced Home Cooking with chef David Mincey – parts 4 & 5 of a 9 part cooking series. 

 

One of my favorite parts of The Advanced Home Cooking with David Mincey (presented by Cook Culture) is the way that, midway through a class, David could be cooking one thing, stop and think, and then start heading in a completely different direction from what the original “plan” for the class was. If you haven’t been to a class, know David, or read one of the previous articles, David likes to cook with what he has on hand and doesn’t really come to a class with a solid “I am going to cook X with ingredients A and B”. He likes to be inspired by what he has and by what happens during the class as he cooks.

 

David Mincey's avoury biscotti cookies. All photos by Colin Hynes

David Mincey’s savoury biscotti cookies. All photos by Colin Hynes

This happened a few times during Class 4: Party Snacks. David was moving around the kitchen, working on various things when he decided that he would make us savoury biscotti cookies featuring fennel, pumpkin and poppy seeds along with olives and Parmesan cheese. Unfortunately, David won’t give out the exact recipe to his biscotti as he worked for a long time to get all the ratios perfect. You’ll have to get a hold of him and shake it out of him; I advise you do, because they were the best biscotti I’d had. I took one home and had it a couple days later and it wasn’t dry, hard, or brittle like most biscotti get after time.

 

He also made a very summery Gazpacho soup. “Gazpacho is one of those go-to dinners when I’m not quite sure what to make, but I want something delicious, fresh, and easy to create,” he said.

 

Gazpacho Soup

Gazpacho Soup

David Mincey’s Gazpacho Soup*

 

One red pepper

Cucumber

Onion

Garlic Confit

Chopped Tomato

 

Lime Juice

Cilantro

Salt

Chili Paste

 

For a party serving, place a small amount of Gazpacho on a spoon

For a party serving, place a small amount of Gazpacho on a spoon

Sauté the first five ingredients in a pan until they have just started to soften, then blend together. Taste to see if the mixture is balanced—if there is one item that seems lacking, sauté a bit more of it and then add to the blender. Once happy with the balance of flavours, add the lime, cilantro, salt, and chili paste and blend. If you prefer a chunky soup, leave as is; if you prefer a smoother soup, blend until consistency is smoother. Chill for one hour before eating as Gazpacho is not a hot soup! For a party serving, place a small amount on a spoon as in photo.

 

*like all of David’s “recipes”, there are no measurements; he goes by feel and frequent tasting

 

Another snack that was especially tasty and was a big hit with many of the people in the class was Pork Side Ribs with marinade and Peanut topping. Having a meat that is small and easy to hold should be something everyone has in their repertoire for parties. Try making this one at home for dinner first before you make it for your friends at a party; that way you can get the balance in the marinade right and smooth the process since you will have made it once!

 

David Mincey’s Pork Side Ribs

 

Pork Side Ribs

Pork Side Ribs

Pork side ribs – about 3 lbs or 2 racks

 

Marinade

Ginger

Fermented black beans (can be found at most “health” grocers or in Chinatown)

Garlic confit

Half an orange

Cilantro

 

Topping

Ground cumin

Ground peanut

Lime juice

Cilantro

Coconut shavings

Sesame oil

 

Blend marinade ingredients till smooth. Put through a sieve to remove bits and pieces. Put marinade into a big metal bowl and set aside. Sear pork ribs and add to metal bowl with marinade. Thoroughly coat the ribs. Put into fridge and leave for at least one hour and up to 24 hours. To cook, take a baking tray and put a cooling rack on it, place ribs evenly on cooling rack and put into oven at 350°. While the meat is cooking, make the topping. In a pan on low heat, add all topping ingredients and sauté till warm and they just start to cook. You want the coconut to start roasting and the cilantro to wilt a little bit. Take off heat and set aside.

 

Take meat and put onto a serving platter, sprinkle topping generously over the meat. Leave skewers or forks near the platter so that people don’t grab with their hands!

 

 

Class 5: Cooking with Chocolate

 

This was an interesting class. Until now David has cooked by feel, and with what he has on hand, but for his chocolate class he came prepared. He brought with him: chocolate (a lot!), halibut, salmon, mussels, and rib eye steaks. David generally makes at least four dishes — some classes have gone into the double digits, but for this class he only made three: an appetizer, a main, and a dessert. David, being one of the leading experts on chocolate in Canada, was the right person to introduce everyone to the way chocolate can be incorporated into savoury dishes.

 

He started by walking us through the chocolate he would be using. For the bulk of the dishes, he would use Mast Brothers cooking chocolate, which comes in a giant two pound block. He also had white chocolate shavings and some cocoa nibs.

 

Seafood Chowder with White Chocolate

Seafood Chowder with White Chocolate

The Appetizer – Seafood Chowder w/ White Chocolate

 

This was amazing. I was hesitant to have the smooth vanilla taste of white chocolate with fish, but it turns out that it is an astonishing combination. This dish would be amazing throughout the summer, and with a slight change of ingredients, could make a great winter dish too! David suggests that you don’t add so much chocolate that the dish is overpowered. You should be able to serve this to someone without telling them about the chocolate and they wouldn’t know it was there, but that there was “something” making it unique.

 

Seafood Chowder w/ White Chocolate

 

Halibut

Salmon

Mussels

 

In a big pot, with a bit of oil in it, put in and warm:

Ginger

Onion

Celery

1 mango

Soy sauce

Lime

Chili sauce

Coconut milk

Tomatoes

Cilantro

White chocolate

 

In a frying pan, sauté then set aside:

Coconut shavings

Sesame oil

Cocoa nibs

Scallion

Lime zest

Peanuts

 

In another pan, add butter and oil and cook:

Corn

Carrot

Onion

 

Add the corn, carrots and onion mix to the first big pot of ingredients. Put it in a blender and blend till smooth. Taste to make sure it’s balanced. Then strain out anything that is not blended. Cut the fish into small strips and sear in a pan till cooked. Boil the mussels till they start to open. Put the puree into serving bowls. Then gently place the fish in the soup. Drain the mussels and add to bowls by placing on top of fish. Top with coconut mixture from frying pan (coconut shavings, sesame oil, cocoa nibs etc).

 

 

Entree – Crusted Rib Eye Over Quinoa Salad.

 

Slicing the Chocolate-crusted Rib Eye Steaks

Slicing the Chocolate-crusted Rib Eye Steaks

Whenever you hear chocolate, savoury, and entree together, what do you think? Mole sauce! So what did David do? Not Mole sauce. Although it had chocolate and tomato, it did not taste like Mole sauce because of the different spicing.

 

Rib eye steaks

 

Spice rub

Peppercorns

All spice

Cocoa powder

Finely ground coffee

 

Salad

Quinoa

Cucumber

Onion

Rice vinegar

Chili sauce

Yellow tomato

Orange tomato

Parsley

Mint

Canola oil

Garlic confit

Chili sauce

 

Sauce

Beef fat

Tomato

Onion

Celery

Shaved Mast Brothers Chocolate

Cinnamon

Smoked paprika

Garlic confit

Fried mushrooms

Chili sauce

Salt

Lime

 

Topping

Ricotta cheese

 

Plate dressing

Shallots

Oil

Mustard

Rice vinegar

Tomato

Parsley

Ricotta cheese

Salt

 

Boil quinoa till al dente, drain and set aside. Grind spices together till powdered. Put spice mix in a bowl and thoroughly coat rib eyes. Put oil and butter into a frying pan and heat up. Sear the rib eyes till the outside crusts up, then leave on a bit longer so that they cook to desired state (although David says this dish works best with the inside quite rare). Set aside rib eyes to cool and set. In the same pan as you seared the rib eyes, add all the ingredients for the sauce. Heat everything up, till it starts to soften, then blend it all together and set aside. Cut everything for the quinoa salad into a very fine dice and mix with cooked quinoa. Blend everything for the plate dressing till smooth, strain out any bits.

 

To plate: Place quinoa on plate. Cut rib eyes in thin stripes and place 3-4 on top of the salad. Put a dollop of ricotta cheese on the meat, and then drizzle the sauce over the meat and cheese. Put the plate dressing around the outside of the food, on the dish.

 

The dessert – Flourless tart with chocolate mousse.

 

This is a trademark dish at any restaurant. This version of it, tastes the same too, and isn’t incredibly difficult to make. It is wise, if hosting a dinner party to make the dessert first, a couple hours in advance, and then assemble right before you serve. All the items keep really well, all the sauces in the fridge and the tart/cookies can be left out on the counter. David says to use the best quality chocolate you can get for the mousse because it will show it the best. A low quality chocolate can ruin a perfectly made mousse. For the tart, cookie and sauces lesser chocolate can be used, but a better one will taste better.

 

Mast Brothers Chocolate Shavings

Mast Brothers Chocolate Shavings

Flourless Chocolate Tart with Chocolate Mousse

 

Mousse

Shaved Mast Brothers chocolate – 300g

Grand Marnier

Whipping cream – 300g

3 eggs

Sugar

 

Tart

Shaved Mast Brothers chocolate – 1/2 pound (~230 grams)

Butter – 1/2 pound (~230 grams)

3 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

 

Raspberry sauce

Raspberry jam

 

Cookie

Golden corn syrup

Butter – 90 grams

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup flour

Ginger

Cocoa nibs

 

Sabayon sauce

Eggs

Lemon

Sugar

Butter

pinch salt

Grand Marnier

Shaved Mast Brothers chocolate

 

Start by making your cookies. Heat everything but the flour in a small pot until it has melted together. Then mix in the flour a little at a time. Set aside and wait till it has cooled a bit, otherwise it will be too runny. Once cooled, place on cookie sheet in desired shape. David chooses circles, so he could mold them into baskets. Heat in oven around 350 degrees for approximately 20 min.*** Once they have started to brown around the edges they are done. Take them out of the oven and let them cool on the sheet for a few minutes. You know they are ready when you can peel them off with a spatula in one piece. David draped them over cups to cool so they would form the basket shape. Get creative with this step!

 

***watch closely as once they begin to brown it will happen quickly

 

To make the mousse heat the whipping cream till it is scalding hot (bubbles on the edges), but not to a boil. Put the cream in a food processor along with your chocolate shavings. Make sure the ratio of ml of cream to grams of chocolate is equal. Next add a touch a Grand Marnier. Put the mixture in a metal bowl and into the fridge. Separate three egg whites and beat until stiff peaks then add sugar until they just become shiny if it becomes grainy it has gone too far. Next whip a little bit of your whip cream and set aside. Fold your egg whites into your chocolate mix from the fridge 1/3 at a time, very slowly so that the chocolate mix becomes streaked with white. You do not want to stir in the egg whites as it will loose its airy-ness. Fold in the whipped cream last. Put your bowl back in the fridge and let sit for 4-24 hours. The longer it can sit the better it will become, but make sure to cover the bowl with saran wrap as it will absorb other smells if open.

 

For the tart start by melting the butter and chocolate in a pot, slowly over the lowest heat. You do not want to use heat that is more than is required to melt the butter. Take your sugar and add enough that it makes it slightly sweeter (more if you are using a less sweet chocolate and less if you are using a sweeter chocolate). If you add too much you will cover up any subtle tastes that the chocolate has in it, never add more than a 1/2 cup. Take you chocolate off the heat and let cool enough that it won’t cook your eggs when you add them. When it has cooled add the three eggs. This amount of eggs is part of the ratio of equal parts butter to equal parts chocolate, much like the mousse. If you increase the chocolate amount you have to increase the eggs amount the same. Stir till the eggs are mixed and pour it into your pan. Cook at 300°F (or slightly less) till the middle is fudge, the edges will crisp a little as well.

 

Till next class!

Related reading: 

Fundamental Building Blocks at Cook Culture: Part 1

Cooking with David Mincey: The Pantry – Part 2

Building a Culinary Repertoire – Part 3

To register or for more information go here

You can also go into Cook Culture and talk with one of the staff about the classes at:

1317 Blanshard St, The Atrium Building
Victoria, BC. Ph: 250 590 8161

Store Hours

Mon to Fri: 10 am to 5:30 pm
Saturday: 10:30 am to 5:30 pm
Sun and Holidays: 11:30 am to 4:30 pm

 

 

Written By:

Colin is the Assistant Editor at EAT. You can contact him via colin@eatmagazine.ca. Colin was born in Nova Scotia and spent his first five years there. His mother and father owned an inn and restaurant and Colin spent his time ...

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