Who's the Baketard?

Why Baketard? Love to cook, hate to bake. Despite having gone to cooking school and working in some top kitchens, I never learned the baking side of things. I'm building my baking and photography skills, while sharing recipes that rock my world in the mean time.

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Entries in Star Chefs (2)


Hudson Valley Foie Gras 'Lollipops'

Ok, I don’t want to hear about how fussy this recipe is, or how many years of bad karma I’m going to get for making foie gras. IF you like foie, and IF you don’t mind the bad karma that goes with eating foie, this is without a doubt the best preparation I’ve ever had, much less made. A little goes a long way, because it’s incredibly rich, but it is well worth the effort.

Hudson Valley Foie Gras "Lollipops"
Chef Sean Hardy of The Belvedere at The Peninsula Beverly Hills - Los Angeles, CA
Adapted by StarChefs.com

Yield: 12 Servings
Tangerine Marmalade:
2 cups tangerine segments
1 tablespoon tangerine zest
¼ cup fresh orange juice
Sugar to taste, depending on the acidity of the tangerines

Foie Gras “Lollipop”:
8 ounces Hudson Valley Foie Gras
2 ounces heavy cream
1 ounce port wine
Salt and pepper
Tangerine Marmalade
Crushed pistachios

Additional Garnish:
50-Year Aged Balsamic Vinegar
Reduced pomegranate juice
Pomegranate seeds
Micro celery

For Tangerine Marmalade:
Add all ingredients to a pot and reduce over medium heat until thickened.

For Foie Gras “Lollipop”:
Dice foie gras then place in a pot with the cream. Gradually heat up the mixture while constantly whisking. Be careful not to go above 120°F or the mousse will break. Once the foie gras is melted, add the port wine and season with salt and pepper. Blend in a blender, then strain through a chinois or fine mesh strainer and chill. To make the lollipops, roll the mousse into a ball, then coat with tangerine marmalade and roll in crushed pistachios. Push a lollipop stick through the center to finish.

Wine Pairing:
Demi-Sec, Gruet, New Mexico, NV


Spice-Braised Pork Belly, Cornmeal Waffle & Quail Egg

Ok, this one takes some work but the results are soooooooo worth it. Another Star Chefs Rising Chef Award winner, Chef Joshua Henderson also used to be a chef-instructor at the Art Institute where I went to culinary school. Unfortunately, I never had him as one of my instructors. 

This dish was my favorite at the Star Chefs event, and I made it the next weekend. It’s one of those recipes that actually worked and ended up tasting just as good at home as it did in a restaurant setting. It's SO SO SO worth the effort.

Spice-Braised Pork Belly, Cornmeal Waffle, and Quail Egg
Joshua Henderson of Skillet Street Food – Seattle, WA
Adapted by StarChefs.com
February 2009

Yield: 8 Servings


Wet Brine:
1 gallon water
2 cups sugar
2¼ cups coarse salt
12 juniper berries
12 cloves
6 cinnamon sticks
12 black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
4 pounds pork belly, cut into 6 ounce pieces

Spice-Braised Pork Belly:
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups sliced onions
6 cinnamon sticks
6 cloves
1 tablespoon allspice
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 quarts beef stock
1 quart apple juice
2 cups brown sugar

Cornmeal Waffle:
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoons salt

To Assemble and Serve:

8 quail eggs

For the Wet Brine:
Bring the water to a simmer. Add the sugar and spices and steep for 1 hour. Allow the brine to cool and add the pork belly. Fully submerge for 24 hours. Remove the pork belly and reserve for braising.

For the Spice-Braised Pork Belly:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a small roasting pan, heat the olive oil and sweat the onions until translucent. Add the cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and thyme and make a paste. Add the remaining ingredients and the pork. The liquid should come about halfway up the pork belly. Remove liquid or add stock as needed. Braise for approximately 2 hours, or until fork tender. Remove the pork belly and strain the braising liquid into a saucepot. Simmer and skim the foam and fat that accumulates while the sauce is reducing. When the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, check seasoning and set aside for service.

For the Cornmeal Waffle:
Preheat the waffle maker. Put all the ingredients in a blender. Cover and process at medium-high speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Do not over-blend. Pour ½ cup of the batter over grids. Close the waffle maker and bake until golden. Repeat with the remaining batter.

To Assemble and Serve:
Fry or poach the quail eggs. Place a waffle on each plate and top with a piece of pork belly. Place an egg on each piece of pork, and drizzle with the reduced braising liquid.