Friday, April 15, 2011

szechuan, snechuan yer all pricks in my book

Szechuan peppercorns, not really a peppercorn at all.  Rather the husk of a fruit off the prickly ash tree found in China amongst various other Asian countries.  The US lifted the ban on these guys in 2005 after regulations set forth to temper the husks to kill off the canker bacteria it may carry.  When you place the husks on your tongue they release an odd numbing sensation that leaves your mouth feeling like you just sucked on a 9 volt battery, or maybe a less sour warhead candy.  Some compare it to the feeling when you drink a carbonated beverage.

We are using these peppercorns to crust a wagyu strip loin to do a Japanese style au poivre for a sake pairing 5 course menu.  The dinner is our effort to earn money for a Japan relief fund.  As a result of generous donations from local purveyors, majority of the proceeds will go to the American Red Cross for Japan.  The menu goes as follows:
Hamachi Sashimi 
Asian pear, crispy chicken skin, kombu aioli, citrus essence

Firecracker Shrimp Roll
wasabi cream, tobiko

Yuzu Sorbet
yuzu powder

Szechuan Wagyu Au Poirve
matsutake and enoki mushrooms, sake braised bokchoy, soy porcini froth

Fried Daifuku 
strawberry sorbet, azuki bean paste, passion fruit soup

That is that to the best of my memory.  Should be a good time.  Got to go before my Burger Time gets too cold.

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