New Year's Celebrations

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CHEFTALK

 

 

New Year’s Celebrations

 

 times square ball drop

 

Wikipedia tells me that in North America New Year’s Eve is celebrated with formal parties, family oriented activities (sounds like a game of Monopoly) and other large public events.

 

I am not too familiar with this, but believe that this is the case. One of the most prominent celebrations seems to be the ball drop at Times Square. I have never seen it, but it seems to be happening since 1907. The ball drop is held at New York’s Time Square and is inspired by time balls that were formally set as a time signal. At 11.59 Pm an 11.875 pound Waterford Crystal ball located on One Times Square is lowered down to a 70 Ft. high pole, this lowering down takes exactly one minute and BOOM!  New Year starts.

 

fireworks

 

I didn’t know about all this, neither did I know what a Waterford Crystal ball would be, I learned that Wedgwood, the Irish makers of these very special plates and other tableware are behind this ball. I never knew about this event to be honest, a million people come to Times Square to watch the event every year, so you can call me ignorant and by seeing that I have used the phrase ‘I did not know about this’, five times in a bit different wordings in the first two paragraphs of this blog, I do believe that I am pretty ignorant, but reading about it made me curious, so I search a bit further    .

 

I also learned that L.A never had public gatherings, public New Year’s Eve gatherings that is, until 2013 when the Grand Park was officially opened and among others food trucks were part of the celebrations.

 

As I am always interested in food offered in various parts of the world, I thought it to be interesting to see what these food trucks offered on an occasion like New Year’s Eve and how you can apply some of that, making full use of your vacuum sealer of course, when you don’t live in L.A.

 

I came across a blog post from George Villanueva posted on the KCET.org site, he went to the inaugural Grand Park celebrations, had fun, but found at the same time that L.A. remains the fragmented city that does conjure up notions of an established New Year Eve bash, like New York has or the fireworks displays in London, Sidney or Dubai, there is however potential he mentioned.

I think, by reading the article that L.A. is on the right path; you can’t have everything in one go.

NYEFoodTruck

The post was laced with pictures and there was one picture that caught my eye in particular, you guessed it, a food truck named ‘The Chili Philosopher’, now what would that be?

 

They serve a chili infused burger as specialty on, or rather in corn bread, that’s interesting. They call themselves A Gourmet Food truck.

 

This blog is not about promoting L.A. food trucks, but as I always strive to give you some inspiration how to make full use of your vacuum sealer and surprise your guests, family and friends, I thought this to be a great idea.

 

Chili infused burger in cornbread, does that sound good?…

 

Most people in the US have a family corn bread recipe, but let me give you one just in case.

Chili is a bit of a different story, as its history goes back to the 17th century, but I dare to give that a little challenge.

 

So try it out and serve it on New Year’s Eve, if you stay at home or go out late.

 

Obviously there was no recipe, Gourmet food trucks keep their recipes secret, so I tried to figure it out.

 

Chili in America is that spicy minced meat in tomato sauce if I am not mistaken, but that would be like scrunched up minced meat on a burger which is also minced meat.

 

I made therefore a chili paste and ‘infused’ some to my homemade burger.

 

cornbreadburger

 

Recipe:

 

20 dried chili’s

1 medium sized onion (roughly chopped)

4 cloves garlic (crushed)

1 medium sized tomato (chopped)

1 sprig of thyme (leaves romoved)

½ tsp cumin seeds

 

Boil the dried chili’s for 5 minutes, leave them for 10 minutes in the boiling water.

Fry the other ingredients for 2 minutes in 2 tbsp of oil on medium heat.

Place all ingredients in an up-right blender. Add enough of the chili boiling water for the blender to pick up the solids and blend into a fine paste.

Return the paste to the frying pan and fry with 2 tbsp added oil until the paste bubbles like lava from a volcano.

Allow cooling and transfer the paste to a vacuum bag and vacuum. Vacuumed, the paste will keep for weeks refrigerated.

 

corn bread 001

Corn Bread

 

2 ½ oz frozen sweet corn kernels

5 oz plain flour

3 ½ oz cornmeal

1 tbsp baking powder

5 fl oz milk

4 tbsp olive oil

1 egg

1 tbsp honey

 

Pre-heat an oven to 425 F, grease a normal sized bread baking tin

Combine the flour, cornmeal and baking powder in a bowl.

Combine the corn, milk, oil and honey in a separate bowl

Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and combine well.

Pour the mix in the bread baking tin and bake for 20-25 minutes in the center of the oven.

Insert a skewer in the center of the bread, when it comes out clean your corn bread is ready.

Allow cooling and remove from the tin. Slice the bread and vacuum lightly, the bread keeps for a few months frozen.

 

The finish:

 

Season minced meat, beef, pork, chicken or turkey, to your liking, ‘infuse’ with 2 tsp chili paste per pound of meat.

The chili paste bubbled like a volcano and is also hot like a bubbling volcano, so be cautious.

Fry the burgers like you always do, and place in between two slices of cornbread.

Add any topping you like, fried onions, mayonnaise, pickles for example and enjoy!

 

In case something unforeseen happens, vacuum the burgers and the cornbread until you are ready to use it.

Find the right vacuum sealer here:

www.vacupack.com  for USA and www.vacupack.ca for Canada.

 

Happy New Year 

By: Marinus Hoogendoorn

 

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