I'll be trying out one or two recipes from each of the categories in the cookbook. I'll photograph and even do some videos to share on my blog and if I made any dietary changes to the recipe I'll make a note about it. The first recipe I tried was from the Appetizers section and was a combination of eggs and asparagus.
I bet not many people have smoked food indoors; it was a first for me. The asparagus turned out great and everything but I'm not sure I'll do it again because it filled the kitchen with smoke that lingered for days. I covered a steamer pot with aluminum foil to keep any smoke from escaping through the lid and I tried to be careful and not let too much smoke out of the pan when I removed the asparagus. I even took it outside to let it air out but quite a bit still got out when I was taking the video of the smoking pot. I wasn't sure if I should soak the wood chips or not. The recipe didn't say to so I ended up not soaking them but there are other recipes that suggest soaking them. I'm not sure it makes that big of a difference. The asparagus was drizzled with a gastrique which was supposed to be made with sherry vinegar but I ended up using balsamic since I didn't have sherry. It was my first time making a gastrique and I gotta say it was pretty tasty.
The other part of the recipe was panko crusted eggs. I try to eat gluten free as much as possible but I just couldn't find any gluten free panko at PCC or Whole Foods but I know they exist, just not locally I guess. They might have some at Uwajimaya, I didn't check there. I also unvegetarianized the recipe by using bacon fat instead of vegetable oil. I don't use vegetable oils anymore and primarily use coconut and olive oil but I know those doesn't work very well for frying so I decided to go with the bacon fat. It gave the eggs a nice bacony flavor so it worked pretty well. I'll definitely make the panko crusted eggs again. It's a 3 step process which I show quickly in the video. The egg gets dipped first in cornstarch then egg and then the panko before it's fried and crispy. They don't make for very good leftovers so be sure to just make enough to eat right away.
I'm looking forward to trying out more recipes from the cookbook. Michael also has a great food blog so check it out at herbivoracious.com.