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following the journey of an Ohio Buffum…


Category: Images

So reading the Thomas Keller Book I received he gives his guests at the French Laundry a Salmon tartare Amuse Bouche that he serves in tuile cones with a compound creme fraiche. Well it inspired me, but I simply can’t stand salmon. I just don’t like the taste. I’ve tried it cooked & uncooked by amazing chefs and it doesn’t matter. SO! I had a think, and came up with a change to the recipe. Made it for Erik on Sunday and it was a huge hit. When he woke up Monday and told me was still thinking about the tuna I knew I had a big hit. So here it is.

4 oz Sashimi grade tuna
teriyaki sauce
lemon oil (or if you’re like me the rind of several lemons)
extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
creme fraiche
japanese wasabi (the real stuff)
a piece of candied ginger

I started by trimming the tuna of any undesirable bits with sinew or ‘less than fresh’ look. This left me with a rectangular block that I then cut down into perfect 3mm slices of what would normally be sashimi. Then I sliced those slices again into 3mm strips, and then cut the strips into 3mm brunoise tuna cubes which I placed into the bowl.
Drizzle a few drops of the Olive Oil over the fish, also a few drops of the teriyaki sauce. I mixed the fish gently using my fingers till the fish was evenly coated. The amount of liquid was barely enough to even tell that I had put anything on the fish, but if you tasted you could tell it had a subtle flavor.

At this point, since I didn’t feel like spending $$$ on a bottle of lemon oil, (and I have a tree of lemons) I cut the rind off of a lemon and spent the next 10 minutes judiciously squeezing the rind outside towards the fish in a ‘pinching’ manner to eject the lemon oil onto the fish. After making a pass over all the fish from one third of the lemons rind, I would stir the fish. Then repeat this again 2 more times till complete.

At the end I gently seasoned the fish with a few grains of kosher salt for taste and then put the tuna aside sealed completely in plastic in the refrigerator till dinner time. (Note: Tuna will absorb flavors, and at this point you have to be careful or you’ll end up with a flavor you don’t want.)

I then started with a healthy scoop of the creme fraiche into a bowl (probably 1/3 cup or 70 ml) and whisked it till it formed peaks. (Note: This is physically demanding by hand, use an electric whisk if you are not used to intense whisking on a regular basis.) After whisked I added in wasabi to taste for the amount of cream on hand. For me in this case it was about a tablespoon of wasabi. Start small and taste, the wasabi flavor will bloom into the creme and grow in strength.

At this point I did quite possibly a stupid thing. I attempted to use my microplane to grate the candied ginger. Which did nothing more than make gummi worms out the bottom of the grater. EWWW. So I got out my knife and micro brunoise the ginger and then mixed it with a finger sized blob of the creme on my cutting board and proceeded to use the side of my knife to mash and work the ginger into a paste. If I thought the whipping of the creme was hard, this was nuts. But let me tell you, the flavor was out of this world. After it becomes a literal smooth creme you can add it into the creme fraiche and beat it till it’s combined. I then sealed the creme in plastic till serving time as well.

I have a set of asian soup spoons. Into these I put a small ball of the tuna on the front half of the spoon, then a little larger than pea piped ball of the creme fraiche and sprinkled it with black sesame seeds and a few grains of salt. Erik and I slurped the tuna off of each spoon and then I would replenish the tuna/creme/seed/salt and repeat till we ate all the tuna.

It was absolutely delicious. YUM. I hope you try it. I’ll upload a photo when I get more tuna, we ate the first batch so quickly I didn’t have time to get the camera. :D

Lemons are dropping off my tree like crazy so I find new things to make all the time with lemons. Just made this recipe based on one I got from they published in Gourmet in June of 1993. Made a few changes though. This is my version. Came out great.

zest from lemons used to juice for recipe
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs (whole)
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
1 cup of whole milk
1 tsp tahitian vanilla

Mix heavy whipping cream and milk together and set aside.
In a heavy bottomed saucepan combine the sugar, lemon juice, whole eggs, lemon zest and stir till sugar is mostly dissolved. Add in 1 cup of the milk mixture and the vanilla and combine whisking constantly over medium-medium high heat until mixture simmers.

Note: DO NOT STOP STIRRING. If you do you will end up with scrambled eggs and a curdled mixture and you’ll have to start all over again, there is no saving the mixture from this point once you have egg lumps.

Strain the custard mixture through a fine sieve (chinois or similar) into a bowl, pressing on the zest to remove the flavor, discard zest. Cover mixture in bowl with a piece of clingfilm touching the mixture (to prevent a skin from forming on the custard) and chill completely. Add mixture to ice cream maker and when mixture has started to form up in ice cream maker, add in remaining 1 cup of milk mixture. When formed as much as possible, remove from ice cream maker and beat gently to aerate the mixture lightly then place in freezer in airtight container to solidify to hardness desired.

Makes a little more than 1 quart.

Round on the ends and HI in the middle… it’s O-HI-O!!!
So here is the masterpiece. I can’t tell if it’s more bad, or more bad-ass. Hee!

Red Velvet Ohio

So the cake is off the shelf Duncan Hines Red Velvet cake. Why? Because I’m lazy. And I don’t feel like re-inventing the wheel this week. :)
The icing however is lavender lime buttercreme. I know I know I hear you all screaming “But you’re supposed to have cream cheese frosting on red velvet cake!!!”….

Yeah yeah yeah… 1) Erik doesn’t like frosting, the heretic, and I made the cakes for him. 2) Since he’s just going to scrape the frosting off, I made the frosting for me. 3) I wanted to try using my new lavender I bought and well, I have limes in abundance at the moment, ergo… yumm.

Here’s the frosting recipe. I went with American Buttercream because I was being lazy and didn’t want to make the sugar syrup:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
pinch kosher salt
1 Tablespoon dried culinary lavender **
1 lime juiced *
4 cups powdered sugar

* My limes are huge. One lime produces almost 1/4 cup of lime juice so plan accordingly.

** Culinary lavender is not craft store lavender. Culinary lavender has less of the camphor oils found in 12 of the 14 or so species of lavender. Look for Royal Velvet for dessert lavenders or Grosso, or a Provence lavender from France.
After picking off the flowers I mashed them in my mortar and pestle, then sieved it 3 times through my smallest mesh screen to get out all of the chaff and stem and woody bits. Only essence was used. About 2 teaspoons when done.

Cream butter and shortening in blender using paddle attachment with rubber scraper if you have one. If not, scrape down bowl till you have a light fluffy mixture. Add in lavender and continue to mix till completely distributed evenly. Add salt, and half of lime juice. Stir to mix. With blender off add half of powdered sugar. Mix on low till incorporated, then stop mixer and add remaining sugar and mix on low till also incorporated then turn up to medium and mix till fluffy. IF mixture is dry add lime juice till mixture is moister looking. If still not moist enough mixture and out of lime juice add a few drops of water till mixture is wet looking, light and fluffy.

Place into piping bag until ready for use.

I refrigerated mine overnight and HOLY COW did the lavender flavor bloom into the mixture, as well as the lime. So I could barely taste it when I first mixed it, but by the next day it was VERY lavender and lime, and VERY delicious. :)


It’s APPLE SEASON!!! In more than one way. :) First of all for the glorious new wares of the season I bring you Apples new MacBook Air Cha cha chaaaa… Guess who has one in the mail on the way-aayyyy. (Eat Cheesus Marcus Aurelius ;) (That’s for posting the awesome looking Japanese sandwich that I have to wait 7 months to taste ;)

Seh-hecondly… I bring you Apple Season!! Yes it’s fall and it’s Apple Season!! I love Apple flavor, but I have never, ever been a fan of the fibrous bark-like skin. Or they’re like 80% water that you then have to get rid of :P SOOOO. First I dehydrated a bunch of them. Yumm. Snackopolis. I can’t believe how long it took. 2x as long as it takes to make a batch of jerky if you can believe that, or approximately 12 hours.

I also just took my 2nd Appling out of the oven, a nummmmmy Apple Tart! Which due to cooling I have not cracked into yet. However, it shant escape me for long. I think this calls for morning pie.

Apple Tart

I cheated for part of it and used Pillsbury ready made pie dough. The box comes with two rolled up pieces of dough (for a traditional two crust pie) but the dough is way too thin and it will pull inward and crack in a tart pan if you use just one. So I lay the first one out and then eggwash the top of it (One egg yolk and a tbsp of water, mixed) and then roll out the 2nd crust on top of it, making sure there are no air bubbles between the pieces. I then poke the crust with trusty Bamboo Skewer *zing* and place it into the tin, pushing the edges into the corner of the tart pan and rolling the rolling pin over the top to cut off the extra bits (which if you save make a great top to a single serve pot pie). I blind bake the crust for 13 minutes at 425°F. (Now my convection oven runs dead on temperature and has no loss of heat, so please adjust for your ovens.)

In the mean time I had peeled 6 apples, cored using a melon baller, and then sliced about 1/5th of an inch using my mandolin slicer. I sprinkled the juice of one of my limes over the apples to keep them from turning dark and then covered with plastic wrap till ready to use.

I combined 2/3rds of a cup of really good quality Apricot jam with 1/4 cup of Calvados and reduced to a glaze. Coating the inside of the crust with the glaze with a pastry brush then I placed the apple slices inside. Now I could have gone all Martha Stewart and placed them in neat little concentric circles but seriously, who has time for that shit? I then coated the top of the apples with 1/3 cup of granulated sugar and 1/2 stick of butter in ‘dobs’ around the top and put it into the oven at 400°F for 30 minutes. When removed I glazed the top of the tart with the remaining apricot glaze and voila. Yum.

(As a side note, if my website goes down for a day or two it’s because of that cockmunch Gene Simmons (read article for more) who stated among other things:
” As reported by Slyck, Simmons offered on his Web site: “Some of you may have heard a few popcorn farts re: our sites being threatened by hackers. Our legal team and the FBI have been on the case and we have found a few, shall we say ‘adventurous’ young people, who feel they are above the law. And, as stated in my MIPCOM speech, we will sue their pants off. First, they will be punished. Second, they might find their little butts in jail, right next to someone who’s been there for years and is looking for a new girl friend. We will soon be printing their names and pictures. We will find you. You cannot hide. Stay tuned.”

So I decided to go out for a nice loaf of bread from Big Buns Bakery to make french toast with… when 3 nanoseconds later I’m kissing the sidewalk outside of the Bakery. Then the EMS guys showed up, and while having 6 really hot guys fawning over you is nice, that much pain should not be involved.
They helped me into the car, I waited for Erik to arrive and he drove me to the PV Hospital to get left ankle and right knee xray’d no break, but whole lotta pain, and yay, crutches! :D

And the begining begins with the knee… it started out as a sprain on both knee and ankle.. and it was swollen and puffy and scraped and it hurt, duh, but then it got better…

The first couple of days

Week 2

So I’m like okay this is good, stop taking the percosets because as much fun as they are, I don’t need to be more of a space cadet than I am… and so Saturday was the first day I didn’t take one, when I woke up screaming in pain. Oh, that’s new.
The knee it seems, has a new sharp soul sucking pain that emanates from just below the patella, or just to the outward side of the patella when it’s moved. So ice ice baybeee. Tuesday it’s not any better, back to quick care and they re x-ray it and it’s indeed not broken, however, it’s Hi-ho Hi-Ho off to the Ortho I go. So no new cooking for a while, and the house packing has stopped, and well this generally just f’ks up my whole life for the moment. Not to mention poor Erik’s. Who by the way for the record, has been saintlike in his assistance with all my needs for the past 3 weeks. Thank you boo.

Hope all is well in your worlds.