The Push Project: Part I of a Series - October 5th, 2012
Inspiration rarely occurs in a vacuum, and luckily, in the world of a chef there is simply no need for it to. Our best friends, our sympathizers, the people we get drunk and laugh with...They are also very often our heroes and our greatest sources of inspiration.... They are our fellow Chefs.
Because it is so important for us to continue to grow and learn Empellón Cocina will halt its day-to-day operations four times a year to collaborate on a tasting menu with someone we admire.
We felt it most appropriate to begin with someone who personally welcomed us into his Mexican kitchen to cook, years before we were ever certain we were going to have one of our own. We are beginning with someone who we believe best exemplifies the present and future of Mexican cuisine.
On October 5th The Push Project Presents:
Enrique Olvera, Alex Stupak, and Lauren Resler will be doing an 8-course tasting for that Friday night only.
$125 for 8 courses and an additional $40 for an agave pairing.
For more information, please email email@example.com or call 212.367.0999
Cucumber Gazpacho with Lemon Verbena
We just opened up for lunch and we are fortunate enough to have done it in July when everything at the Union Square green market is vibrant and alive. Right now there are plenty of cucumbers, as well as an abundance of my favorite herb, lemon verbena. Lemon verbena is not typical in Mexican cooking but its fragrance is so compelling that we have been scrapping to find a place for it on the menu. I am happy that we finally did. Currently we are garnishing this soup very simply, with some crispy tortilla strips but we are contemplating using it as a unusual dressing for shrimp cocktail very soon.
3 each unpeeled garlic cloves
4 large cucumbers, peeled and roughly chopped
1 each jalapeño, stem cut off, quartered and deseeded
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons of mezcal
1 pinch of kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
10 each fresh lemon verbena leaves
1. Take the corn tortillas and cut them into thin strips about 2 inches long. Fry the tortilla strips in 350 degree F oil until crispy. Drain the tortillas on paper towels and season with salt. Set aside.
2. Take the garlic cloves and toast them in a dry skillet over a medium flame. The garlic will be blackened in spots and the garlic will be soft and aromatic. Allow the garlic to cool and then peel away its skin.
3. In a blender combine the toasted garlic, cucumbers, jalapeños, sherry vinegar, mezcal, salt, sugar, Mexican oregano and lemon verbena leaves. Blend the ingredients until very smooth and pass the gazpacho through a fine mesh strainer. Adjust the seasoning if necessary. Allow the soup to chill for several hours before serving.
4. Garnish and embellish as you wish. That's what we always do.