HOPKINS COUNTY, KY (9/12/13) - First off, I’m a geek, and I’m a foodie, that was born and raised in Paducah, KY.
I’ve had an affinity for video games ever since the first time a controller graced my hands when I was six. My love for cooking took hold the moment I held a knife, and I started my career in food at 14. I’ve spent serious time playing every make and model of video game out there, while working every position in various area kitchens. At 21, I enrolled at Louisville Kentucky’s Sullivan University College of Culinary Arts and graduated with my degree two years later. From there, I spent the next three years in kitchens around the Washington, DC area. I’ve now returned to Western Kentucky and am completing another degree at Murray State University in Nutrition and Exercise Science. In my spare time, I co-host a video game podcast called TADPOG (Tyler and Dave Play Old Games).
I’ve had a strong desire to share my love of food and its preparation with others, and am honored that the good people at Sugg Street Post are giving me an opportunity to blend all of my passions together. I now have a place to present them to the public in the form of The Gastromancer’s Guild.
The Gastromancer’s Guild
Heard of Farmville, Gastromancers? You probably have if you’re on Facebook – you play, have played or were bombarded with invites from friends that did play. Don’t fret; this week is not going to be about Farmville. I want to take you back to a farming game that laid the groundwork for Farmville but offered so much more – Harvest Moon. You do that same things that you can do in Farmville but it just feels more fun, plus you get to pick who you romance and have a family. It’s a game that sounds odd on paper but is quite a bit of fun in practice. In Harvest Moon you plant a few different crops in the spring and summer month so this week, Gastromancers, we’re going to practice some spells based on Harvest Moon crops.
Want to see the farming magic? Here’s a clip:
WEEK 33 – Harvest Moon
Summer Vegetables with Tarragon Aioli (Journeyman)
6 baby artichokes
8 oz. carrots
1 lb. zucchini
1 lb. yellow squash
8 oz. green beans
8 oz. yellow wax beans
1 lb. broccoli florets
1 bunch of red radishes
½ pt. cherry tomatoes
8 oz. Nicoise olives
8 oz. tarragon aioli
1 large egg yolk
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
8 fl. oz. light olive oil
1 chopped garlic clove
1 tsp. champagne vinegar
2 tsp. chopped tarragon
salt to taste
Whisk the yolk and ½ tsp. of lemon juice together, until smooth. Whisk in the oil, very slowly at first, until the aioli beings to emulsify. Add a few drops of lemon juice as necessary to thin the sauce. Continue until all the oil and lemon juice have been incorporated. Season with the garlic, vinegar, tarragon, and salt. If the aioli is too thick, thin with a little warm water.
Trim the artichokes. Steam or boil them until tender, refresh. Cut the carrots, zucchini, and squash as desired. Snip the ends from the beans. Parboil the vegetables (except the radishes, tomatoes and olives) one variety as a time, in salted water until nearly tender but still crisp. Refresh each and drain well. Wash the radishes. Trim the root end and leave the green tops attached. Wash the cherry tomatoes and remove the stems. Loosely arrange the vegetables on a platter, leaving room for the aioli unless it is served in a small bowl.
Creamed Corn with Basil (Apprentice)
12 earns of corn
4 oz. small diced onion
2 oz. whole butter
8 fl. oz. heavy cream
2 tbsp. fresh basil leaves, chopped
salt and white pepper to taste
Cut the kernels from the ears. Sauté the onions in the butter but do not brown. Add the corn and sauté until hot. Add the cream. Bring to a boil and reduce slightly. Add the basil and season with the salt and pepper.
12 oz. medium dice onion
1 tbsp. chopped garlic
4 fl. oz. olive oil
6 oz. medium dice red bell pepper
6 oz. medium dice green bell pepper
12 oz. medium dice eggplant
8 oz. medium zucchini
24 oz. tomato concassee
1 oz. fresh chiffonade basil
1 oz. salt
black pepper to taste
Sauté the onion and garlic in the oil. Add the bell peppers, eggplant, and zucchini. Sauté until tender, around 10 minutes. Add the tomato concassee, basil, and seasonings. Sauté for 5 minutes. Adjust the seasonings.
Tiers of Difficulty
Apprentice – At this level, very few ingredients and basic preparation are used. Recipes of this level are often components of other dishes.
Journeyman – This is where applications of heat and knife-work may start, but the steps are still few in number.
Mage – A fairly competent level of work is required as a Mage. Recipes of this level require a fair amount of skill, use teachings from the previous tiers, and increase in complexity while adding more techniques.
Alchemist – At this level, very complex single dishes are created that require several applications of numerous techniques, as well as multiple ingredients.
Gastromancer – This is the highest degree of difficulty. This may take the level of the Alchemist, but will be multiplied into several dishes.
Sugg Street Post
Written by Tyler Holland
Photo by Jeff Harp