All about the BLACK Food. Happy Halloween!!

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My theme this Halloween–Black food.  On the menu, only black food. It is similar to that of a Chopped Challenge. That is the first place I was introduced to a black chicken after all.  And in this particular challenge, I know I will make it to the third round. So, please find the recipes and photos below for Black Chicken and Waffles with a honey mustard black garlic dipping sauce and Black Mussels with Spaghetti in white wine sauce. And let’s not forget drinks and chocolate!  Let me know what you think. Hope you enjoy and Happy Halloween!

On the menu:

Drinks:

IMG_2283Champagne cocktail:  Angostura’s Bitters, Sugar cube, 1 oz Cognac (optional) and top with Champagne

The build:  In a Champagne flute put one sugar cube and three to five dashes of bitters. Add Cognac if you enjoy this additional flavor and top with Champagne.

ingredients needed
ingredients needed

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I debate between two drinking vessels. highball glass wins...
I debate between two drinking vessels. Highball glass wins…

Black Velvet (Guinness and Champagne):  One can of Guinness and bottle of Verve Clicquot Champagne

The build:  Fill glass (Champagne flute or highball glass) half way with Guinness. Then use a spoon to when you pour the Guinness on top of the Champagne

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Black Velvet with Moet & Chandon topped with Guinness
Black Velvet with Moet & Chandon topped with Guinness

***Sage tea and San Pellegrino are also available***

The Food:  

Black Chicken with the optional black garlic honey mustard dipping sauce and black velvet waffles with Noble Maple Syrup

The black chicken. Not know where to find black chicken I ask a few Chefs. I am directed to Chinatown or a specialty Asian Market. First market on google has it. Shang Lee Poultry in Los Angeles. Chinatown is in downtown Los Angles. Fun trip!

I decide to prepare on baking sheet with rack Reynolds Turkey Oven Bag. In this case “chicken bag”. I follow instruction on the back of the box. Coat the bag that I will use lightly with flour. I have cake flour and tapioca flour (I buy mine at the Shang Lee Market). I use both.  For no good reason.  I haven’t ever cooked a whole chicken, let alone one with the head and feet still attached, so thank goodness there isn’t a real Chopped Challenge and only a challenge with myself..Worse case, he will be a prop and broth. Best case, he will taste delicious with the black velvet waffles.

Ingredients:  Black Chicken; 1/2 Stick of organic unsalted butter; Kosher Sea salt; fresh thyme and other spices and herbs (optional).

Method: After bird cavity is cleaned and bird is washed and pat down with paper towels. Rub the bird inside and out with the organic unsalted  butter. Next salt inside and outside of bird and put him in the bag.  I wear gloves for this process. Tie bag.  Place three slits in the bag using scissors or a paring knife so that the bag doesn’t burst while cooking. Steam needs to be released. I bake on 350 degrees fahrenheit. Chicken’s internal temperature needs to be at least 165 degrees fahrenheit before removing from the oven.

arrival of chicken in plastic bag
arrival of chicken in plastic bag
gloves needed to clean chicken cavity
gloves needed to clean chicken cavity
black chicken waiting to have head and feet removed
black chicken waiting to have head and feet removed
place chicken inside Reynolds wrap bag..don't forget to slice the top of bag to release steam and place on this pan
place chicken inside Reynolds wrap bag..don’t forget to slice the top of bag to release steam and place on this pan

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prep bag before the chicken
prep bag before the chicken
Coat the bag with flour and dump the excess before adding chicken to bag
Coat the bag with flour and dump the excess before adding chicken to bag
butter and Kosher salt for chicken
butter and Kosher salt for chicken
chicken in waiting
chicken in waiting
chicken slathered with butter and salt going to the oven
chicken slathered with butter and salt going to the oven
350 degree oven
350 degree oven
check the temperature...hot
check the temperature
cooked chicken
cooked chicken. this one seems a little over cooked…ooops..looks like he will be broth?..and a prop for photo shooting..

For the black waffles I use Buttermilk Red Velvet Pancake Mix with AmeriColor Super Black soft gel paste food color (101).  Both of which I purchased from Surfas Culver City. I don’t typically like red velvet but this mix is great.  For more info about the mix and where to buy visit www.buttermilktruck.com.  The black food coloring doesn’t interfere with the red velvet taste. Adds color only.

The recipe I use is on the side of the container. For you reference, I include below.

ingredients to make waffles
ingredients to make waffles
waffle iron preparing to preheat spray with oil
Cuisinart waffle iron preparing to preheat spray with oil

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black velvet flavored waffles
black red velvet flavored waffles

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1 cup of pancake mix. 1 egg. 1/4 cup of buttermilk (I use Trader Joe’s brand). 1 TBSP Oil. 1/2 TSP Cider Vinegar (optional) (I use Vilux from France and add a great additional fluffy texture)

Method: Mix egg, buttermilk and vinegar in a bowl with whisk.  Add the pancake mix to the wet mixture and mix well until a smooth, thick batter forms.

Here is where I change it up.  Instead of using a griddle at 275-300 degrees Fahrenheit, I set the Cuisinart waffle iron to the 3 setting as not to over cook.

Mussels in white wine sauce and black spaghetti or black lentils

These mussels come from Trader Joe’s Market.  I cook according to the recipe on the package. Stove top cooking and microwave cooking are both options. I don’t have a microwave so I cook on stove top.

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in package.. add to boiling water for 6-7 minutes
in package.. add to boiling water for 6-7 minutes
cut open bag and ad pasta and mussels to the same pot to toss together before serving
cut open bag and ad pasta and mussels to the same pot to toss together before serving

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Method:  Bring 4 Quarts of water to a boil in a stock pot.  Place bag into boiling water and boil until mussels open, about 6 to 7 minutes.  Cut bag along the top and put mussels and sauce in to a bowl and serve.

Both my black spaghetti and black lentils I prepare according to the package instructions. I choose to only cook the spaghetti.

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put squid in k spaghetti into pot of boiling salted water (salty as the sea)
put squid in k spaghetti into pot of boiling salted water (salty as the sea)
checking the readiness
checking the readiness

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Black garlic lemon honey dijon dipping sauce 

This is something I created myself.

Ingredients: 2 cloves of   Black Garlic; 1 T of Honey Pacifica Creamy Lemon Honey; t of Trader Joe’s Dijon Mustard and a pinch of Diamond Crystal Kosher salt 

Method: If you have a mortar and pestle you could use this.  I use a white bowl from Sur La Table. In bowl mash two cloves of black garlic with the back of a spoon until it is paste like.  Add all other ingredients and mix with spoon until smooth. Pour sauce into desired serving dish.

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Black salted chocolate tablets

I make my own chocolate after meeting and interviewing an expert.  I decide to use Valrhona Caraibe Dark Chocolate  and Valrhona 61% Chocolate and finish with black salt.

I use 1 3/4 inch rectangle molds lined sprinkled with black salt.

I temper my chocolate in by using  double broiler. Melt to 112 degrees and cool and hold to work with the chocolate around 86-89 degrees F. Reheat if it begins to cool too much. Liquid chocolate is poured into molds.  Tap, tap, tap and let settle.. wait.. wait…

chocolate molds
chocolate molds
black salt into molds
black salt into molds

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Chop chcolate
Chop chocolate

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black salt chocolate tablets
black salt chocolate tablets
inside of chocolate have black salt. outside tossed in black onyx cocoa powder
inside of chocolate have black salt. outside tossed in black onyx cocoa powder
coat chocolates
coat chocolates
try to take a picture of finished chocolates.. hmmmm...
try to take a picture of finished chocolates.. hmmmm…

The Presentation:

Playing with light, placements and decorations… IMG_2260

playing with light..and camera settings..
playing with light..and camera settings..

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fun
fun

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Until next time…

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