Master Chef Erik Blauberg Erik Blauberg
“It is so important that all chefs take the dietary needs of their customers seriously. Vegan dishes have been in demand a long time, and no longer will a plate of vegetables do. All diners should expect to have a dish as exciting as all the other items on the menu.”
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Erik Blauberg’s fascination with food began at an early age when he would sneak into hotel kitchens in the Catskills and watch chefs at work. From his humble culinary beginnings flipping burgers, he traveled to the French kitchens of Paul Bocuse and Roger Verge and the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo and Kicho in Osaka. In New York, he sharpened his culinary skills at Bouley, La Cote Basque, Windows on the World, Tavern on the Green, and American Renaissance.
After a stint at the five-star Jalousie Plantation Caribbean Resort and rave reviews from the New York Times and New York Magazine at Colors in New York, in 1996 Blauberg was recruited to be master chef at the world-renowned 21 Club in New York.
Blauberg is a culinary historian, an avid traveler, a truffle hunter, and an accomplished foodphotographer. He has been named One of the World’s Great Chefs in the Culinary Institute of America’s Great Chef Series, served as executive chef for the twelfth annual James Beard Holiday Auction, and was a Master Chef for a celebrated all-truffle dinner at the James Beard House with Charlie Trotter, David Bouley, and Jean Louis Palladin.
Chef Blauberg has been named One of the World’s Best Chefs by the Academy of Hospitality Sciences and received the Five-Diamond Award, and a special achievement Jay Walman award. He serves on the advisory board of Syracuse University and frequently appears on the Food Network, at charity events, and on television in Japan, Germany, and England.
Erik Blauberg is currently the owner and CEO of EKB Restaurant Consulting and is responsiblefor overhauling the food programs for several large venues in New York City.
Master Chef Erik Blauberg Baby Frisée with Organic
Wheat Berries, Winter Truffles,
and Mustard Emulsion
2 tablespoons soy margarine or
1/4 cup finely minced onion
1/4 cup finely minced celery
1/4 cup finely minced carrots
1/2 cup organic wheat berries
Sea salt to taste
1 cup vegetable stock or water,
divided White pepper, freshly ground
Truffle Mustard Emulsion
Juice of 1 lemon, strained
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup (4 ounces) truffle oil
Sea salt and freshly ground white
pepper to taste
1 tablespoon minced truffles
Frisée and Truffles
3 ounces baby frisée, center leaves picked, washed, and cut into small pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
1 large winter or summer truffle: thinly slice half, fine julienne other half
To make the Wheat Berries:
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt soy margarine. Add and sauté onion, celery, and carrots untilsoftened. Add wheat berries and stir. Season with sea salt and cook for 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup vegetable stock, bring to a simmer, and reduce heat to low. Once the stock is absorbed, add the remaining 1/2 cup and continue to simmer until completely absorbed.
NOTE: More stock might be needed if the wheat berries remain too firm. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
Cool and reserve.
To make the Truffle Mustard Emulsion:
In a wooden bowl, whisklemon juice and mustard until smooth. Slowly stream in truffle oil,whisking vigorously. Season with salt and pepper. Add the minced truffles. Whisk again just before serving. To make the Frisée and Truffles: Place the baby frisée into a mixing bowl, lightly dress with the Truffle Mustard Emulsion, season withsalt and pepper, and then toss. Add truffle julienne.
How to Plate: Pack Wheat Berries into a triangular mold and place in the center of a chilled plate; or spoon onto the center of the plate,pressing into a desired shape.
Gently place the Frisée and Truffles on top of the Wheat Berries.
Drizzle the Truffle Mustard Emulsion around the plate.
Garnish the frisée with the sliced truffles and serve immediately.
Master Chef Erik Blauberg Brûlée of Vermicelli Pasta with Lobster, Matsutake, and Blue Foot Mushrooms, and Tomato Marjoram Bouillon
Brûlée of Vermicelli Pasta
1 1/2 quarts corn oil
1 pound vermicelli
3 tablespoons olive oil
21/2 cups mixed wild mushrooms
(lobster, matsutake, blue foot,
enoki), cleaned and sliced
2 tablespoons finely minced shallots
2 tablespoons tomato concassé
1 tablespoon margarine
2 tablespoons fresh marjoram leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups fresh tomato juice (whole tomatoes cored and processed in a blender with a pinch of salt until liquefied, then strained through a cheesecloth)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram
1/2 tablespoon chopped lemongrass
Salt and pepper to taste
Whole marjoram leaves
4 small bunches baby snow pea sprouts
To make the Brûlée of Vermicelli Pasta:
Place the oil into a large saucepot and heat to about 325 degrees F. Carefully place the pasta into the oil and stir until golden brown. Turn off the heat and carefully remove pasta from oil; blot off any excess oil on a paper towel. Place the pasta into salted boiling water and cook until al dente, about 9 to 10 minutes depending on the pasta. To make the Mushrooms: Place the oil in a hot sauté pan over medium heat. When it starts to lightly smoke, add the lobster mushrooms; toss and cook for 1 minute. Add the matsutake, and blue foot mushrooms and shallots, and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Add the enoki mushrooms, tomato concassé, margarine, and marjoram. Season with salt and pepper, remove from the pan, and reserve.
NOTE: To make tomato concassé, chose Roma tomatoes that are not too ripe. Score an X in the skin at the base of each tomato and blanch in boiling water for about 10 seconds until the skin begins to loosen. Remove from hot water and plunge into a bowl of ice water. The skin should now come off easily; if it doesn’t, plunge back into boiling water for a few more seconds. Cut the tomatoes in quarters, remove the core and seeds, and cut into dice of the desired size.
To make the Tomato Bouillon:
Add the tomato juice to a saucepan with the marjoram and lemongrass. Bring to a boil, and continue to boil for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and strain with a cheesecloth. Reserve, keeping it hot.
How to Plate:
Toss the Brûlée of Vermicelli Pasta into the Tomato Bouillon. Using a cook’s fork, twirl the pasta onto a fork and place in the center of a hot plate. Remove the fork so that the pasta stands up on the plate. Artfully arrange the Mushrooms around the pasta, garnish with marjoram leaves and pea sprouts. Serve immediately.
Master Chef Erik Blauberg Terrine of White and Green Asparagus with Truffles and Beet Horseradish Dressing
White Asparagus Purée
6 tablespoons agar-agar 1 onion, minced 2 tablespoons olive oil Sea salt and white pepper to taste 2 bunches white asparagus 1 cup asparagus stock, made by reducing cooking water 1 teaspoon finely minced tarragon leaves
Asparagus and Truffles
2 bunches green asparagus, standard size, bottoms cut to fit terrine 1Ž2 bunch white asparagus, standard size, bottoms cut to fit terrine 1 teaspoon vegetable oil Opal basil leaves, picked (enough to line a small loaf pan) 1 ounce black truffles, thinly sliced 1Ž2 cup chopped chervil
Beet Horseradish Dressing
8 large beets, cut into small pieces 4 quarts water 3Ž4 tablespoon champagne vinegar 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish 3Ž4 cup olive oil Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste GARNISH Marjoram leaves Black truffle slices
To make the White Asparagus Purée:
Place agar-agar and 11/4 cups water into a saucepan and bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until agar-agar is dissolved; set aside. Sauté onion over medium heat in the oil until tender and translucent. Season with sea salt and white pepper. Remove from the pan, drain and blot off excess oil, and reserve. Place the asparagus into slightly salted boiling water to cover for about 9 minutes, or until tender. Reserving the cooking stock, remove asparagus, and place into an ice bath to cool. Boil the asparagus cooking liquid to a reduction of 1 cup and cool. Transfer the reduction to a blender, add the onion, tarragon, and asparagus, and blend at medium speed until smooth. Strain through a chinois and then place in a saucepan. Add dissolved agar-agar, stirring to combine, place over medium-high heat, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat; let cool to almost room temperature. While the purée cools, prepare the rest of the terrine.
To make the Asparagus and Truffles:
Bring 4 quarts water to a boil.
Drop in 1 bunch green asparagus at a time and cook for about 31/2 minutes, then place in salted ice water until chilled. Repeat with white asparagus, cooking for 61/2 minutes; pat dry and reserve.
Brush a 1-quart terrine mold (or small loaf pan) lightly with vegetable oil. Line with plastic wrap and make sure there are no air bubbles. Dip each opal basil leaf in the White Asparagus Purée and line the terrine, covering completely, slightly overlapping the leaves.
Cut the green asparagus in half (widthwise) and split the white asparagus lengthwise; reserve.
Line up and layer the green asparagus in the terrine. When halfway done, line the mold with one layer of split white asparagus. Pour White Asparagus Purée to barely cover the white asparagus. At this point add one layer of the thinly sliced black truffles, and then top with a layer of the white asparagus. Continue to layer the green asparagus until the mold is full. Then pour in the remaining purée until mold is filled. Shake the mold and tap lightly to release the air bubbles. Cover top with the chervil and lightly pat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
To make the Beet Horseradish Dressing:
Process the beets in a food processor until finely minced. Transfer to a large saucepan and add the water. Cover, bring to a boil over high heat, and then reduce the heat to medium; let simmer for 30 minutes and strain, reserving the juice. Return the juice to the pan and continue simmering to reduce to 1 cup, or to desired consistency.
In a blender, combine the beet juice, champagne vinegar, and horseradish. Blend for 30 seconds and slowly add the oil in an even stream until all of it is incorporated into the juice mixture. Season with salt and white pepper. Reserve until ready to use.
How to Plate:
To remove the terrine from the mold, carefully turn it upside down to release it. Remove the plastic wrap and slice the terrine with an electric knife. Place 1 slice in the center of each plate. Artfully drizzle the Beet Horseradish Dressing around the plate. Garnish with fresh marjoram leaves and a few slices of truffle.
Master Chef Erik Blauberg Gratin of Berries with Tahitian Vanilla Bean and Dark Rum
1/2 cup small strawberries, stemmed
1/2 cup red raspberries
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup black cherries, pitted and cut in half
1 cup red currants
1/2 cup white cherries, pitted and cut in half
1/2 cup small blackberries
1/2 cup boysenberries
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 ounces Grand Marnier
2 ounces dark rum
4 Tahitian vanilla beans, split, seeds only
1 cup raw cashew nuts, soaked about 6 hours
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Gently rinse all the berries and then place in a stainless steel bowl.
Add the sugar, Grand Marnier, rum, and vanilla bean seeds; mix lightly.
Cover and refrigerate for 1 1/2 hours.
For the topping, blend together the cashews, water, and maple syrup in a high-speed blender until smooth. Add more water if needed for consistency. Remove the mixed berries from the refrigerator and distribute into four oven-safe casserole dishes. Top the berries with cashew cream. Place the casseroles in the oven under the broiler until lightly browned. (An option to the cashew cream is to whip 3 cups cold soy milk with 2 tablespoons powdered sugar and use in the same way.)
Garnish with mint and serve immediately