Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sourdough Croque Monsieur of Portobello, Swedes and Chorizo Spam ~ Saison d'été salade de lupini mariné

     Chorizo Spam and the Street Vendor Style Food Trend
     There is nothing wrong with jumping on the bandwagon, when a new food product like Chorizo Spam comes along.  Chefs with savvy, often initiate a new food trend that becomes popular, when they feature a new food product that appeals to a niche market or by adapting new food product to an existing culinary trend.
      Spam has a loyal niche market in Hawaii, the Pacific Islands and in many American home kitchens from coast to coast.  Chorizo Sausage is popular worldwide, especially in Spain, Prtugal and Mexico.  Hawaiians also use Chorizo in traditional local recipes.  Chorizo Spice Flavored Spam certainly could be destined to be smash hit in the tropical island Spam paradise, Hawaii!  Judging from the reaction that I got from Mexican friends on the internet, Chorizo Spam has the potential to be a hit in Hispanic countries too.  Honestly, Chorizo Spam is the best new food product to hit the market in recent years.  Hawaiian Spam Musubi will never be the same! 
     As a chef who learned the old Hawaiian language as my second tongue when I was a kid, Hawaiian culture is ingrained in my soul.  Spam is revered like a god in Hawaii and Spam is also respected here at the ninth Hawaiian Island, Las Vegas!  Nobody says something bad about Spam in Hawaii, without severe repercussion from the local people.  The Hawaiian Spam Jam Festival is famous worldwide.  A Spam Festival?  Yes!  This just goes to show that the Hawaiian gods look highly upon this classic potted meat in a can!        

     Street Vendor style food has been popular in recent years.  Croque Monsieur Sandwiches are French Street Vendor and café style food.  Modern Croque Monsieur Sandwiches are an item that a few chefs fiddle around with, when creating new gourmet street vendor style food.  
     I have published some nice Croque Monsieur and Croque Madame recipe creations in this website in the past.  Today's modern Croque Monsieur is one of the best, because it appeals to a wide variety of international cultures. 
     The classic choice of cheese for a Croque Monsieur is any French or Swiss variety of Emmentaler cheese or Gruyere.  Swiss Emmental Cheese was used in today's recipe.  The English call Rutabaga by the name "Swedes."  The swedes are quickly braised with portobello mushrooms and this adds a rich root vegetable and mushroom flavor.  Throw some grilled slices of Chorizo Spam into the mix and this modern Croque Monsieur becomes an instant gourmet street vendor style food classic!  
     Lupini Bean Disclaimer:  
     When a serious food safety rule or disclaimer is necessary, it should always be at the top of the page.  This is a serious disclaimer!  
     Poisoning symptoms can occur if Lupini Beans are cooked and eaten without reading the directions first.  For safety's sake, always save the labeled Lupini Bean bag, in case lupin poisoning accidentally occurs, so the medical emergency staff can identify the toxin and administer the antidote.  Lupin toxin consumption can make a person so incoherent, that speaking is nearly impossible to do, so the bean bag makes it so no words have to be spoken.  Just show the medics the Lupini Bean bag label and they will figure out what to do.
     Lupini Beans can cause severe toxic reactions if they are not prepared correctly.  Lupini Beans cannot be cooked like regular beans or a toxic reaction will certainly occur.  The Lupini Bean toxic reaction is referred to as Lupin Poisoning.  
     The active poison in Lupini Beans is classified an anticholinergic alkaloid.  This toxin is found in Deadly Nightshade (Belladonna), Datura, Mandrake, Tree Datura and Henbane.  Symptoms of anticholinergic poisoning include intoxication, high anxiety, dizziness, vertigo, muscle spasms, racing heart, dilated pupils and diarrhea.  Here is a hyperlink to an encyclopedia page that explains anticholinergic alkaloids in detail:  Wikipedia - Anticholinergic

     Lupini Bean Allergic Reactions:  
     Lupini Beans are technically not a legume, pea or bean.  Lupini Beans are more like a nut or seed.  Lupini Beans can trigger allergic reactions in people that have peanut allergies or nut allergies.  When served in restaurant, Health Code Regulations state that all equipment that was used to prepare or cook food that triggers peanut allergic reactions must be cleaned, before cooking food for a customer that declares having a peanut allergy.  If the Lupini Beans are deep fried, then the frying oil cannot be used to fry food that is served to a customer who is allergic to peanuts or nuts of any kind.  

     Pickled Lupini Beans Preparation:
     Yield - Two cups of dried Lupini Beans will nearly double in size when reconstituted!   
     It takes nearly two weeks to properly prepare Lupini Beans, so they can be safely consumed.  Unprepared or incorrectly prepared Lupini Beans do have a very strong bitter alkaloid flavor.  The rule of thumb is this.  If Lupini Beans have a mild flavor that is not bitter tasting at all, then they are safe to eat.

     Dried Lupini Beans have to be boiled for about 2 to 3 hours and the water should drained off and replaced with fresh water every 30 minutes.  Adding Kombu Seaweed, Kosher Salt and vinegar will speed up the bean softening process and poison leaching process.  Vinegar is acidic and it enables the release of free radical alkaloids from vegetable matter.  Kombu contains a large amount of natural Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)  which helps to tenderize the beans.  Adding a few pinches of turmeric creates a nice color.  Softening the Lupini Beans makes free radical alkaloid extraction happen more efficiently.  When the Lupini beans start to become reconstituted and tender, then they are ready for the leaching process. 

     The Lupini Bean leaching process involves soaking the beans in Kosher Salt brine in a refrigerator for 10 to 14 days.  The salinity of the water should be about 2 teaspoons of Kosher Salt per 1 gallon of water.  The Lupini beans should be be covered with 2" of extra brine, during each soaking bath.  
     The Kosher Salt water should be drained off and replaced with fresh salt water about twice per day.  The Lupini Bean salt water leaching is finished, when a Lupini Bean is tasted and absolutely no bitter alkaloid flavor can be detected. 

     By the time that the Lupini Beans are done with the leaching process and they are ready for consumption, the beans will be thoroughly salt pickled.  The beans should be stored in the brine and kept in a sealed container that is placed in a refrigerator.  
     Vinegar and Salt Pickling is an option, if a pickle flavor is preferred and religious fermented product rules do not apply.  Just add about 1 to 2 ounces of white wine vinegar per gallon of brine, to create this flavor.  Adding a couple of dried chile peppers, some mustard seed, laurel leaves, white pepper or pre-mixed pickling spices will add a nice flavor to the pickling brine.  The spices should be placed in a cheese cloth sachet, before being added to the pickling brine.

     Saison d'été salade de lupini mariné - Summer Season Salad of Pickled Lupini Beans:   
     This recipe yields 2 medium size portions!
     Place 1 cup of Prepared Pickled Lupini Beans in a mixing bowl.  
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic.
     Add about 1/6 cup of thin sliced sweet onion.
     Add 2 to 3 petite pickled sweet gherkin pickles that are sliced in half lengthwise.
     Add 2 thin Persian Pickled Wild Cucumbers that are cut in half lengthwise and cut into bite size lengths.
     Add 8 to 10 pickled sweet banana pepper rings. 
     Add 1 pinch of ground ginger powder.
     Add 1 pinch of ground fenugreek.
     Add 1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro.  
     Add 1 small pinch of white pepper.
     Add 1 tablespoon of Peperoncino Virgin Olive Oil.  (Dried Whole Paprika Pepper Flavored Virgin Olive Oil.)
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of lime juice.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of white wine vinegar.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of sugar.
     Toss the ingredients together.
     Chill the salad for 15 minutes, so the flavors meld.

     Braised Portobello and Swedes:
     This recipe yields enough for 1 sandwich!
     Heat a sauté pan over medium, medium low heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
     Add 1/3 cup of julienne sliced rutabaga.  (1/8"x1/8"x 2 1/2")
     Add 2 to 3 small portobello mushrooms that are thin sliced.
     Sauté till light golden brown highlights appear.
     Add 1/4 cup of chicken stock.
     Add 3/4 cup of water.
     Add 1 pinch of thyme.
     Add 1 tiny pinch of ground celery seed.
     Add sea salt and white pepper.
     Bring the liquid to a gentle boil.
     Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Simmer and reduce, till the liquid evaporates and the rutabaga becomes tender, but not too soft.  
     Drain off any excess grease.  
     Keep the vegetables warm on a stove top.  

     Grilled Chorizo Spam:
     This recipe yields enough for 1 sandwich!
     Heat a sauté pan or griddle over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
     Add 3 or 4 slices of Chorizo Spam that are about 3/16" thick.  (About 3 to 4 ounces total.) 
     Grill the spam on both sides, till golden brown highlights appear.
     Keep the spam warm on a stove top.

     Sourdough Croque Monsieur of Portobello, Swedes and Chorizo Spam:
     Warm an oven to 425º.
     Heat a griddle over medium/medium low heat.
     Brush one side on each slice of sourdough sandwich bread with a generous amount of melted unsalted butter.  (2 slices total)
     Place the bread on the hot griddle.
     Place a few thin slices of Swiss Emmentaler Cheese on each slice of bread.
     Place the Grilled Chorizo Spam on one of the bread slices.
     Place the Braised Swedes and Portobello on the Chorizo Spam.
     Grill the sandwich till it is toasted to a light golden color.
     Place the two sandwich halves together.
     Place the sandwich on a roasting pan that is brushed with melted unsalted butter.
     Heat a griddle or saute pan over medium/medium low heat.
     Brush the bread with a generous amount of melted unsalted butter.
     Grill the sandwich on both sides, till it becomes toasted to a golden brown color.
     Place the sandwich on a baking pan.
     Bake the sandwich in a 425º degree oven, till the bread becomes golden brown and crispy crunchy all the way through.  Flip the sandwich occasionally to it browns evenly.
     Keep the sandwich warm on a stove top.
     Sourdough Croque Monsieur of Portobello, Swedes and Chorizo Spam ~ Saison d'été salade de lupini mariné:
     Place the Sourdough Croque Monsieur of Portobello, Swedes and Chorizo Spam on a plate.
     Place the Saison d'été salade de lupini mariné on the back half of the plate.
     Spear a petite sweet gherkin pickle with a fancy bamboo skewer and poke the skewer into the sandwich.

     Viola!  A new modern French street vendor style Croque Monsieur sandwich, made with Chorizo Spam.  The Pickled Lupini Bean Salad is healthy and refreshing.  Yum!

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