Wild Food Lab is a collaboration between Transitional Gastronomy and Urban Outdoor Skills.
We forage what's available seasonally and then both research and test how each ingredient was used in the past, as well as experiment and create new methods and means of utilizing these wild ingredients.
The result is wild cuisine that's interpreted for today's palate with a modern culinary perspective.
Acorn timbales with nettle veloute and goat cheese whipped cream.
Beauitful, young nettles...tender and verdant.
Pascal's preserved acorns.
Mirapoix for the acorn mixture base.
One large eggplant, cubed and then caramelized down.
The eggplant once it has been cooked down.
Freshly leached acorns and the cooked eggplant.
The acorns going through the coarse grind.
White wine and oat bran added to bind the mixture.
The mixture once the oat bran has absorbed all the liquids.
Rolling the mixture into rounds to chill.
Tightly wrapped in wax paper, I'll seal with plastic and freeze this.
Makes a great meatloaf, too.
Little acorn meatballs...
Bite sized acorn meatball from our tasting class. Look how green that sauce is!
Also makes great veggie burger sliders.
Bite sized offerings for our classes. Acorn "meatball" and wild currant glazed donut. Tag team.
I love our classes, this was a particularly awesome group.
Sharing the spread with our class at our local park.
19 - 19
Foraged Acorn Timbales with Nettle Veloute
This is perhaps one of the most "signature" dishes we make as it's so representative of the wild foods we forage and prepare. It's a savory acorn timbale with a nettle veloute sauce.
Acorns were one of the first things I came across that resembled something that could be made into a "meat" dish. I immediately thought we should try to make veggie burgers out of them. The acorns themselves, to me, are like a chestnut meets giant almond.
Once leached (for these White Oak acorns, we only had to leach them twice by boiling and changing the water, for approximately 30 minutes each time), the acorns are nutty and slightly sweet but mild enough to use in a number of applications - both sweet and savory.
This recipe has been "approved" but meat lovers and the meat free crowd alike. It's rich and nutty and velvety at the same time.
The acorn burger base:
About 2 cups leached acorns, pan roasted and chopped
1 large eggplant, small cubes, then pan caramelized
1/2 onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1/2 cup white wine
about 1/4-1/2 cup oat bran
toasted fennel seeds, bay leaves, thyme, salt, pepper
I pan roasted the eggplant down util all the moisture was gone and it caramelized. Same for the onion.
I then sauteed the rest of the veg, spices and garlic until translucent, once combined, I added the white wine and oat bran until absorbed completely - you may want to add more if your mixture is too wet. Depending on the eggplant size, I add up to a cup of the oat bran, sometimes.
Once it's completely cooled, add an eggwhite - or the whole egg if you prefer, to bind this. It's also delicious if you bind it with some grated parmesean or pecorino. Refridgerate and then form into your meatloaf, patties, timbales or meatballs and then refridgerate again.
I deepfried my timbales...and I'm not sorry I did. And to boot, just before serving, I pan fried in buttah. Serve with a nettle sauce or eat them by themselves. I always add some goat cheese whipped cream on the side...enjoy!