Monday, October 31, 2011

Purple People Eater of Pie & Buddahhood

Absent minded me - forgot to put a title for yesterdays blog, but not today! I know you're wondering about the name of curried karma preserves, what is he thinking? Well let me explain . . .

October 31st, 2011

Gohonzon (ご本尊 or 御本尊), is the object of devotion in many forms of Japanese Buddhism. In Japanese, go is an honorific prefix indicating respect and honzon means object of fundamental respect, veneration, or devotion. Generically used, gohonzon can refer to any such object of devotion, whether a statue or set of statues, a painted scroll of some sort, or some other object; or the word—then usually capitalized when romanized—may be used specifically to refer to the moji-mandala (文字曼荼羅 "script," or "written with characters" mandala) that is the object of veneration in various Nichiren schools.

Fastrack blogging this morning, as I have yet to rinse off yesterdays sins and make like an Olympic bolt for my Monday morning SGI district gathering here in West Hollywood. Coffee first ...
Holly mother of mold!!! These beans have a slightly frosted crust formation, perhaps the title of "Starbucks Aged Sulawesi" is beyond authentic? Let's give her a try, cause this sleepytime Chef needs caffeine in a bad way ... kapukayuckeynitwaywopologetic (ie: flipping awful!) An experience summarized only by opening your grandma's 1920's cedar chest and popping one of those "gobstopper" mothballs into your mouth. We're gonna have to fallback to the predictability of jasmine green tea on this ghost, goblin & dragqueen day of dead.

Today is something special as I will be taking the "test" to receive my Gohonzon "object of devotion" or perhaps better known as "that little scroll of paper that Tina Turner (aka: Angel Bassett) & her friend were chanting to in the movie "What's Love got to do with it!" (definition above)

Just returned from the chanting, gym, Zico coconut water consumption and now ... finishing the contents of my blog. So yesterday, I visited the Melrose Pl/Av farmers market and to my delight I managed to find a new chocolate purveyor (Chox Chocolates), a raw sugarcane vendor (drinking some gingerized elixir as we speak), fresh fuyu persimmons, fuji apples, free-range eggs, pineapple guava, organic veggies and ... some fantastic purple sweet potatoes!
This last little jewel of a tuber inspired me to create a "purple people eater" sweet potato pie whilst incorporating the disastrous lemon verbena shortbread into a magnificent crust!

Many of my ChileCo catering patrons & Eden employees/guests have tasted the delight of my Southern meets Mexican Sweet Potato Pie with Cayenne candied Pecan Crust! Honestly, it whoops the orange right out of it's more popularly spiced sister, "pumpkin pie" Now, the Chef Scotty original recipe is really quite sacred to my culinary heart . . I offer something of a relevant comparison below that will delight your sweet tooth in every whimsical way :)

This recipe seemed to fit in line with my newly sensible yin-yang balanced approach to cooking as it involved limited ingredients/flavors & sensations. The key really is to use True cinnamon (also named Ceylon or Canela)which may be indentified by it's quill being full to the core versus it's peppery more conventional cinnamon brothers of Indonesian, Saigon or Cassia/Chinese cinnamon which one may easily differentiate & recognize as a quill that is a curl of bark. (the picture should help ... I've no idea where it landed on this blog page). Well ... that's likely enough epicurious trivia for one day . . and I'm terribly behind on my Nichiren Buddhist study - I'm going to be the first practicing student to flunk this test!

with Culinary Blessings of Spirited Sort,

Chef Scotty

Scotty's Sweet Potato Pie

Original Recipe Yield 1 - 9 inch pie


1 (1 pound) sweet potato
1/2 cup cream cheese or yogurt (if yogurt add 1 more egg)
1 cup white cane sugar (or blue agave if you desire)
1/2 cup sourcream
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (canela/mexican cinnamon to be exact)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tbsp of fresh lemon juice
*add a pinch of cayenne at your discretion
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust (or better yet crushed gingersnap cookies with a
few tablespoons of sugar and melted butter)


1.) Boil sweet potato whole in skin for 40 to 50 minutes, or until done. Run cold water over the sweet potato, and remove the skin.

2.)Break apart sweet potato in a bowl. Add softened cream cheese, and mix well with mixer. Stir in sugar, sour cream, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla & lemon juice. Beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth. Pour filling into an unbaked pie crust.

3.) Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 55 to 60 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Pie will puff up like a souffle, and then will sink down as it cools.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The little gypsy fairies that liven within my "eye"phone embellished my little morning with the absence of any alarm . . thus, having to rely on my own consciousnesses to awake me at 6:42am. Regardless, I am present, with a cup of joe & ready to continue:

October 30th, 2011

a. The act of revealing or disclosing.
b. Something revealed, especially a dramatic disclosure of something not previously
known or realized.
c. A manifestation of divine will or truth.

Yesterday, a beam of fluorescent light bestowed upon me a great idear! (as the Germanic people say) Unfortunately, I am not quite ready to relay this inspiring daily revelation to my ever so little flock of followers . . but in the coming days - all shall be known:) For now we talk, shop & inscribe our first recipe!

As recently mentioned, I have a yearning to simplify my little rotisserie lifestyle including the culinary ignition that drives my passion from within. Practice makes an honorable arms reach towards perfection, henceforth I took up the nominal task of making some shortbread. Simple deed involving the baking "holy trinity" of butter, flour & sugar. Who could really f'this up right?

Well . . as usual, I didn't utilize a recipe and having a devilishly inherent tendency to improvise (theoretical improvement), I decided to infuse a portion of the butter with a delectably herb called "Lemon Verbena" as well as add two "bakers rack" essentials of baking powder & baking soda. Strike 1: although I've often added an additional flavor note to this rustic tea time cookie; I had never attempted to infuse the butter . . it worked but added an undesired "nutty browned butter taste" Strike 2: The bp & bs resulted in levitating the shortbread which inhibited the ability to cut the shortbread whilst still warm (ie: causing it to collapse!) NOTE: just like biscotti - this medieval "burrebrede" need be sliced up before the sugars have officially cooled & hardened.

Somebody please b'slap me! 3 ingredients . . that's it, simple, short & concise makes nicey, crispy, cookie. Bottles of beeswax, I've managed to jack this one up! The "revelation" being that life may be categorized into cooking: completely capable of fixing/adjusting to some degree or another), baking: a chemical equation that equates to a very precise "cause & effect" in other words "dare to dabble" = "dancing with the devil" and finally, abstinence: foregoing any kitchen encounter and relying on the Russian roulette method of "others efforts"

All is not lost, this debacle of a pastry gone wrong will now be pounded with persuasive frustration and transformed from crumble to Einstein like innovation via lemon verbena-shortbread crust for a sweet potato pie. Even in the afterlife of baking there is hope for reincarnation! *see recipe below

with Culinary Blessings,

Chef Scotty


Original Recipe Yield 2 dozen

• 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/3 cup white sugar
• 3/4 cup butter
• OPTIONAL: add 2 tbsp’s minced lemon verbena/lavender/cardamom or fennel seed
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
2. Blend all ingredients well. Dough will be stiff.
3. Press into a 9 x 9 inch buttered dish. Prick top with a fork.
4. Bake until pale golden brown on the edges. Cool and cut into squares.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The requisition of oneself - going within.

Not entirely sure what that title means but it makes one ponder . . and that is exactly the state that I have found myself lately. At last, the blogging shall begin:

October 29th, 2011

An inspiring day of warm sunshine bestowed upon me as I wrestled with deeply rooted dreams of a rattlesnake taped to my arm, stolen hot dogs & unattainable taxis. 11:38 and I finally carve my latent body from the sheets & stumble in the direction of the French Press. The day beckons my morning (now afternoon) chant of "Nam myoho renge kyo/" re-writing my bio for an upcoming Agape 25yr celebration event (I am to judge the desserts as a "celebrity chef"), creating some organizational structuring for an upcoming high-end charitable catering event (check out and partaking on a culinary experience at the Tasting Room ..wait scratch that - the only reservation available was 9:30pm!

Recent events in my life (namely the third major transformational moment of my adulthood life) have birthed a renewed outlook on what I previously perceived to be my life. This journal will facilitate as a means of understanding all sensations of myself as an individual, friend, brother, son, artist, chef and entrepreneur and perhaps enlighten my daily surroundings with a more balanced sensibility. It is my endeavor that this rediscovered integration of living balanced will ultimately allign my desires without conscious forethought . . so far so good . . but this is obviously a lifelong path painted by inquisitive canaries and yielding only the mirage of Oz . . the destination only to be discovered within.

Reflecting back to Thursdays little "Casa Shipley" dinner party (grafting new culinary roots & prescribing to my infatuation with flavors) I realized that I my sensibilities are still a bit off the mark. Playing with too many elements & fairing far from the mark of perfection . . innovation - yes, tranquil bliss on the palette - no. Cuban mofongo duck with plantain/black bean/sheep feta terrine, curried sweet potato soup with pignolia corn fritter, grilled antipasti via baby octopus, langoustino eggroll w/Chinese pomegranate molasses "sweet-n-sour", poached pear-n-frangipane strudel with cardamom goat buttermilk ice cream . . . all too much going on! I must say that all things considered - it was the goat ice cream the championed all other consumables (& created by using a small hand-held mixer to aerate the custard base . . every 30 mins for about 5 hours . . tedious doesn't describe this method but at least the results equated to reasonable fruition). Next thursdays menu demands the practicality of quality versus quantity - better known as "traditional Italian cooking" Reprogramming my little neurons in a multitude of facets these days.

The alarm will sound at 6am sharp tomorrow . . the forecast likely to be a determined respect for discipline:) (meaning I get my ass up, peel my eyelids back with a cup of Trader Joe's cafe & scribble more memories, thoughts & intentions)

with Culinary Blessings,

Chef Scotty