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pascalbaudar pascalbaudar

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Pascal Baudar  Author, wild food research, traditional food preservation methods, culinary alchemist, entomophagy. Naturalist - Los Angeles.


Acorn Miso Soup, Oyster mushrooms and other plants I foraged yesterday (Dandelion, nettles, thistle) - lots of local wild flavors.

Soup was made with my acorn miso (Fermented acorns with Koji rice). I just tested and tasted my batch that has been fermenting for a few months, it's doing fantastic. I decided to take some and make a light miso soup.

I sliced in smaller parts a giant oyster mushroom I foraged yesterday and sauteed them for 15 minutes with salt, pepper and garlic. Added water from time to time until it was fully cooked.

The nettles and dandelion leaves were simmered for 10 minutes and the tender young sow thistle leaves were only simmered for one minute.
Mushroom slices were added last. A bit of chili flakes for some spicy heat and voila!
May not look sexy but it's damn good!

#miso #acorn #misosoup #localflavors #soups #wildcrafting #foraging #wildfoodlove #wild edibles #mushrooms #oystermushrooms #wildplants #ediblewildplants #realfood #terroir #chef #chefsoninstagram #eatwild #rewilding

Mushrooms and weeds. 2 hours hike - 2 days of food. Organic, free, super nutritious and flavorful.
1.5 pounds of oyster mushrooms, nettles, dandelion, giant sow thistle (3 feet tall), watercress, etc... The greens will become the sauce for the mushroom dish. Now that I have a Vitamix, I have tons of fun making interesting sauces.
The sow thistle is a bit bitter but I have an awesome technique. I'm more interested by the huge stem (more sugary) and the tender leaves coming out of it so I tend to shred/cut the top of the prickly leaves. Once cleaned, I rub the stem with salt and let them be for 30 mins. It is then blanched for a couple of minutes then roasted in the oven with garlic. The end result is like roasted somewhat sweet Belgium endives but with some nice "green" flavors.
I'll add the roasted stem to my dandelion and nettlesand make a paneer-type sauce. Basic recipe looks like this:

1 pound wild greens (nettles, dandelion, thistle, etc...)
½ cup water
2 tomatoes (diced)
1 red onion (diced)
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 to 8 garlic cloves (minced) or 1 to 2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon curry
1 teaspoon ginger powder or fresh ginger (minced)
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon garam masala
¾ teaspoon cumin powder
2 teaspoon ground coriander
Red pepper flakes to taste. I used 2 smoked jalapenos (chile morita) and it was a border line too hot.
1 teaspoon dehydrated fermented limes (or 2 tablespoons lime juice)
½ cup coconut milk

But I may change my mind too with the sauce and do something completely different. I'll post a photo of the dish tomorrow. Today is cleaning day so I'm not supposed to cook.

#wildfoodlove #localflavors #foraging #naturalfood #foodies #eatwild #chef #chefsoninstagram #wildfood #mushrooms #healthyfood #wildcrafting #dandelion #nettles

Hike in the local burned forest. Gift from mother nature - Oyster mushrooms.

#mushrooms #hiking #food #gourmetfood #free #wildfood

9 days after the rain, despite the Southern California fires the landscape is changing and life is slowing coming back.
Raising from the ashes today - Grass, chickweed, mugwort, wild hyacinths and so much more!
Some of the hills are getting a beautiful green hue from all the microgreens while some others still seem lifeless.

Amazing to witness... Photo: Grass and chickweed in a burned oaks forest

#californiafires #rebirth #forest

If nature gives you ashes, you can make cheese! Dairy-free cheese!. Fermented acorn, black walnuts, pinyon pine and cashews cheese preserved in coast live oak ashes from our local forest fire. The ash will help preserve the cheese and prevent mold.

I'm starting to develop my own technique on making those fermented cheeses. Usually people use rejuvelac (google it), probiotic capsules (Acidophilus) or other commercial yeast and mold to ferment them. I tended to use some of my sauerkraut juice but these day, I'm thinking about flavors at the conception stages. Thus, why not create a flavorful ferment specifically created for your cheese from the start?
You can make a sort of spicy hot sauce ferment to create a plant-based cheese that could have cheddar qualities. You can even include local spices and aromatic plants for true local flavors. Now we're talking terroir exploration.

In this case I made a fermented a concoction made of cabbage, watercress, dandelion, wild mustards, touch of jalalenos. So it's a bit spicy but with some nice green flavors.

1 1/2 cup of that ferment was pureed in my blender with 2 cups of mixed nuts (walnuts, pine, etc..), the puree was then placed into a cheese cloth with weight on it (stone) to extract any excess liquid and fermented for 36 hrs.

The cheese was then removed and this is where the second set of flavors was introduced in the form of dried spices which will also make the cheese bit more solid. This is where you creativity can shine. For this one, I added acorn flour, black pepper, garlic powder, wild kimchi powder, onion powder, tad of liquid smoke, California bay powder, a bit of nutritional yeast, homemade salt from seawater and so on... It should be salty but not too much. The cheese will continue fermenting and reduce the salinity a bit.

Mix everything and the resulting paste is formed into a round shape using your hand or a mold. Remove from the mold and add the ashes all over it.
The cheese is then placed into the dehydrator (below 70F) for 48 hours then wrapped in cheese cloth and aged in the fridge for a week or more. I also spray salt water on day 4 and 5 twice a day.

#cheese #ashes #californiafires

Cattail growing from the ashes, also one of the first plants to show up. Beautiful sight.
It's amazing how nature seems to recover from the fires so far. Observing and learning as I go along.

#transition #californiafires #nature #wildfood

Aging fermented hot sauce with a lot of locally foraged ingredients - 5 months so far / 1 gallon - I'll wait another month then bottle it. I may use some to make a spicy acorn/walnuts cheese too.
The sharp and spicy flavors are getting toned down much more. Originally it was quite salty but now it's getting just right, a lot of the salt seems to have been absorbed by the fermentation process. Not sour at all but quite complex.
Original Ingredients:
60 to 70% habaneros
20% seasonal wild edibles
5 to 10% smoked chile morita (chili pods)
5 to 10% additional peppers (I used Thai this time)
2 tbps Chia or plantain seeds (mucilaginous instead of Xantham gum)
6 garlic cloves or more
Couple of prickly pears juice to add also some mucilaginous qualities and fruity flavors.

This year, the seasonal wild edibles were: dandelion, watercress, purslane. I also added some manzanita berries powder (3 tablespoons for sugary/fruity accents.
The habeneros and wild edibles are chopped and salt added (1 tablespoon per pound so the sauce ends up salty as well). Massaged for 10 minutes with gloves. Then I add the smoked chili morita (chopped), the seeds, prickly pear juice and manzanita powder.

Everything is mixed for 2-3 minutes then placed into a quart jar. Then, using a handheld immersion blender inside the jar, I turn everything into a paste. I may add a bit of a strong brine too if it's not liquid enough (1 1/2 tablespoon salt for 2 cups water). Close the top or screw the lid but not too tight. 5 to 7 times a day, I close the lid tight and shake the jar for a minute or so (so you don't get mold on top). After a couple of weeks, I only shake it once or twice a week. It's kept at room temperature.

#fermentation #wildfermentation #hotsauce #hotsauces #foraging #wildcrafting

Well...hello there!
Re-birth after the fires. I'm learning so much going out every day and observe/study what is happening since we had the rain.

The first plant that showed up was a naturalized one - Wild Tarragon aka (Artemisia dracunculus). It's actually native to Mexico and possibly naturalized locally from early humans introduction. The assumption would be that it was introduced as a spice. There are some similarities to store-bought tarragon but the local one has more "wild" accents and bitterness. Dehydration helps.

I didn't use it for a long time as, when chewed, it made my mouth numb a bit which is kind of suspicious. I don't always believe the books so I err on the side of caution. Then, recently, I chewed on regular store-bought tarragon and got the same effect so it's normal. Maybe I have my own mild reaction but since then, I've used as a flavor additive/spice with no ill effects - it's about quantity.

All the plants I see showing up first are local native plants - giant nettles, California sagebrush, yerba santa. I think it's quite awesome. The only exception is the local Arundo donax, one of the most invasive plant locally - thus I like to use it as much as possible...leaves for wraps, stems to make containers and so on.
I'll go back today and see if I can see any signs of mushrooms.
Nature is amazing
#californiafires #nature #rebirth #tarragon

Power breakfast - Steamed cattail and cauliflower with sweet white clover, mashed avocado.

Sometimes the wild food is not what's obvious and yet, there are probably 10 different plants used in that simple dish.

Fermented hot sauce - Dandelion, sow thistle, watercress, prickly pears, plantain, curly dock, habaneros, pequin chili, smoked jalapenos, garlic, onion - aged for 6 months at room temperature.

Sprinkled with homemade salt (sea water), sweet white clover, smoked dried chickweed and a pinch of epazote. Peppercorn.

Super good, the heat wakes you up, tons of local flavors and lots of packed energy too.

#fermentation #wildfood #foraging #wildedibles #localflavors

5 AM in the burnt forest , sunrise - Waiting for the first raindrops to fall after 8 months of no show - it was all worth it.
There is beauty in destruction and there is beauty in the re-birth afterwards.
Anxious and excited to see what will happen, adversity can be a great teacher. I plan to go there every day and learn from mother nature how she can recover, what plants will come back first, will we get a lot of mushrooms? Will the fire benefit native plants or not? What happened to my favorite spots, can chickweed seeds survive such an intense fire?

So many questions and waiting for the teacher to give me some answers. This afternoon I'll plant back some white sage, black sage and manzanita berries before the heavy rain shows up.

The white ashes in the foreground are from fallen trees. The dark areas are stones and burned ground. Very striking when the sun came up.

Always thankful - life is beautiful and amazing.

It doesn't take a lot to get me super excited. One gallon of birch water is enough.
Gift from one of my students today - one gallon of birch sap. What do I have in mind?

A WILD BEER!!!!!!!!!! Can you imagine a wild beer brewed with birch tree water instead of regular water!!! My fun project for tomorrow, I've always dreamed of making a beer with completely wild ingredients including the water. This will make my dream come true!

Tasted it, slightly sweet but definitely not much.

Apparently in Russia they sell it in stores too.

#beermaking #brewing #birch

Acorn and black walnuts Camembert - No dairy.

Basically a fermented acorn and walnuts paste, fermented with a bit of sauerkraut juice, inoculated with the bacteria that creates Camembert and aged in the fridge at around 50 degrees (70% to 80% humidity) for 3 weeks so far.
The acorn were hot leached (Page 54 in my book) and the walnuts were soaked in water overnight. Placed in my vitamix, added a bit of sauerkraut juice until I was able to make a smooth paste.

Placed in a cheesecloth with a weight on it and let it ferment for 2 days. Mix-in the bacteria, place into a cheese mold or a day, remove from the mold and into a cheese cloth with a tupperware on top to keep the humidity. I monitored the temperature and humidity daily for a week and it ended up perfect, my fridge was set at the lowest temperature.

The cheesecloth was removed daily and replaced by a new one. On day 7, the white mold started to appear.

SUPER HAPPY, amazing flavors and yes, it does taste a bit like a Camembert, it's actually quite amazing. Kinda nutty cheese. Although the taste is there, the texture is not exactly the same. It's hard but more like a cross between a camembert and a cheddar or a very young camembert. I need to tweak the recipe a bit, a tad too salty but that's part of the fun, figuring out what works and what doesn't...and patience.

The use of (wild) ingredients is not unique, Melissa Hoffman @sho_farm has pioneered similar cheeses with her local nuts, hazelnuts and pine. The technique is thanks to the genius of a young man - thank you Thomas! @fullofplants

This one is not in my book "The New Wildcrafted Cuisine" but I have 432 pages of other cool stuff you can do with wild plants: Available on amazon.

#wildfoodlove #cheese #vegancheese #acorncamembert #camembert #foraging #wildcrafting #cheese #nature #acorn #walnuts. Wildfood

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