shrimp in pea water

If being a student of Modernist Cuisine has taught me anything, it’s that I should strive for purity of flavor.  Achieving this goal is usually an exercise in what to leave out of a dish, not what you put in it, and this recipe is a great example.  Served chilled, the “broth” is made of centrifuged pea water and filtered celery juice.  When blended peas are separated in the centrifuge, most of the starch ends up in the fibrous layer at the bottom.  Since the presence of starch inhibits your ability to perceive sweetness, the starch-free pea water ends up tasting much sweeter than a whole pea.  I didn’t bother to centrifuge the celery juice, but I find that the flavor of celery is so strongly associated with the crunch of the stalks that it creates a fascinating synesthesia to consume it in liquid form.  I made the conscious choice here to leave out pea starch and celery fiber, and the bright flavors of the vegetables shine right through.

I plan on serving this dish for dinner tomorrow, and I may try adding a wasabi ice or a frozen foam to give it another level of texture.

 

INGREDIENT

QTY.

SCALING

PROCEDURE

Frozen peas, thawed

907g

453%

1.       Blend until smooth.

2.       Divide the pea puree among centrifuge bottles and spin at 1500Gs for 2 hours

3.       Decant the pea water through a paper towel or paper filter.  Reserve and chill pea water.

4.       Scrape, reserve, and chill pea butter.

Celery hearts

907g

453%

5.       Juice in a masticating juicer, such as an Omega.  Reserve and chill juice.

Shrimp, prawns, langoustines, lobster tail or other shellfish

200g

100%

6.       Vacuum seal together using weak vacuum pressure.

7.       Cook sous vide to a core temperature of 54C (for shrimp), about 12 minutes.

Duck Fat

30g

15%

Olive Oil

30g

15%

Small Shiitake Mushrooms

20g

10%

8.       Sweat vegetables in butter.

9.       Cut the onions in half and lightly char the cut sides with a blowtorch.

10.   Plate the dish by spooning 15g pea water and 5g celery juice into a shallow bowl.  Place cooked shellfish in the middle.  Garnish with onions, mushrooms and pea butter.

Small Pearl Onions

20g

10%

Butter

10g

5%

Salt

1g

1%

shrimp splash
One of the shrimp got away and tried to return to his natural habitat.

Share:
Reading time: 1 min

goose
My favorite part of any bird is the dark meat – besides the skin, dark meat is the only real “flavor country” found in foul.  I’m particularly fond of duck because both the leg and breast meat is darker than you’ll find in a chicken or a turkey.  But ducks are relatively small and, shall we say, flat-chested.  A goose, however, is a much more curvaceous creature and offers quite a lot to love.  Like ducks, geese fly quite a lot.  And just like in any other animal (that I’m aware of), the more a muscle needs to work, the darker its meat will be.  So, geese end up being an animal composed entirely of dark meat!

But, if the idea of roasting a goose gives you anxious visions of forgotten kitchen timers and smoking ovens, let me assure you that there’s a better way.  Just like a turkey or a duck or a chicken, a goose is a great candidate for sous vide cooking.  I started with a whole goose, which I carved into four pieces: two breasts and two legs.  I packed each piece in a vacuum bag with salt, aromatics and fat, then cooked sous vide.  Just before serving, I shallow-fried each of the pieces to brown and crisp the skin.  In reality, I treated the goose just like I was cooking duck confit, sous vide style.  This was phenomenally easy, risk-free and wonderfully delicious.

Many thanks to Whole Foods for providing a complimentary whole goose for the development of this recipe.

Shopping list:

  • 1 whole goose, thawed
  • 40g kosher salt
  • 35g juniper berries
  • 65g light brown sugar
  • 10g fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 1g cinnamon stick, microplaned (or ground cinnamon)
  • 150g rendered duck fat
  • Canola oil, for frying
  1. Rinse the goose thoroughly and remove the neck from the interior of the body.  Reserve the neck for another use.
  2. Remove the legs and thighs.  With the goose breast-side-up, grab the end of the drumstick and pull the leg outward from the body of the goose.  Cut through the skin underneath the rib cage as you pull the leg away.  Flip the goose over and fold the leg away from the body until the “hip” joint is visible.  Run your knife through the hip joint to free the leg and thigh.  Trim away excess fat and skin, leaving enough to cover the meat.  Repeat for the other leg.
  3. Remove the breasts by making an incision through the skin of the breastbone.  Allow your knife to follow the contour of the rub cage on one side and peel the breast away as you cut .  Trim away excess fat and skin.  You may save the fat, carcass and wings for another use, such as a pressure-cooked goose stock.
  4. Combine the salt, juniper berries, brown sugar, rosemary and cinnamon in a large bowl.  Mix to combine, gently crushing the aromatics to release their oils.  Toss each goose piece in the salt mixture until well-coated.
  5. Divide the duck fat among four vacuum bags (or two, one for breasts, one for legs).  Place the goose pieces in their respective bags and toss in any juniper berries and rosemary that may have been left behind.  Vacuum seal on high.  Refrigerate overnight.
  6. Preheat a sous vide bath to 62C.  Add the goose legs and cook for 18 hours.  If you’re not serving the goose immediately, remove the bag and chill in an ice bath.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  7. Preheat a sous vide bath to 54C.  Add the goose breasts and cook for 6 hours.  If you’re not serving the goose immediately, remove the bag and chill in an ice bath. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
    Note: If you have two sous vide baths, you can perform the previous two steps simultaneously. If you only have one sous vide bath and don’t want to wait quite as long, you can turn the temperature down from 62C to 54C after 12 hours and add the breasts to the same bath as the legs. The legs won’t turn out quite as flaky, but they’ll still be delicious.
  8. Heat a large pot of canola oil 1/2” deep to 400F.  Remove the goose from the vacuum bags and wipe off any juniper berries or rosemary that may be clinging to the skin.  The meat will be wet from the duck fat, but that’s OK for frying.
  9. Working one piece at a time, fry the legs skin-side-down for about 1 minute or until golden brown.  Flip and fry for an additional minute skin-side-up.
  10. Fry the breasts, skin-side-down only, for about 1 minute or until the skin is golden brown.
  11. Slice as desired and serve immediately.

As you’ll notice in the picture above, geese have a hefty layer of fat underneath their skin.  This helps them stay buoyant and warm, and I personally enjoy eating the fatty exterior, which is made soft and delectable by the long cooking time.  However, if you want to reduce the fat layer and you have a little extra time on your hands, before step 4, remove the skin from each piece of goose.  Using the back of your knife, scrape the fat away from the underside of the skin.  Dust the skin with Activa RM (transglutaminase; meat glue) and place it back on the meat before vacuum sealing.  It’s a little trick I learned from Modernist Cuisine, which has quite a lot to say about cooking tough and tender meat sous vide.

Share:
Reading time: 4 min

Latkes Stack 690

Although I don’t consider myself Jewish, I did grow up in a household that observed the major Jewish holidays like Passover, Yom Kippur, and of course, Hanukkah.  One of my favorite memories of celebrating Hanukkah is the tradition of eating latkes with sour cream and apple sauce.  For the gentiles out there, latkes are potato pancakes, made from shredded potato and onion.  In fact, latkes are pretty simple to make, which is why I wanted to take on the challenge of making them better.  To me, a latke should have an awesomely crunchy outside and a creamy inside.  So, I started experimenting with ways to get the ultimate potato crunch. 

DSC_7573

My instinct was that the key to crunchier latkes was adding starch to the potato.  I cooked three variations: a control (no added starch, top), a latke sprinkled with potato starch (right), and a latke coated with butter-flavored instant mashed potato flakes (bottom).  To keep the experiment rigorous, I packed the same quantity of potato mixture into a ring mold and fried the latkes for the same time at the same temperature.  The instant potato flake latke was the clear winner – the dried starch added extra surface area for frying and made the potato wonderfully crunchy.  Unfortunately, much of the potato flake broke off during frying, which clouded the oil.  With some good advice from Maxime Bilet, I altered my method to avoid this problem.  I ended up with fantastically crispy latkes, which I wouldn’t mind eating for eight consecutive nights this year.

Makes: 12 crispy latkes
Total kitchen time: 1 hour

Shopping list:

  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 4 russet potatos
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1 waxy potato
  • 1 egg
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 100g (about 5 tbsp.) instant masked potato flakes, butter flavor
  • peanut oil, for frying
  • sour cream & apple sauce for garnish. 
  1. I recommend using the grater attachment on a food processor to make quick work of this task.  If using a food processor, add lemon juice to the bowl.  If grating by hand, add lemon juice to the bowl that will contain your grated potatoes.
  2. Peel and grate the potato, tossing occasionally to coat with the lemon juice.  Reserve 2/3 of the grated potato mixture in a separate bowl to become the exterior coating. 
  3. Grate the onion.  Combine the remaining 1/3 grated potato and grated onion in a medium pot.  Add water to cover and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and strain to remove most of the water.  Season with .05% salt and .005% pepper. 
  4. Peel and microplane the waxy potato into the bowl with the reserved 2/3s grated potato mixture.  Pour the mixture into a large cheesecloth and ring as tightly as possible to remove as much water as you can.  Return the mixture to a bowl.
  5. Add 1 egg, .05% salt, .005% pepper and instant mashed potato flakes to the bowl and toss well to combine.
  6. Heat 1” of peanut oil in a deep skillet to 400F. 
  7. While the oil is heating, assemble the latkes on a nonstick baking sheet.  Grab a small handful of the uncooked potato mixture and press into a disk, one layer thick.  Top with a tablespoon of the cooked potato and onion mixture, spread evenly.  Finish with another later of the uncooked potato mixture. 
  8. Fry the latkes a few at a time, being sure not to overcrowd the pan.  Flip once if necessary to ensure even browning on all sides.  The latkes should cook for 2-3 minutes, or until dark and golden.  It’s critical that you keep the temperature of the oil at 400F before and during frying to ensure maximum browning – if necessary, momentarily remove the latkes to allow the oil temperature to come back to 400F. 
  9. Drain on paper towels, and serve alongside sour cream and applesauce.
Share:
Reading time: 3 min
Page 2 of 12123410...Last »