Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Dark Chocolate 'Fondue' Ball

  • Tempered Dark Chocolate Sphere
  • Filled with Salted Almond Crumb
  • Spiced Poached Pear
  • Citrus Cake
  • Vanilla Cream
  • Chocolate Filigree
  • Warm Caramel Sauce
The idea of this dessert is to have the warm caramel sauce separate, then pour it over the chocolate balls at the table to the chocolate begins to melt, showcasing the filling and creating a chocolate sauce for the plate. 

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Beurre Rouge

Beurre Rouge
1/4 cup red wine
1 - 1 1/2 cups salted butter, cold and cut into cubes
pepper, to taste

Bring the wine to a boil in a saucepan and reduce by half.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and gradually whisk in the butter, cube by cube, to form a thick, rice sauce. Season to taste.

This sauce recipe is a very easy and basic beurre rouge. Red wine vinegar, shallots, garlic, and peppercorns may be added along with the wine to form a reduction and the sauce may then be strained at the end. Cream can also be added as a 'cheat' to form a more stable beurre rouge. Beurre rouge is an a la minute (last minute) sauce that does not hold well for long periods of time. 

Monday, December 04, 2017

Balsamic Pearls

Pearls are a very cool, very impressive molecular gastronomy technique that is actually quite easy to do and requires little equipment. The only specialty ingredients required is agar agar powder, which is a vegan thickening agent (derived from seaweed) used as an alternative to gelatin or cornstarch or other thickeners for its versatility. It is ready available at Asian grocers and specialty food stores. 

The process here is a bit difficult to explain in words, but once you do it, you'll understand the process. The biggest tricks are to ensure the oil is as cold as possible without being solidified, and the mixture is dropped into the oil while hot (it will gel up once cool).

These pearls can be used as a mock caviar alternative, but have a sweet slightly acidic flavor that works on a variety of dishes, including desserts. 

Balsamic Pearls
canola oil
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon agar agar

Pour oil in a tall glass, enough to fill the glass to around twenty centimeters or eight inches. Place the oil in the freezer for a few hours, until the oil is completely cold. It can be left overnight as well but if the freezer is particularity cold the oil will freeze into a solid white block, and it needs to remain liquid for this recipe.

Bring the vinegar, soy sauce, and agar agar to a full boil. Using a syringe or a squeeze bottle, immediately drip small drops of the mixture into the cold oil. One all the mixture is used strain the pearls out of the oil and blot dry gently with paper towel. 
Balsamic Pearls on bruschetta 'mojito' with
garlic croutons, tomato foam, basil crisp

Balsamic Pearls on cheese curd plate with crispy breaded cheese curds,
herbed cheese curd crackers, roasted red pepper cheese curd aioli, and pickled shallot petals

Balsamic Pearls on beef fillet plate with roasted cherry tomatoes,
Brussels sprouts, herb pommes duchesse, carrot puree, and red wine jus

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Herbed Pommes Duchesse

Herbed Pommes Duchesse
hot mashed potatoes
egg yolks
salted butter, cubed
minced garlic
finely chopped chives
minced parsely
minced sage
ground black pepper
Stir all ingredients together until combined, taste, and adjust seasonings as needed. The hot mashed potatoes should melt the butter, but not cook the egg. The mixture is much easier to mix and pipe while still warm - but if you do not have a heat-proof piping bag, let it cool slightly so you do not burn your hand.

Scoop the mixture into a large piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe rosettes of potato on a parchment lined baking sheet. You may make them as small or as large as you wish - baking time will depend on size. At the point the potatoes may be piped in advance and refrigerated until later. They are baked at 425F until the tips begin to turn golden.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Beef Fillet with Pommes Duchesse and Veg

  • Seared Fillet of Beef
  • Herbed Pommes Duchesse
  • Carrot Puree
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts
  • Glazed Cherry Tomatoes
  • Beurre Rouge
  • Balsamic Pearls

Friday, December 01, 2017

Herb Foam

Herb Foam
selected chopped herbs, I used:

Steep the herbs in the milk over low heat, avoiding boiling or heavy simmering. The herbs will begin to color the milk green and flavor it. Froth the milk using a handheld immersion blender or a milk frother until heavy bubbles are formed. Use a spoon to spoon the froth onto the plate. If froth subsides, the mixture can be reblended until bubbly again.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Sage Brown Butter Sauce

Sage Brown Butter Sauce
salted butter
fresh sage, chiffonade
minced garlic
cracked black pepper
all-purpose (plain) flour and/or heavy cream

Melt the butter slowly and gradually in a saucepan over low heat. Once butter is melted and the sage, garlic, and pepper. Continue heating until the butter turns a golden, nutty brown. The sauce may be served as is, or is may be thickened as desired. This may be done by adding a small amount of flour and whisking in. Or by adding some cream. If using cream, heat it before adding to the butter to prevent the sauce from splitting. Do not bring the sauce to a simmer or boil after adding a thickener.