Rootbeer & Clove-Infused CousCous

1 07 2011

I know that rootbeer pairs well with toasted sesame oil, so throw in a little clove and couscous and it should be fabulous right?      Ehh.

It turned out alright, but the flavors that the couscous didn’t BRING IT like I was hoping they would. And who wants to eat “alright” food.

The sweetness added to the pasta needed another sweet yet savory component. So instead,  I would recommend preparing Rootbeer-infused Butternut Squash Raviolis!

This recipe turned out delicious, and I would never have thought of it had I not tried and blundered up the couscous.  This just proves the worth of  trial and error of experimenting; it’s great to know what works well together, but also beneficial to know what’s not such a great combination.

Rootbeer-infused Butternut Squash Raviolis

Ingredients:

Butternut Squash Raviolis (You can buy pre-packaged raviolis, or make your own.)

1 liter Root Beer

2 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil

Sesame seeds, toasted

Directions:

Bring 1 liter of rootbeer to a boil. Add in butternut squash raviolis. Cook for 8 minutes or until raviolis pop to the surface. In a separate pan, heat up 2 Tbsp sesame oil and drop raviolis into the hot pan. Saute until raviolis get a slight crisp on the outside. Serve with toasted sesame seeds on top.

Conclusion: There’s nothing wrong with experimenting!





Bacon Whiskey

1 07 2011

I discovered a new technique last week called Nitrogen Cavitation or Nitrogen Infusions, which allow liquids to absorb the flavor, and only the flavor, of something aromatic with a nitrogen charge. (Think basil, mint, coffee beans, etc…)

My thoughts instantly took me to what sorts of ingredients I would want only the flavor from and nothing more… obviously things with a high caloric count like chocolate,  or… things that just aren’t good for you but taste heavenly… BACON! And what sort of liquid would I want tasting like bacon? Certainly not water, that wouldn’t be refreshing. Most definitely… WHISKEY!

Ingredients:

4 strips bacon, cooked

1 cup whiskey

1 N2O charger

Directions:

Place 4 strips of bacon in the ISI Whip canister and pour in 1 cup of whiskey.  Screw on the Nitrogen (N20) charger, and the whiskey will absorb the bacon flavors without giving you those extra unwanted calories.  Let the whiskey sit for about 15 minutes for the flavors to fully develop, then place in freezer for 5 minutes. Strain through a cheese cloth or fine mesh strainer to remove any bits of bacon remnants and enjoy!

Feeling extra frisky? Pour the Bacon Whiskey back in the ISI Whip,  give it a CO2 charge, and presto… Carbonated Bacon Whiskey!

With the first of my Nitrogen Infusion experiments a success, I can’t stop thinking about how else I want to use this brilliant technique.  Caramel Champagne anyone? Cinnamon Chardonnay?

CONCLUSION: The flavors are strongest after 20 minutes, and it’s definitely worth the wait!





The Molecular Burger!

20 06 2011

One of my favorites! This is a perfect example of a completely classic dish that has been transformed into an imaginative molecular masterpiece. This recipe comes from Molecule-R (www.molecule-r.com), but I would consider it a must for all aspiring molecular manipulators! The bright mustard and ketchup caviar lend a visually stunning element to the dish, and as simple as it is to create, it’s ideal for impressing all at the next family BBQ.

Ingredients:

3 cups vegetable oil

2/3 cup ketchup

2/3 cup mustard

2 packet Agar Agar

 

Directions:

Pour 3 cups of vegetable oil into a flat bottomed dish and place in freezer for 30 minutes.

On the stove combine 2/3rds cup ketchup, 1/4 cup water, and 1 packet of Agar Agar.  Stir and bring to a boil.

Remove from burners and with a pipette drip drops of ketchup mixture into the cold vegetable oil. Let sit. *NOTE: Dripping from higher up will create more round shaped caviar beads. *

In a separate sauce pan combine 2/3rds cup mustard with 1/4th cup water and 1 packet of Agar Agar. Stir and bring to a boil.

Remove from burners and with a pipette drip drops of ketchup mixture into the cold vegetable oil. Let sit.

Let mustard caviar rest for 5 min.

With a bored spoon, spoon out caviar beads and drop in to a rinsing bath (bowl of clean filtered water). Swirl around bowl. Remove. Garnish burger!

Conclusion: Mustard caviar tastes amazing! The flavors aren’t dulled in the least and it holds bead shape remarkably well. Long live condiment caviar!

 





Brownie with a White Chocolate Raspberry Orb

20 06 2011

While the White Chocolate Raspberry Orb turned out delicious, it was not my intended flavor for today’s experiment. Originally I planned on a warm, moist brownie topped with a Bailey’s Orb…. sounds fab right? However, this experiment turned into one of those mal-tasting mishaps I warned may happen. I dissolved Calcium Lactate into a glass of Bailey’s and within seconds the liquid coagulated into a rather unpleasant substance.  Not so appetizing!

Conclusion: Sodium Alginate and Cream-based Liqueurs don’t mix…. yet. What a girl can’t have, they want even more.  I’m sure with a little more experimenting I’ll have my Bailey Orbs yet!

In the meantime on to plan B.

Enter raspberry preserves and white chocolate syrup.

 

This recipe isn’t for the brownie, but for the delicate white chocolate raspberry orb that sits atop the brownie, ready to be popped and spill its delicious liquid center down over the edges of this chocolaty dessert. Ready your forks…

 

Ingredients:

1 packet Sodium Alginate

1/2 cup cream

1 Tbsp raspberry preserves

2 Tbsp white chocolate syrup

1/2 tsp Calcium Lactate

Directions:

Add 1 packet of Sodium Alginate to 2 cups of water and mix with hand held blender. Set aside for 15 minutes.*NOTE: Use a flat bottomed dish so that the orbs won’t touch at the bottom.*

In a separate bowl combine 1/2 cup cream with 1 Tbsp raspberry preserves and 2 Tbsp white chocolate syrup. Stir in 1/2 tsp of Calcium Lactate until dissolved.

With a deep spoon (measuring spoons should work fine) slowing ladle a spoonful of mixture into Sodium Alginate bath. Submerge the spoon slowly for a couple seconds before you tip the white chocolate mixture into the bath.   Let sit for 3-4 minutes.

With a bored spoon remove the orbs and drop in to a flat-bottomed dish full of water for 10-20 seconds. This is called the rinsing bath.  Remove and plate!





Whip it! Banana & Nutella Whip

2 06 2011


Banana and Nutella Whip…absolutely delicious.
While sifting through “Amazon recommends” suggestions I came upon this little beauty… the isi Whip.
Although the recipes are few, the idea and the possibilities behind the alternate use to a simple whip cream maker is a thought-provoking mind morsel.
After trying out a couple I took my favorite, the Banana and Nutella Whip and changed it ever so slightly. Here are my amendments:

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:
2 ripe bananas
6oz Nutella (slightly heated)
6oz whipping cream

Blend thoroughly (I recommend the Magic Bullet) and pour into canister.

Screw on the charger capsule, shake and let sit sideways in fridge for 1 hour.

Serve with sliced bananas and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

 

 

 

Conclusion: Extra chocolate is always better! 🙂





The Incredible Edible Microwave Poached Egg

2 06 2011

As unfoodie-like as the microwave may be, I’ve recently discovered this new technique for poaching eggs and HAD to give it a try! Imagine a perfectly poached egg in 1 minute, without the hassle or uncooperative whites.
Simply crack an egg into a mug filled 3/4ths with water, cover and microwave for 1min-1.15min, and… VOILA!!!:





Smoked Mozzarella with Cabernet Threads

2 02 2011


Ingredients:

1/3 cup Cabernet Sauvignon

2 packs (4 grams) Sodium Alginate

1/2 pack (1 gram) Calcium Lactate

 

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan combine 1 ¼ cup water and 4 grams of Sodium Alginate. Use the hand blender and mix thoroughly.
  2. Bring to a boil, and then set aside for 10 minutes.
  3. Measure out 1/3 cup of the sodium alginate syrup and stir 1/3 cup Cabernet. Mix well.
  4. In a separate bowl combine 2 cups water and 1 gram of Calcium Lactate. Mix well. (Referred to as calcium bath)
  5. With a pipette, suck up the Cabernet mix and squeeze into calcium bath. (During this experiment my mix became much more viscous than the previous time, resulting in more oblong drips than ovals. So, new objective: Cabernet threads! With quick squeezes make threads the length of the pipette instead of beads. They maintain their form and give a different look to the dish.
  6. Once the threads sink to the bottom, stir and scoop out with a strainer.
  7. Serve a small bundle of threads on top of a thick slice of smoke mozzarella and garnish with basil.

 

Conclusion: Wine is excellent in any shape or form!