On time, first time………for the Daring Cooks. Oh well I had to be ….even tardiness has a limit and…….Sketchy from Sketchy’s Kitchen made all of us do something we never tried before. Really got us out of the comfort zone and try something absolutely new… 🙂 . He says ” If you’ve read my blog before -I have a minor obsession with molecular cuisine. I hopped between a MC dish and a classic rustic Italian dish (I know – two completely different worlds).
I opted to skip the 400 year old dish in favor of something that would be new and daring for most of you. ” This is a dish from Grant Achatz, found in the Alinea cookbook – page 230
So, here we are………
Cod with Traditional Flavors Powdered……the red is paprika
Skate, Traditional Flavors Powdered – with changes
- 8 oz. Cod
- * Beurre monte
- * 150g fresh green beans
- sea salt/kosher salt
- 1 banana
- 225g smart balance (substitute for butter)
- 150g lemons ……1 lemon
- 2.5g citric acid/vitamin c tablet ……1/4 tsp.
- 75g cilantro
- 75g parsley
- 50g dried banana chips
- 150g spray dried cream powder (or powdered milk)
- 50g cup minced red onion ….1 small red onion
- 100g capers (brined, not oil)
* For green beans, slice each beans into very thin rounds (2 mm)
* Beurre Monte – 225 g smart balance cubed and cold, 30g water. In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil, remove from heat and whisk in the butter 1 cube at a time. This should from an emulsion. Keep this heated, but under 195 degrees. The emulsion will not break – this is your poaching liquid.
Powders – prepare ahead of time
caper / onion
‘brown butter’ powder
L to R from back……citrus, cilantro/parsley,capers/onion and brown butter powders
once dried, all powders should be pulsed in a coffee grinder/spice mill/mortar and pestle then passed through a chinois or fine mesh strainer.
150g lemons……1 lemon
500g simple syrup….I used 250 ml sugar and 250 ml water, seemed to work for me…..maybe wrong ratio but worked 😉
5g citric acid/vitamin c tablet
zest lemons , remove the pith from the zest and poach in the simple syrup three times. dry with paper towels and move to a dehydrating tray. 130 for 12 hours. pulse the zest in a coffee grinder, pass through chinois, and mix with citric acid/vitamin C powder.
If you do not have a dehydrator, place in microwave for 8 to 10 minutes at medium powder. Once dried, follow the other instructions.
blanch the parsley in boiling saltwater for 1 second, submerge the leaves in ice water for 3 minutes. Dry on paper towels and place on dehydrator tray. 130 for 12 hours. grind and pass through chinois.
If you do not have a dehydrator, place in microwave for 30 seconds, turn over leaves and microwave for another thirty seconds. They should be dry by now, pulse in coffee grinder, pass through chinois and reserve.
50g cup minced red onions
dehydrator – 130 for 12 hours
microwave at medium power for 20 minutes.
pulse in grinder, pass through chinois
100g capers (get the ones packed in brine/vinegar)
run the capers under cold water for two minutes to remove some of the brine.
dry on paper towels and dehydrate for 12 hours at 130 degrees.
microwave instructions are unclear. Dry them as much a possible with paper towels, the microwave on medium for 1 minute. Check the moisture content and stir them. repeat for 30 second intervals until they are dry. If you use this method, pleas post the time needed to dry the capers.
Once dry, pulse and sift the powder. Mix it with the onion powder.
Brown Butter powder
50g Dried banana chips (unsweetened if possible – many are coated in honey – the freeze dried ones would be brilliant)
150g spray dried cream powder
If you cannot find the cream powder, you can substitute Bob’s red mill non fat dry milk powder, or even carnation instant milk powder. The substitutions will alter the flavor a little, but you will still get the general idea.
preheat the oven to 350 degrees, sift the cream powder into a fine layer on a silpat or on parchment. bake for 4 minutes, then remove for heat. If it bakes for too long, it will burn. Be very cautious with all powders in the oven. They all go from browned to burnt in a few seconds.
grind the banana chips in a coffee grinder and mix with the toasted cream powder. Pass this through a chinois and reserve.
Red Onion and capers before going in the oven
This is what became of it :-)…from back, L to R….onion, parsley, lemon zest, capers and cilantro……dried
I made half the recipe. Actual recipe calls for double the ingredients and skate wings instead of cod fish. I used the oven to dry the powder ingredients.
Onion/capers……3 hrs at 150 F
Cilantro /parsley…2 hrs at 150 F
lemon zest…….4 hrs at 150 F
And………those banana chips gave me a hard time. I got freeze dried whole banana(that’s what I got unsweetened)……which wouldn’t powder at all…all gluey. So,….I chopped it fine in my blender and spread as well as possible on baking tray……..2 hours at 200 F and finally it powdered well . Let me tell you it was a relief.
Prepare the cod – 50G v shaped cuts are recommended
Bring 50g water, 50g beurre monte, and green bean rounds to a boil over high heat. Cook until the water has evaporated (about 3 minutes), when the pan is almost dry, remove it from heat and season with 3g salt
bring 150g water and 150g beurre monte to simmer over medium heat, add skate wings and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and flip the wing over and let rest in pan for two more minutes. Transfer to warming tray lined with parchment and season with 2.5 grams of fine sea salt.
Take the tip of a small spoon and make a small mound of the citrus powder, the onion-caper powder, and the cilantro parsley-powder. Swirl these around in a hurricane type pattern. I found that it is easier, and you get finer lines if you lightly shake the plate to flatten out the mounds, then swirl the spoon through it to get the pattern.
peel the remaining banana into very think slices (3mm) fan three slices on the plate, place green beans on top and place skate wing portion on top. On the tall edge, sprinkle the brown butter powder.
Sequence of plating…..banana , green beans, cod and finally brown butter powder
The Skate can be replaced with flounder or cod.
If you can get skate that is not ‘prepared’ IE – Skinned- get the fish monger to prepare it for you.
The powdered cream can be omitted completely, just replace it with more banana powder, or pineapple powder. Possibly non dairy creamer, but I have NO idea what would happen if you tried to brown it.
The poaching liquid is pretty much butter – it could be replaced with other poaching methods. Water, wine, bay leaf, garlic clove, pepper, etc. Try to go easy on the salt in the liquid if you use a replacement.
Disclaimer – the sample dish was made with cod because Skate was not available at the time in Richmond. Whole Foods usually carries it. Check your fish markets before you head out to buy some.
The next day….:-)
Verdict: Husband (since I do not eat meat) found it very very interesting and liked the flavors but wondered if the effort is worth the result. But it’s quite easy to make if the powders are kept ready beforehand as we found out the next day. The dish was good ( I believe ) but pictures are all bleak because it was night by the time I finished…..and I rely solely on natural light :-). Shall try taking better pics next time.
Cod…………….from Whole Foods……1/2 lb……….$ 6.48…….finished
Green Beans…..from Kroger…………..1/2 lb……….$ 0.69…….finished
Cilantro………..from Farmers Market…1 bunch……..$ 1.00…….some left
Banana freeze dried ..Peoples Food Co-op……………$ 2.00…….very little left (we ate some and burnt some;-) )
Powdered Milk….from Walmart………………………..$ 4.30…….lots left
Capers ………..from Meijer………….100 g…………..$ 3.69…..all gone
My only grouse has been measuring everything on the scale…..that must have slowed me down by an hour or so ;-).