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Daring Cooks # 3 Cod, traditional flavors powdered

Posted by vivnidhi on July 14, 2009

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………

Definitely…Miss Measure….Miss Measure at 180 x 180 (largest)presents


Cod with Traditional Flavors Powdered……the red is paprika

Skate, Traditional Flavors Powderedwith 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
lemon powder
cilantro/parsley powder
‘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.

citrus powder
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.

cilantro/parsley powder
75g cilantro
75g parsley

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.

onion powder
50g cup minced red onions

dehydrator – 130 for 12 hours
microwave at medium power for 20 minutes.

pulse in grinder, pass through chinois

Caper powder
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.

July2_21 July2_22

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.

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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

Total……………………………………………………..$ 18.16

My only grouse has been measuring everything on the scale…..that must have slowed me down by an hour or so ;-).

Posted in - Cod, - Milk Powder, - Red onion, - Smart Balance, -Banana, -Cilantro, -Green Beans, -lemon, -Parsley, Capers, Daring Cooks | Tagged: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Salmon Tikka

Posted by vivnidhi on December 23, 2007


Salmon Tikka

Certainly not my genes, I wondered aloud as I saw my son just devour the tikka pieces I had prepared for my husband. And, hubby dear had hopes of eating these in two meals! But the entire 6-7 oz fillet of salmon was gone in one meal just between my husband and two year old. My son did not eat anything else besides this. I think anyone who is fond of fish should like this tikka recipe.

This can be made very quickly if only you have the time to marinate the fish. My husband certainly gets the credit for this recipe as he wanted me to try it with tandoori masala and yogurt. Since I had no readymade masala at home, I made this up….(hey! who gets the credit…..you are the judge;)) But anyway, let me be honest, I only prepare the marinade, handling  the fish and checking its done-ness etc. is all my husband’s job:).

The Recipe:

  • Salmon fillet 8 oz.
  • Yogurt 1/2 cup
  • 1″ piece of ginger minced fine or ginger paste
  • 2 cloves garlic minced fine or garlic paste
  • Chili powder 1 tsp.
  • Coriander (Cilantro/ Dhaniya)  Powder 2 tsp.
  • Garam Masala 2 tsp.
  • Dry mango powder (amchur powder) 2 tsp.
  • Poppy seeds ground to a powder 2 tsp.
  • Fennel seeds/saunf ground to a powder 2 tsp.
  • Mint leaves chopped very fine or grinded to a paste 1 Tbsp.
  • Salt 2 tsp.

The list is long but almost everything is just an assembly task. Defrost the fish if frozen or skin it it if fresh. Cut it in bite size pieces. Mix all the ingredients and adjust salt as per your preference.


Yogurt, minced ginger, garlic, salmon pieces and dry masalas……….all ready to be mixed up

Marinate the fish in the refrigerator for one hour. Heat the oven to 400°F /200°C . You could use aluminum foil on a baking tray (for easier cleaning) and grease it using an oil spray. Spread the salmon pieces and top them with all the left over marinade.


Salmon pieces ready to be baked.

Bake in the oven for 5-6 minutes, turn and bake again for 5-6 minutes. The fish should flake easily when done. I have got rave reviews for this one! Garnish with sliced onions and lemon slices. These can be eaten with naan, rice, parantha or you can try it like my son…..just plain:).


Salmon Tikka

Posted in -Salmon, Fish | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Salmon Biryani

Posted by vivnidhi on December 19, 2007


Salmon Biryani

So, after losing my entire post, I am back, re-posting the original recipe.

I am a vegetarian and so I have not tasted the recipe I write here. My husband likes to call himself a ” wannabe vegetarian”.  He is extremely fond of non-vegetarian food but to make better choices nutrition wise, he likes me to try recipes with fish. This salmon biryani recipe is a favorite of my husband’s.

I searched various sites and blogs for a biryani recipe with Salmon but just didn’t find any. I decided to give it a try myself. My Bade and Chhote Nawab were quite impressed with the result and hence the post. The search for a perfect biryani recipe led me to Kitchen wonder’s Chicken Biryani recipe which had a very informative post on Biryani history History of biryani.

The Recipe:
(For 4 servings)

  • Basmati rice 2 cups
  • Salmon fillet 8 oz.
  • Milk 1/4 cup

For the Marinade:

  • Yogurt 1 cup
  • Chili powder 2 tsp.
  • 1″ piece of ginger minced fine or ginger paste
  • 2 cloves garlic minced fine or garlic paste
  • Coriander (Cilantro/ Dhaniya)  Powder 2 tsp.
  • Garam Masala 2 tsp.
  • Dry mango powder (amchur powder) 2 tsp.
  • Poppy seeds ground to a powder 2 tsp.
  • Fennel seeds/saunf ground to a powder 2 tsp.
  • Mint leaves chopped very fine or grinded to a paste 1 Tbsp.
  • Salt 1 Tbsp.

For Tempering:

  • Cinnamon 2″ piece
  • Black Cardamoms 2
  • Peppercorns 8
  • Bay Leaves 2
  • Cloves 4
  • Saffron a big pinch
  • Oil/ Ghee 2 Tbsp.

For Garnish:

  • Onions (Cut into rings) 2
  • Cashews 1/4 cup
  • Green Bell Pepper(medium size)  1/2
  • Tomato (medium size) 1/2

Prepare the fish by skinning it or defrost if using frozen. Cut the salmon in bite size pieces. Mix all the ingredients of the marinade and marinate the fish in it for 1 hour.


Marinated salmon

I am very careful when I deal with Basmati rice. Here in the U.S., basmati rice is the norm in Indian homes, but in India , in my house, basmati was always saved for special occasions cause it was so expensive. My mother made sure that each grain of rice remained separate. She had devised a technique of cooking rice and I follow it completely. Do not rub the rice much with hands when washing it for fear of breaking the grains. Soak the rice in ample water for 20-30 minutes. Heat a large amount of water in a deep pan and bring it to a rolling boil on high heat. Drain the soaked rice and add it to the boiling water. Reduce the heat to medium high. Soaked rice cooks quite fast so check if the grains have softened after 10 minutes. Then strain the rice in a colander and throw the water. Fluff the rice with a fork. For biryani, I like to strain the rice before the grains soften completely.

Heat the oil (preferably ghee, if you can indulge) and add all the tempering ingredients except saffron. Add this hot tempering to the rice when the whole masalas start getting a little brown and when your neighbors start getting drawn to the aroma coming out of your kitchen. Well! don’t start looking for neighbors, the masalas might get burnt!!. Heat the milk to lukewarm and add saffron strands to it. Add the milk to the rice as well.  This is definitely a longer method of preparing the rice but I find it foolproof.


Rice tempered with whole spices and saffron

Preheat the oven to 400° F /200° C .  Cook the salmon pieces in the oven for about 4 mins, remove from oven, turn and cook again for 4 minutes. I like to add all the marinade along with the fish and save all the leftover marinade along with the fish after its cooked.

Meanwhile, prepare the garnish. Heat oil ,fry cashews and keep separate. In the same pan, fry the onions till crisp.  Slice bell pepper and tomato thin.

Gosh! Are we done yet? Nope! Heat the oven to 400° F. In an ovenproof casserole, layer 1/3 of the rice at the bottom , then 1/2 the fish along with the marinade and repeat. The top must be a layer of rice again. Garnish the biryani and cover it well with an aluminum foil. Keep it in the oven for 10 minutes.

Whew! Long process but the effort is completely worthwhile when the Nawabs relish it! Tastes great with mint chutney and raita.


Treat fit for the Royals!

I would like to send this recipe  to Sunita for her monthly Think Spice event which features cinnamon this month. I believe this biryani would be incomplete without cinnamon in the rice.

Some nice biryani recipes I came across are RP’s My workshop Fish Biryani, Pachakam.com’s Fish Biryani , Kitchen Wonder’s Chicken Biryani and Bawarchi’s Vegetable Biryani

This a big favorite at our place. Hope you would like it too!

Posted in -Salmon, Rice | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »