Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tasting Menu 56

We are doing a course to honor Paul Newman's passing this week. I had the chance to meet him ounce when I was a young kid. I will always remember how nice he was. On those same lines my wife and I were talking about some things we can do to give back. First I am going to start making the rounds at some local schools. I think it is a great way to get kids involved in the arts. If you know of any class that might be interested in a molecular demo please email me. The next way is to utilize all of our 1/2 acre property at our house next year by growing as much produce as we can. We then plan to make soups and hand them out at the mission downtown. We will freeze most of what we make so we can give during the really cold months. It was nice to be able to bring some produce in for my specials but it will be even better to hand out a warm bowl of soup to someone that really needs it.

Smoked Tasmanian pepper sausage
Homemade ricotta, onion jelly, Guinness reduced romas

New Mexico hatch chili’s
Dover sole, Spanish rice flan, avocado jel

Newman’s own popcorn space foam

Warm foie gras mayo
Crispy crab, shitake, zucchini

Goat’s milk and Mexican vanilla ice cream
Rolled in crispy tortilla with frozen caramel powder
Made table side with liquid nitrogen

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Yogurt with Avacado and Strawberry

The Sausage Experiment

I have not done a lot of charcuterie since culinary school. I wanted to make a sausage using some new ingredients that I have been playing with. In this recipe dry milk has been replaced with butter powder. Eggs have been replaced with methocel and I am using Tasmanian peppercorns to achieve a earthy spicy quality. These sausages will cure for 48 hours and then we will smoke them in Cherry wood.

2 lb Lean beef trimmings ground
1.5 lb Lean pork ground
1.5 lb Pork trimmings ground
1.4 oz Salt
2 oz Butter powder
1 oz Sugar
.05 oz Nutmeg
.3 oz Tasmanian black pepper ground
.05 oz Cardamon ground
2 oz Elephant garlic roasted and pureed
100 g Water
12 g Methocel SGA7C
1/16 tsp Sodium nitrite
3/4 tsp Sodium nitrate
Sheep casings

Heat the water and add the methocel. Pulse with a buerre mixer for 3 minutes. Let it stand for 5 minutes and pulse again. Add all ingredients in a mixer and mix on low speed for 3 minutes. Place in a bowl over another bowl of ice to keep mixture cold. Fill the casings and leave them to cure in the walk-in for 2 days. To finish, poach the sausages for 20 minutes and then cold smoke them for 1 hour

Friday, September 26, 2008

Basil Taco Shell

When I am making a menu I think about items that I have made successfully before and how they can be changed into a texture that I want. I wanted a crispy basil shell that can be picked up and eaten. When I make the onion glass recipe from Ideas in Food, I come up with a slightly taffy like texture. To get the crispy texture I want I added crumiel (honey) powder instead of honey. This will hopefully give me a crispier texture. After experimenting with ratios a few times, this is the finished basil shell

200 grams basil picked from the stems
100 grams sliced onions
30 grams crumiel powder
50 grams glucose
3 grams salt
50 grams water
3 grams Green sosa natural food coloring
100 grams water

Place all ingredients except the 2nd water in a saucepan. Reduce on medium heat until all of the water is cooked out. Place the solids in a blender with the second amount of water pulse for 3 minutes. Cool in the walk-in for 1 hour. Spray a silt pan and spoon a small amount of paste onto the silt pad. Work into a circles with a spatula. Cook in a 210 degree oven for 2 hours. Remove and place over the end of a whisk to get the taco shape.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A day off, finally

Took a few days off this week to try to settle the voices in my head. Chefs love to golf, it is a chance to get out and hit something really hard. On my attempt to play this week I did something I have never seen before. A hole in one, yea right. How about hitting a ball so high that it almost buried itself in the green. Wouldn't this be a cool dish??

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Sorbet dish being frozen

Tasting menu 55

I am posting the menu early this week because I am going to take a few extra days off. I will be here for service on Thursday. It is football time again which means a lot of pro and college teams in the hotel. I can't believe how much food these guys pack away. We had a offensive line guy that put away 8 full omelette's one morning. Has anyone used alum powder? Ratios, recipes?

Heirloom cherry tomatoes
Basil taco shell, yogurt powder, blue cheese jelly

Smoked salmon caviar
Potato latkes, hot sour cream ice cream, pear salad

Minted earl grey sorbet
Made tableside with liquid nitrogen

Chimichurri sheet
Berbere pork, baby corn, red pepper

Miracle fruit pill
Citrus segments, mascarpone, soy bubbles

Friday, September 19, 2008

The miracle fruit pill

I obtained some pure miracle powder off the black market when I ordered my pills fromhttp://www.miraclefruitworld.com/.

Today I got some neutral fizz powder fromhttp://www.le-sanctuaire.com/Whats next? How about a gelatin pill you put in your mouth. As it dissolves the fizz powder is released on your tongue and the properties of the miracle fruit go to work.

The powder I got was very wet. In order to dry it out I added tapioca maltodextrin and gave it a few turns in the blender. I then mixed it with the fizz powder and loaded my pill machine. I will pair the pill with some citrus surprises for the next menu.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tasting menu 54

The 40 second chocolate cake recipe comes from El Bulli. It is a cake batter you add to a isi container with a charge and foam it into a plastic cup that is microwaved for 40 seconds. My wife and I had a great meal at Black Pearl last night from James. It looks like he will be gone soon though. Hopefully we can hook up and cook some day, He is very talented.

Ripe plantains
Guava, aged provolone, scallop ceviche

Pork and champagne pate
Caper sphere, Gewürztraminer foam, alder smoked honey

Sou-vide Snapper
Nitrogen broken vegetables, tobiko powder, yam noodles

40 second cake
Chocolate textures, Lime ice cream made table side
With liquid nitrogen

Mont Blanc field trip

Michael Szyliowicz invited my wife and I to his office on Colfax. We did not know what to expect, was it a factory or a tasting room? To my surprise and delight it was a lab. Here Michael and his mom come up with the ideas for new products. They give there ideas to Nina who is a product development specialist. She uses computer programs and her knowledge of product development with companies like Kraft to invent their chocolate syrup line that is used by some of the largest coffee shops in the World. I talked to Micheal about everything from packaging to distribution to ingredients sourcing. It was inspiring how they picked 1 product and how they make that product the best in the world. If I concentrated on one of my ideas would I have the same effect? They had a whole wall of bags of powders that looked very familiar to me. It was very interesting talking about how my molecular work and product development are so closely related.
Michael gave me a line of their products for a dinner that the company will have here in December. Can't wait to play around with these flavors. I can say this is a carrer that I would love to go into in the furure

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Isomalt garnishes

Here are 2 easy garnishes that give dramatic effects to plated desserts or buffest. We heat isomalt with a small amount of red food coloring and water. We cook the mixture to 320 degrees. We then pour the sugar mixture into a pale of sugar and a bucket of ice. These are the shapes you get. Store these garnishes in a air tight container with limestone. Humidity will kill your sugar work.

Frozen champagne foam

Friday, September 12, 2008

Display ice

When I first came out of high school I was a practical joker. I use to freeze other cooks knives, clogs or uniforms into a solid block of ice on their days off. They would see their suspended items sitting in their work area when they came in. I found in my playing around that if you use hot water you get a clear frozen block Here at the hotel to garnish our raw bar we would freeze muscle shells, pineapple tops or whatever else that was going to be thrown away. Now we color the ice with food coloring. Each night we take the left over unmelted blocks and freeze them into each other. We yield these amazing rainbow patterns that catch your eye when you walk-in. The best part is that there is no cost involved. You could also make a ice plate the same way to present a cold dish or dessert.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11 2001

I will always remember that day. I woke up and got ready to go to work at the Hilltop cafe. I was holding my 3 month old daughter as I turned the TV on. As many other people did, I dropped to my knees and watched in disbelief. My thoughts and prayers today are with the famlies of the workers from Windows on the World.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Tatsing menu 53

We have a few chefs coming up this week to hang out and check out some techniques. It looks like I will be teaching a demo at The Cooking School of the Rockies on November 2. I will post more information when I get a final date.

Tasting menu

Confit organic chicken
Colorado corn waffle, shattered jalapeño whipped cream, maple air

Watermelon consommé
Sou-vide shrimp, black garlic dumpling, scallion pearls

Chicken skin wrapped tenderloin
Béarnaise blanket, beets, flexible asparagus

Chocolate éclair
Crispy choux paste, pastry cream dippin dots
Ganache ice cream made tableside with liquid nitrogen

Yellow scene review

I had a lot of fun watching peoples reaction to the miracle fruit that week

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The noodle factory

As you can see by this picture the ceiling of my work station is a mess. It comes from my noodle bases that explode out of the plastic tubing. Thankfully my friend John from the university of Arizona sent me this system that fits onto my c02 tank. The noodle is pushed through the tubing and cooled in ice cold water. I then turn on the C02 so the noodle is shot out the other end. I can make 4 times the noodles in the same amount of time. I have seen El Bulli use a similar attachment with the whippet canister. This is like their contraption on steroids.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Thank you

I probably don't thank other chefs enough for their influence on my cooking. It goes far back in my life. First is my father, a tireless working chef that would be gone when I got up in the morning for school and absent when I went to bed. He used to show up to my basketball games in his chefs coat to cheer me on. I have learned many lessons from him mainly on how to hang in there when it gets real tough. My grandmother's German cooking as a kid was the ultimate comfort food. Her style certainly helps me get through being creative in the colder months. Television cooking shows were always on in my house. The frugal gourmet was my favorite. I always have thought that my hands are my greatest tool. I did not know my Grandfather in Norway but he also was a culinary instructor in Oslo. I can make the claim that cooking is in your blood. It is like any profession, when you get a head start you become better faster. Molecular cooking has only been my passion for about 1 year. Many chefs have inspired me in this field too. Chadzilla being the first and the most. He is a hotel chef like me and understands the day to day. Ideas in food and Sean Brock are the other two. I have periods of not wanting to look at anybody elses food. I think the only way to be truly creative is not to have any influences. If I see what I believe to be one of my ideas working for someone else I take it as the ultimate form of a compliment. I blog to share and to have something for my girls to have when they get older. Sometimes I am that chef that leaves early and comes home too late.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Tasting menu 52

Hopefully I will have a few days this week to get my head back on. DNC was pretty much a bust for food and beverage. We captured some breakfast and late night business and that was about it. We had a lot of secret service in the hotel for some foreign guest. Overall it was a great week for the city, no major incidents happened. This menu marks 1 year of tasting menus. We are averaging 31 menus per week with 80% of customers ordering wine with their menus.

Tasting menu

148 degree egg
Greek yogurt spaghetti, grilled spinach, feta fritter

Carbonated cantaloupe jelly
Sou-vide New York, smoke, pickled jalapeño

Pomegranate space foam

Coconut fried grouper
Stir fry gelee, edamame air, roasted seaweeds

Warm banana in crispy durian paper
Green bamboo rice pudding ice cream
Made tableside with liquid nitrogen