Thursday, August 26, 2010

French Fries

This is how I make "triple cooked" chips. This idea has been around for a long time, even though it has gotten more attention recently from the likes of Heston Blumenthal. The details that I found were most important(although each detail is infinitely important if you want it to come out right) were the type and age of the potato, the temperature, size and seasoning of the water cooking step, and the first fry. This picasa page has photos to go along with the following recipe.
Freshly dug, middle of the road amylose to amylopectin potatoes(I've tried superior, katahdin, NY114, and carola with great results, 5 lbs is a good starting point, but you could do more)
10000g water
230g salt
3qt oil
2 cup beef tallow
Peel the potatoes and cut them into large fries, the size of the potato will dictate what size is ideal, but they should be around 2cm by 2cm by the length of the longest side of the potato. Place the fries into cold water. In a very large pot bring the 10000g of water to a boil and add the salt. At a rolling boil, add a small amount of fries(you want to pot to recover a boil quickly) and cook for 13 minutes. They will be very soft, but remove them carefully and let them cool on a tray. Keep boiling the potatoes in batches until all are cooked. Let them further cool in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Once fully chilled, bring the oil to 310F. Fry, in batches, until the potatoes have developed a dry exterior and just start to turn color, about 8 minutes. Remove the potatoes, place on a tray, and let fully cool to room temperature(you can refrigerate them). Freeze the potatoes completely, in an air tight container if you are planning for long term storage. Once frozen, remove and let thaw in the fridge. Bring the oil, with the addition of the beef tallow, to 375F and fry the thawed potatoes until they are dark brown. Remove from the oil, lightly sprinkle with salt(they are already pretty seasoned) and serve once they have cooled slightly.
Oh dear...
Creamy seasoned middle, crunchy outside

Make 10 pounds at once, or 50, and freeze them all, then amazing fries are a thaw and quick fry away.
Oh, and remember Russet Burbanks have a high proportion of Amylose to Amylopectin(mealy), fingerling potatoes have the opposite(waxy), carolas are in the middle(trip-fries).


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Blistered Tomatoes

I haven't come across many perfectly peeled tomatoes; it's a method problem. The only method I was taught was scoring the skin and then blanching in boiling water. The idea is that you separate the skin from the flesh without cooking the flesh. This works with tomatoes that aren't very ripe. Truly ripe tomatoes are very soft and get destroyed when using the blanching method. Very small tomatoes are the greatest test.
They have much less mass and overheat in water almost instantly. What you really need is more heat. Using a blow torch is a much better technique. This was suggested to me by my roommate Shiraz Noor, and now we spend our night effortlessly peeling even the ripest cherry tomatoes.

Plate it up!
White soy marinated cherry tomatoes with yuzu kosho, scallion, avocado, and pork terrine.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Scallop Scramble

I've made this before with the whole adductor muscle, but I wanted to see if it would work with that little muscle that most people peel off and throw away.
60g scallop meat(the small muscle attached to the large adductor)
60g heavy cream
10g water
2g salt
6 strands saffron
Blend the meat, cream, and salt until smooth. Pass through a fine mesh sieve. Add the water and saffron to a pan and boil it until almost dry. Turn off the heat and add the passed scallop mixture. Stir the pan with a spatula until the saffron is evenly distributed. Turn the heat to low and stir the scallop until it sets gently, like a soft scrambled egg.

This is what it looked like before cooking, after passing.

Plate it up!
Scrambled scallop with olive oil glazed turnips, English peas and cherry tomatoes

I definitely noticed a difference from when I used the whole adductor muscle, as opposed to just the scrapes, but the scrapes still work. They just need a little bit of the whole muscle to give the same texture; definitely not worth throwing away.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Butter Poached Lamb Heart

Ziploc bags work well for everyday low temperature poaching. This recipe uses a bag filled with flavored butter to act as the cooking medium for the heart.
60g butter
20g white wine
10g cream
4 black peppercorns
1 shallot, peeled and sliced
4 bay leaves
4 sprigs thyme
10 leaves rosemary
1 baby lamb heart
1 tsp. salt
Cook the wine, thyme, bay, peppercorns, shallot, rosemary, and salt in a pan until almost dry. Add all of the cream and then the butter a little at a time while swirling the pan to invert the emulsion. Place the lamb heart into a ziploc bag. Pour the butter emulsion over the heart, press out all of the air, seal, and submerge in a water bath at 68C for 28 hours.
I made this into a ravioli filling.
Plate it up!
Butter poached lamb heart ravioli with braised lamb flap, turnip greens, and a sauerkraut-lamb sauce
It wasn't the texture of a falling apart braise, but it was tender and meaty.