Rice, sesame seeds, oil, salt. That’s all you need to create some tasty little crispy treats and learn a bit of food science. OK, and a dehydrator. That helps too. But that makes it science-y, right? Right.
What do you need to do this? Use vodka or better yet, everclear. Depending on what you choose you can simply weigh it all out, can it cold, and place in the refrigerator for a few days then strain and you got yourself a nice bit of extract for sauces, marinating, baking, or whatever. Some lend themselves better to going sous vide for about three to four hours. So get to work, there are tons of crazy extracts for you to make!
Flavors I made today:
Saffron, Orange Zest, Candied Ginger (slice ginger thin, make some simple syrup and as it’s cooling down throw in the ginger then place in refrigerator for a day, take out ginger, dehydrate for 5 hours then toss in sugar with a little malic acid), Cocoa Nib, Adobo, Chili Flake, Coffee, and Licorice Root.
The possibilities are endless!
Chioggia Beet – gel and pickled
Parsnip – centers sous vide and fried strands
Cocoa Nib – cooked in sherry vinegar
Russian Blue Potato – steamed
Swiss Chard – pickled
Rutabaga – powdered
Rosemary – fried in potato starch
Turkey Consomme (poured over once presented)
“Modernist Cuisine” is not for most home cooks.
– Michael Ruhlman
“[Modernist Cuisine] looks cool and would be fun to flip through,” he said. “But I don’t need to spend six hundred dollars on a cookbook — I already know how to cook.” This led to my next question — in his opinion, were these techniques even appropriate for the home cook? “Sous vide is great for cooking vegetables and meat,” he replied. “But home-cooked meals are home-cooked for a reason. They’re meant for the home.”
– Domestic Divas
The truth is that this stuff is for the pros.
– New Yorker
Man, do these people bore me. How uninspired. How defeatist. How sad, pathetic, and totally lame.
0 To 60 in 90 Days
I started to cook in December 2009 – about 18 months ago. I had no knife skills, didn’t know anything about Anthony Bourdain or Iron Chef, much less Mugaritz. My refrigerator was empty save for old condiments. I didn’t even notice the front right burner on my stove was larger than the others because I had never used it.
But once I started, I got way into it. Within weeks, I had discovered avant-garde food. By February 2010, I had ordered my first ‘molecular gastronomy’ kit and contacted Scott and Eric to form Jet City Gastrophysics. By March, I spherified my first liquids. By August, I made the red cabbage gazpacho from The Fat Duck. And in October, just 10 months later, I began cooking from Modernist Cuisine, which wasn’t to be published for another five months. I used their PDF excerpt.
Although the title sounds like the beginning of a bad personals ad, this recipe couldn’t be more innocuous. I wanted to play with the notion of a classic shrimp cocktail, and somewhat by accident (and inspired by a brainstorming session with Jethro), I realized that I could dehydrate cocktail sauce and produce something that looked quite a bit like prosciutto. Prosciutto-wrapped shrimp is a great dish on its own, and on first glance, that’s what this dish might appear to be. However, in a single bite, you’ll quickly identify the unmistakable flavor of cocktail sauce.
- Spread cocktail sauce (bottled or homemade – I’ll admit to using bottled) in a thin, even layer on a piece of parchment. Make the layer just thick enough that there are no holes or gaps in coverage.
- Dehydrate in a food dehydrator at 135F for 2-3 hours or until it is dry to the touch. If you don’t have a dehydrator, you may be able to achieve similar results in a low oven with the door cracked slightly.
- Carefully peel the parchment away from the dehydrated cocktail sauce. It will peel away just like a fruit leather. Place the cocktail “leathers” on a silpat or another sheet of parchment – they will stick to counters and cutting boards.
- Cut the leather into strips, 3/4” wide by 7” long (for medium shrimp – adjust the size as needed).
- Cook shrimp using the method of your choice. Refrigerate until cool. Wrap the shrimp in cocktail leather. Serve, and watch for the look of surprise on the faces of your guests.