Friday, December 29, 2006

Adventures in Foam Part I

After a short, but intense trip to Seattle to spend Christmas with family, I really needed a therapeutic cooking session. Cooking is one of the best ways to let your mind forget about everything else and just concentrate on the task at hand.

So I went to our local fish market Aquarius and picked up some Sea Bass in hopes of recreating a wonderful dish we had at Fleur de Sel in New York. It was Hake on cauliflower and truffle puree with a mushroom foam. Absolutely devine and airy. How hard could it be, right?

After a little research online, I found a recipe for something similar that involved a whipped creamer and CO2. My other option was to use gelatin and an immersion blender. I figured the whipped creamer method would work best.

So, I sautéed the mushrooms (shitake, porcini, and black trumpet) with shallots, garlic, rosemary and thyme; deglazed with white wine and reduced; added cream and vegetable stock and reduced again; and finally, blended and placed in the whipper and loaded the CO2. All good, so I thought.

After pan searing the Sea Bass and preparing the cauliflower puree I was ready to plate the dish and add the foam. I thought it might be a good idea to first try out the foam on an empty plate. I turned the whipper upside down and pulled the trigger. Whoah, foam everywhere! It shot foam all the way into the living room, all over the back splash, all over the cabinets...EVERYWHERE! Myself included. Lucky for me, K is in charge of laundry at our house.
Foam Fight

I quickly changed course and decided to unleash the fury of the foam within a mixing bowl placed deep in our sink, and simply spoon the foam onto the plate. So, here's how the dish turned out:

Sea Bass with Foam 1

I definitely need to work on my presentation. Maybe put the foam on top of the puree and place the fish on top. I was hoping the foam would be bubbly and light, but it turned out more like a mousse. Perhaps I should have omitted the cream, or maybe I put too much CO2 in the whipper. I don't know, so if anyone has any tips please let me know. I might also try the immersion blender technique next and see how that turns out. The dish certainly tasted great-- unfortunately it just looked odd.

After all was said and done, any linguring stress from the Christmas adventure was long gone.

- J

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

lol looks likke poopoo

2:33 AM  
Blogger K&J said...

Yeah, it does! It didn't turn out anything like I'd hoped it would. Fortunately, my second attempt turned out much better. See the link below for part II.

-J

10:14 AM  

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