miércoles, 31 de octubre de 2007


So, I have had a lot of time to think, but none to execute. This leads to more thinking and thus, more ideas. One of those inspired by the fact that I lack an Ice-cream maker here...

The original idea was to make a cauliflower crème brulée and serve it with a bitter cocoa sorbet. The fact that I don't have my machine here has led me to think that I could do a "cremeux" in it's place.

More Ideas have come along so far. Some of them are:

  • Cauliflower Gnocci, cocoa sauce: Just a thought really.
  • Cocoa macaron with cauliflower cream: Now I'm really getting in deep... I've never even made macarons.

Anyhoo, more to come when I actually get in the kitchen.

lunes, 29 de octubre de 2007

Molecular Gastronomy... no bull

I'f you've stopped at Khymos, you probably already know about TGRWT (They go really well together). The event consists of creating recipes using a couple (or more) ingredients that "marry" really well according to their volatile aroma compounds.

Martin came up with a clever, albeit not perfect way to come up with the aromatic compounds of a certain ingredient, as was explained here. It involves searching for matches of those compounds between a number of ingredients, usually, some that wouldn't often show up together in menus.

If you ask me, that is REAL molecular gastronomy.

I'm going to make a "late entry" for TGRWT #7. The ingredients are caramelized cauliflower and cocoa so I'm thinking cauliflower creme brulée and bitter cocoa sorbet. I'll probably end up throwing a tuile in there just for kicks.

viernes, 26 de octubre de 2007

Eggless Mayo.

Yup, that's right. It sounds as weird as Fat-free mayo but this one actually delivers what it promises. Apparently Reology investigators from the Universidad de Sevilla, have developped a new emulsified sauce, very similar to mayonnaise in texture, flavor and odor yet free of egg and stabilizing additives.

There is little information on the process of making this "mayo" itself, my guess is that it's mainly due to the fact that the University is applying for a patent on the technique and formula. They do say that the main ingredient is a highly-nutritional dairy product derived from the production of butter.

I'm thinking this might give us a new option for those watching out for their cholesterol levels. Unfortunately, it might end up facing the lactose intolerant market... Time will tell.

Original Note (In Spanish)

jueves, 25 de octubre de 2007

50 Best Restaurants

The list is out for 2007. If anyone in the whole 100 restaurant list is reading... I could use a job!

My samples part 1.

My Activa came in today. I got 200g of two different products: Activa GS and Activa RM. I was told by the people at Ajinomoto that GS can be used the same, but it has a much faster binding.

I hope to get some pics up soon.

miércoles, 24 de octubre de 2007

The Project: Caldo Tlalpeño

I love Caldo Tlalpeño (foto from mexico.canalblog.com. For those of you who might not know it, it's quite simple. Chicken broth with shredded chicken meat, vegetables and chickpeas. Some add rice to it. It also has one of my favorite ingredients in Mexico: chilpotles. It's usually served with garnishes that include avocado and fresh cheese, among other things that may vary from house to house.

In my book, it's one of the ultimate in mexican comfort foods. Thus, I've always been obsessed with tumbling it around. In the "early days" of my involvement with the scientific techniques (a.k.a. I knew nothing except lecithin). I had come up with a Dry version of the soup. It involved making the chicken into some sort of ballotine, a panisse of sorts, broth "aire", avocado in a mousse or cream and some other elements I can't recall right now (I have them written down somewhere at home). It was a very "simple" version of the dish.

Yesterday, armed with a bit more knowledge of what can be done, and drawing inspiration from a lot of places (mainly Alex Stupak, Wylie Dufresne, Sean Brock and Aki and Alex). I am determined to make a newer version of it. I have been thinking of using Activa with the chicken and turn it into some different shape. I might try using tapioca maltodextrin in order to turn the avocado into dust. As for the rest of the ingredients, I still have to think about them.

A sad twist of events

Today, the Mexican postal system made me proud. It turns out Winston Industries, who was present at the Starchefs ICC, sent me a card so I could visit their booth and win a chance to get a CVap. I did see the booth, and I saw the equipment. However, the card didn't arrive until today...

There went my CVap. Then again, considering my current budget, I think I'll settle for the smoke gun.

martes, 23 de octubre de 2007

Sources for inspiration

It has always been alluring to delve into the depths of the newest techniques in cooking. Yet actually starting to experiment with these has taken a relatively long way.

My first encounter with the trends was probably still in school, when one of our buddies started schooling us into the techniques of Ferran Adria. Some of us actually went and bought our ISI canisters. Another thing we met at school was sous-vide cooking. It was such a matter of fact technique for the french, that I wasn't expecting it to be such a big issue when I went Stateside. We did use it in every restaurant I was in. Briffard was a master in it, but having worked for long with Robuchon, it's not surprising.

Briffard also introduced me to "aires". We didn't call it like that and we used no lecithin or any other soy additives. Just emulsions. The same guy who used to lecture us on Adria during school told us about use of "aires" in the restaurant he was working in The Plaza Athenée. I was a bit surprised by how much we used "aires" in Maestro. Both Garde Manger and Entremetier used to have at least two or three every night.

Maestro also introduced me to agar (I had heard about it, but never used it) and my first hot gel. After that, it has been mostly reading that has kept me informed. Then came the Starchefs ICC. Watching so many amazing chefs showcase their techniques really got me into track, so as soon as my samples come through... I expect to start turning things upside down.