Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Kitchen Practice

Shrimp, cucumber with cuke "angel hair," in rice wine vin, radish, spinach and lime.  I created this dish because I wanted to practice something I had read about which was to mix Activa with the shrimp then vacuum seal it and pound it out.  I had tried this several other times, cooking the shrimp first then cutting in thin slices and rolling out between plastic wrap, slicing thin, freezing, on and on.  This pounding method, raw, in the food saver baggie was one thing I didn't think of.  Great result.

Same dish-another shot.

This one was created in a similar way but I cut the shrimp differently... The main ingredient of this dish, the avocado, was pounded out in a similar fashion in the food saver baggie but no Activa and was frozen (another technique I read up on).  I took it out of the freezer to just temper a bit and assembled it while partially frozen or else the avocado will just become mush.  Before I ate it I let it warm.  There is also the addition of dulse seaweed, radish spouts (courtesy of moi) and quail egg-one of my new little obsessions.  I love them.

In this pic I cubed the shrimp.

Today I wanted to practice my chiccaron skills.  Lately I've been working on making a Westmalle Trappist Dubel and Oyster "cracklin," or chiccaron.  I can't seem to get it just perfect and aerated enough but I'm continuing to work on the recipe... However in the meantime I thought I would practice by first better understanding the fundamentals of true skin chiccarones.  I cleaned the skin as good as possible, vacuum sealed it and then cooked it sous vide at about 140 for 30-50 minutes, something like that.  Then I let it cool, removed it, and scraped the skin a bit more until all that was left was skin.  It's sticky, beware.  I dehydrated it at 160 for about 2 to 3 hours, until completely brittle, and then fried it in canola oil at 375.  They were perfect, so good. Again, I put the salmon skin with quail egg, salmon roe and cocoa.  I used this flavor combo because I'll be having a similar dish on my Spring menu but that dish will be a little more elaborate and hopefully I can get Shad roe!  This is really a fun flavor combination.  

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