Friday, 31 January 2014

Edible Sea Light

If you think you've eaten everything's possible in this world...then think again.

Three days ago, Spanish chef Angel Leon presented at "Madridfusion" his latest food creation:

The whole auditorium was almost in complete darkness as he explained how their research started 4 years ago catching lemon fish or seriola by using calamari as a live bait. The calamari produced a very weak light inside the water and the chef asked himself if he could bring that light into his kitchen. That was the moment when they discovered the existence of micro-organisms that produce bioluminescence by themselves.

In 1865 Rafael Dubois had already extracted the luciferin and luciferase, two types of enzyme that combined, and in the presence of oxygen, generates the sea light.

After lots of trials, they selected 5 bacteria and 5 micro seaweed. From there the goal was to cook the seaweed without killing it, keeping the PH, the nutrients and salinity necessary to keep those lightening agents alive during the  cooking process.   
During the period of 6 months they experimented with different types of vegetable stocks. Finally they found success in the tomato vegetation water. After 25 minutes of introduction, chef Angel Leon ask to switch off the lights completely and then he exposed 2 flashing jars. 
He then introduced the Edible Sea Light. Everyone in the room stood up and started clapping the chef. For the first time in the cooking history the sea bioluminescence will reach your mouth.

Friday, 30 November 2012

FRUIT MARSHMALLOWS

After a few months away from my blog I will try to keep it updated.... Today's recipe is one of my favourite sweets in the world and really easy to do.

Ingredients:

500 g Caster sugar
100 g Glucose
200 g Water

11 Gelatine leaves

18 g egg white powder
175 g fruit purée

50 g Icing sugar
50 g Corn flour

Preparation:

First of all place the fruit purée with the egg whites into a kenwood or any similar mixer with the whisks on.
Bring the sugar, glucose and the water into boil, till reaches 130 degrees, at that point add the gelatine previously soaked in cold water.
By the time syrup has the right texture, fruit purée will have the right emulsion so pour the syrup slowly and keep whisking till the mix has cold down.
Prepare a baking tray with cling film inside, then seave a mix of icing sugar and corn flower 50/50 and cover the bottom of the tray. Pour the mix into the tray, top up with some more icing mix and cover again with cling film. Place in the fridge for a couple of hours.
Once cold you can cut it in any shape you like. Make sure you pass all the marshmallows again in icing mix before to put away or they will stick together.



Friday, 25 May 2012

CHUTNEYS



Today I gonna talk a bit about Chutneys. What is a Chutney?
Well Chutney is a conserve originally from Asia and imported to countries like UK or France beginning of 17th Century as a delicatessen.
The traditional chutney is usually a mix of spices, fruit and vegetables. This days is very popular in all kind of cuisines due his amazing combination of texture, fruity flavour, spicy and the final touch of vinegar in your mouth.
Is been popular in the Spanish cuisines for the last 10 years but still not the same thing as the traditional Chutneys. The spanish way to do it is softening some shallots with butter, then adding chopped fruit, spices, touch of vinegar and sugar. That's all. The ending product is a very refreshing, very fruity chutney but far away from what it should be...some people even blend it giving it a texture of a sauce.

One of my favourite dishes is the Foie gras mi-cuit, mango chutney and toasted brioche.

This recipe was given to me from an Indian chef and it is very easy to prepare and it couldn't be more tasty.

Mango Chutney

Ingredients:

2 mangoes, peeled and cut is cubes
1 cm finally chopped fresh ginger
1 garlic clove finally chopped
1 shallot finally chopped
250 g demerara sugar
pinch of salt
1 fresh chilli finally chopped or 1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 cardamom pod
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cloves

125 ml vinegar
touch of ground pepper

Preparation methode:

Mix all the top ingredients in a bowl and cover with cling film. Place in the fridge for 8 hours aprox.
I leave it over the night, can be 6 or 10 hours...the important thing is sugar and salt soften the onion, garlic and releases all the mango flavour.
The day after put all the mix in a pot a cook in a medium gas for about 30 minutes, steering every 5 minutes, then add the vinegar and salt and leave cook for another 5 minutes. Have prepared 1 or 2 jam jars ready to pour in. Once the jars are filled close them and put the up side down. Leave it to cold down it self, then you can label it and keep it for a long time. I have some chutneys that I made 5 years a go and still perfect.
I like to finish my chutney before to serve with fresh chopped coriander.











Wednesday, 16 May 2012

FRESH HERBS

Today is sunny in London, so I wanted to make a little post about one of the most important things in the kitchen: fresh herbs.
Coming strawberries

Lemon thyme and sage

Mint

Growing tomatoes
Something so easy to grow, everyone can have their own little pots at home in the garden, kitchen,  balcony, even in the bathroom...
Herbs are in my opinion a very little ingredient but they make the difference between good and great.
As a chef thyme is my favourite one, great for any roast, vegetable stew, and even for ice cream, has many, many utilities in the kitchen.
 I have 2 different types of thyme, the plain one and the lemon thyme. Lemon thyme has a citrusy and very refreshing touch. Goes very well with any fish and infused in cream goes very well for many utilities in puddings.
Other herbs that I have in pots are rosemary, sage, mint, chives, 2 different basils, lavender, coriander, parsley and this year I also planted tomatoes, salad and strawberries.
Rosemary is another great herb to use in kitchen. Fantastic in breads, like the rosemary focaccia, goes also well with dishes like lamb, and combines well mixed with other herbs like thyme, mint, oregano, bay leaves and garlic.
Sage is another of the great herbs, very popular in Italian dishes I use it to marinate with fish, meat, sausages, pasta dishes, vegetables like carrots, peas...and is excellent with any pork dish.
Mint so refreshing is used for equal as a drink than for cooking. Who never had a Mojito before.. Or a mint tea? I use it a lot for dressing with yogurt, combined also with lemon, cumin, coriander...
Goes very well with salads, cous-cous, lamb dishes and vegetables like peas or broad beans.
In pastry has infinity of uses infused and made a sorbet, dried, mixed with sugar, I use it in fresh leaves covered in milk chocolate, and also very good mixed with fresh fruits strawberries, mango, kiwi, berries.
Chives I use it as a substitute of parsley when I don't have it but has his own particular flavour remembering the spring onions...great to add in tartars, salads, and as a final touch of decoration.
Basil is the herb number one in Italy, used in many pasta dishes and blended to elaborate the famous "pesto" where they add parmesan, garlic, salt, pine nuts and Extra Virgin olive oil. Goes very well in salads, like the avocado, mozzarella and tomato. Added also in tomato sauce, fish dishes and pizzas i personally prefer to use it in fresh, as once is cooked loose some of the flavour and loose in visual effect.
Lavender is a very interesting herb with unlimited uses, like mint when used in cooking you don't need to abuse of it otherwise food will taste bitter. Has a more powerful flavour when dried, is used in jellies, ice creams, pork dishes, fishes like salmon and tuna, cream brulees,....
Coriander is one of those herbs that you like it or hate it. Has a strong but fragrant flavour, I use this herb since I moved to London in 2005. Great and basic in elaborations like guacamole, ceviche, curry dishes...Is better to use it fresh as cooked looses most of the flavour. What I do I add half in the middle of the cooking and add the rest just at the end when I stop the gas. Finally chopped and mixed with chillies, garlic and lime juice is a great deep for some vegetable rolls, grilled meat or fish cakes very used in Thailand and South America.
Parsley is the most used herb in Spain, we usually put it every where, salads, finely chopped for topping dishes, elaborations like dishes in "salsa verde"(green sauce) not to confuse with the Italian "salsa verde" with the same name but quite different. The Spanish way is mainly used as a fish stew and basically is garlic, onion, the fish paned in flour, white wine, fish stock and chopped parsley.
The Italian salsa verde is made with just chopped parsley, capers, mustard, basil, mint, anchovies, olive oil, chilli is optional and a touch of salt and lemon juice. Very refreshing in salads, bruschettas and grilled fish like sardines or mackerel.
I also love tarragon but I don't have it yet so I will talk another day about it and hope my tomatoes, strawberries and salad grows well...

Monday, 23 April 2012

23RD OF APRIL: SANT JORDI(ST.GEORGE'S DAY) PATRON OF CATALONIA


Today is Sant Jordi so I will explain a bit about the Catalan tradition and an easy recipe with roses.
La Diada de Sant Jordi  Saint George's Day), also known as El dia de la Rosa (The Day of the Rose) or El dia del Llibre (The Day of the Book) is a Catalan holiday held on 23 April, with similarities to Valentine's Day and some unique twists that reflect the antiquity of the celebrations. The main event is the exchange of gifts between sweethearts, loved ones and colleagues. Historically, men gave women roses, and women gave men a book to celebrate the occasion—"a rose for love and a book forever." In modern times, the mutual exchange of books is also customary. Roses have been associated with this day since medieval times, but the giving of books is a more recent tradition originating in 1923, when a bookseller started to promote the holiday as a way to commemorate the nearly simultaneous deaths of Miguel Cervantes and William Shakespeare on 23 April 1616. Barcelona is the publishing capital of both Catalan and Spanish languages and the combination of love and literacy was quickly adopted.
In Barcelona's most visited street, La Rambla, and all over Catalonia, thousands of stands of roses and makeshift bookstalls are hastily set up for the occasion. By the end of the day, some four million roses and 800,000 books will have been purchased. Most women will carry a rose in hand, and half of the total yearly book sales in Catalonia take place on this occasion.
The sardana, the national dance of Catalonia, is performed throughout the day in the Plaça Sant Jaume in Barcelona. Many book stores and cafes host readings by authors (including 24-hour marathon readings of Cervantes' "Don Quixote"). Street performers and musicians in public squares add to the day's atmosphere.
23 April is also the only day of the year when the Palau de la Generalitat, Barcelona's principal government building, is open to the public. The interior is decorated with roses to honour Saint George.
Catalonia exported its tradition of the book and the rose to the rest of the world. In 1995, the UNESCO adopted 23 April as World Book and Copyright Day.




Today's recipe is a Rose and Lychee pannacotta.

Ingredients:
700 ml Double cream
100 ml Milk
1 vanilla pod
80 g sugar
6 gelatine leaves in cold water
50 ml rose water
70 g chopped lychees
Preparation: 
Bring to boil the cream, milk, rose water, sugar and vanilla. Place on a side and let infuse for a good half an hour. Remove the vanilla pod, warm up again and add the gelatine and lychees. Prepare a cold bain marie in a big bowl with cold water and ice cubes. Place the pan inside the cold bain marie and stir till start thickening. Place in the serving terrines, glasses, cups or glasses where you gonna serve it and put in the fridge for 3 more hours. Decorate with some fresh roses julienne or caramelised petals.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

El Bulli to Open a Restaurant, Compartir(Share) in Cadaques, Girona


elBulli Chefs to Open a Restaurant, Compartir, in Spain

oriol-mateu-eduard-elbulli-cadaques-eater.jpg
Oriol Castro, Mateu Casañas, Eduard Xatruch [Photo: Jaume Andreu]
The website Gastroeconomy reports that the three chefs de cuisine of elBulli —Oriol Castro, Eduard Xatruch, and Mateu Casañas — will open an informal restaurant, Compartir, in the town of Cadaqués, Spain. The restaurant is about forty minutes from elBulli and is housed in a historic residence that boasts a terrace. It opens at the end of the month.

As the name suggests ("compartir" is the verb "to share" in Spanish), the menu will be made up of 35 to 40 items designed for sharing. According to Casañas, "It won't be creative or traditional cooking... it will be simple, easy to understand, and without pretension." Reservations can apparently be had here or at +34 972 258 482.
The three chefs, for years considered Ferran Adrià's right-hand men, have their boss' blessing and will continue to work on elBulli Foundation. "If you have the best, you have to give them those opportunities," said Adrià.

AIR BAGUETTE'S

Today I did some Air-baguette's for a Birthday party I'm working on tomorrow night.
Some of you are going to ask yourself, what is an Air-Baguette?
Air Baguette comes from El Bulli creation and they were looking for the lightest bread as possible having at the same time the crispest bread texture.
After years of research they came with this wonderful creation of bread, completely empty from inside and really crispy from outside. This bread has the advantage of being stuffed with a mousse, and usually just served with some Iberic charcuterie jamon, chorizo, pancetta, etc served with a touch of paprika, or grated tomato and Extra Virgin olive oil.

If you are adventurous and want to try this recipe, here it is:

480 g of plain flour
6 g of salt
280 g milk
15 g yeast
45 g mother dough

Preparation:

Mix all the ingredients, and leave it one night to raise. Roll it very thin about 2mm of high. Then cut it with any cutter you have at home.
Bake at 210C for 4 minutes
Enjoy!