I haven’t posted anything for my home cooked section recently, not because I haven’t been cooking, but because I have so many backlogged restaurant entries, I’m still finishing up Tokyo, and I recently came back from Hong Kong, so I’ll be trying to get those posts out as soon as possible. I have been cooking quite a bit, especially after my trip back from Tokyo, I was inspired by a lot of the food I had there and came back brimming with ideas.
As an update for what has been happening in my home kitchen, I’ve tried to move away from Sous-vide over the last few months, I still sous vide, but I try to utilize it as a technique so that it doesn’t become the forefront idea or most important part of a dish, like “Oh hey here is a sous vide steak, and I finished it with a dash of pepper and some soy sauce, the sides are frozen peas and carrots that I microwaved”, I’ve also tried to make a bigger effort to plate dishes, as well as moving away from recipes, and developing dishes based on ideas, memories, thoughts, events that happen to me or around me and eventually pave the way to a dish.
I’ve also purchased a dehydrator, in the hope that I would be able to replicate getting the texture of a ‘crisp’ fruit (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Subway has little packets of these sliced fruit crisps that you can take as a healthier alternative to chips, they are ridiculously delicious), unfortunately, I quickly realised that it is the process of “freeze drying” that enables fruit slices to achieve a crisp texture, not dehydration. Dehydration tends to lead to more leathery fruits. I was quite disappointed initially because I was really looking forward to crisp fruit garnishes, but I just went though a phase where I threw everything I had and could think of into my dehydrator to figure out what I could use it for- Bread, leftover cake, ham, beans, peas, carrots, every kind of fruit you can think of, chicken skin, herbs, fruit purees, vegetable purees, jelly, eggs, chocolate. Most fruits, although they do not crisp up, intensify greatly in flavor, and if you are able to incorporate a slightly chewy texture into your food (I’ve done dehydrated oranges in mash potatoes and it works), it can actually be incredibly delicious. Crisping up thinly shaved ham slices is another one of my favorites.
Regardless, here are some of the dishes that I’ve made recently.
Medium rare lamb dusted with curry powder, Laksa pasta, laksa leaf and parsley oil puree, cucumber-grape salad in yogurt with mint and lemon confit
This was a dish triggered by the aroma of a lamb dish I had in Robuchon Atelier Tokyo, the original dish was lamb dusted with Raz El haout, I distinctly remember putting my nose to the dish and the first thing that hit me was ‘curry’. After coming back to Singapore, I started to play around with the idea of cooking a lamb rack dusted in curry, the first flavor I associate with curry is laksa, so I jumped onto the idea of a Laksa pasta.
There were two spicy components and I wanted something to cut the heat, flavors I associate with curry lamb- Yoghurt, cucumber, and grape, sort of middle eastern inspired flavors. This was the dish that I ended up with, built through flavor association.
I dropped my iPhone a few weeks ago and it shattered the back, I remember thinking that the segmented glass actually looked like a really cool pattern, and wondered how it would translate into the plating of a dish, I eventually tried building something around that concept, using techniques that I have tried and tested before, moulding them to fit into the theme of an eggs benedict.
Asparagus garden: Blanched asparagus, Dill ‘weeds’, dehydrated olive soil, aioli, lemon-mascarpone foam
This came about because of a picture I saw in my friend’s facebook photo album, Les Creations de Narisawa, one of the restaurants that I wanted to go to in Tokyo but didn’t get a chance, serves their butter in the form of a ‘plant’, the block of butter is coated in some faux ‘moss’ and dehydrated olive soil. I have made Hestons flowerpot tiramisu and I loved the concept of plating a dish in a flowerpot, and I immediately took the idea of an olive soil and just ran with it, trying to build around a ‘garden’ theme. The aioli and lemon-mascarpone foams were chosen based on a gut feeling, and they worked surprisingly well, the brightness and acidity of the lemon mascarpone foam, paired with the more robust and rich aioli, the crisp and intense tasting olive, somehow didn’t overpower the asparagus, it actually made for a really delicious dip.
I built this around making gnocchi for the first time, since my sis has been going on and on about gnocchi, and its not a common dish in Singapore. Gnocchi is surprisingly easy to make, I went for a baked potato as opposed to a boiled one, ran it through the ricer, then through a tamis. The texture was pretty good, pretty fluffy on the inside, although it really does get quite heavy after a few pieces. I wanted to go with braised beef to pair with the gnocchi, but truth be told I was just too lazy to go out and get all the components for a braise, I ended up doing a roast chicken, The slow roasted chicken is a modification of Hestons recipe, unfortunately my oven only goes to 70C, so thats what I used, the skin was pulled off, roasted at a higher temperature, then dehydrated. I love the combination of mushroom and chicken, so thats what I went with. I attempted to do a roux/thickener-less mushroom cream sauce, where I reduce mushroom stock down to a syrup, add cream and finish with butter, but it was far too salty and I had to temper with milk and flour. Wanted the orange segments to spruce up the dish, provide some sweetness and acidity to cut the richness of the mushroom and heaviness of the gnocchi. Overall it worked pretty well together
Because I dont have enough time to write up a post for every individual dish that I make, you can still keep track of my home cooked dishes over here
Enjoy and keep cooking!