Home Cooked

Homemade: Seared threadfish

Seared threadfish, cooked on a saute pan till an internal temperature of 50C.

Potato cut outs cooked in duck fat, constant basting

Thyme

Ratatouille(baked)

I recently had the tasting menu at Pollen, one of the mains was a beef dish, it had three sauces on the plate- a pesto, a jus, and a parmesan cream. There was no major flaws with the dish, and it tasted well, but it got to a point where it was confusing as to how the dish was meant to be eaten, do I mix the pesto with the condiments, and eat the beef with the jus and parmesan cream? Or does it work the other way around. There were too many permutations. It made me re-evaluate the food I cook, if the diner cannot see the vision and message of the dish in 1-2 bites, then perhaps the dish is too noisy.

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Home Cooked

Homemade: Scallop Garden

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Paste: Roasted walnuts – Anchovies – Fish sauce – Water – Sugar – Mascarpone cheese

This is a variation off of David Chang’s variation, I added mascarpone cheese to tone down the ‘fishiness’ of the paste, also to give it a more creamy, melt in your mouth kind of mouthfeel. The paste binds the dish together

Edible ‘Soil’ : Dehydrated black olives

Idea was that tapenade is one of the first condiments I think of when I think of eating scallops, just borrowing flavors that I think work well together

Radishes

Fresh radishes, refreshed in ice water. Brings a freshness and textural crunch to the dish

Scallop carpaccio infused with yuzu vinaigrette

Yuzu vinaigrette is made from yuzu juice, yuzu powder, yuzu gel concentrate, ginger, splash of sesame oil. Scallops are sliced fairly thick, about half a centimeter so that they do not get lost in the midst of all the components. They are tossed in the vinaigrette and put into a iSi whipping cream canister, charged with N2O, this is basically nitrogen cavitation, marinating the scallops in a matter of seconds

Miso Tuille

Sweet, salty, umami bomb. This is just downright fucking delicious. Works with fish, shellfish, chicken, on its own etc…

Chive Oil

Olive oil blended with blended chives, strained

Ham&Bacon Gelee

The idea to use this is based on a very classic appetizer, bacon wrapped in scallops. I am simply borrowing flavors from dishes that already exist. Ham and bacon pieces put into a pot, covered with water and boiled till you get a ham&bacon stock, set in gelatine

Spring onion ‘grass’

Spring onions sliced lengthwise, refreshed in ice water

Home Cooked

Homemade: Seared red snapper

I really don’t cook fish often enough, I find it tougher to cook compared to say, steak, where I can more or less gauge the doneness of the meat by pressing on it. I really wanted to use grapefruit since it ranks highly on the pairing chart, but it is out of season in Singapore. So I went with the one of the first ingredients that popped into my head when I thought of tamarind- Pineapple. This didn’t show up on the pairing chart but I think they work very well together

Seared red snapper, braised leek, caviar and quinoa, diced pineapple, coriander, tamarind and green tea broth

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Home Cooked

Home Cooked: Green tea & Azuki bean Mille crêpe cake

No recipe, I just need to archive some notes


Thoughts: 

Crepes need to be cooked thin so that they can be cut with a fork, otherwise they will be more of a fork and knife kind of dessert

Batter should be thin in consistency, almost similar to water. Initial temperature of pan cannot be too high, otherwise the crepe batter will not be able to swirl, and the edges will end up significantly thinner.

Azuki makes for an awesome pastry cream filling, but the addition of azuki beans draw out some of the moisture and creaminess of the pastry cream. Ideas on how to balance this out: Quenelle of green tea whipped cream, or… Green tea dulce de leche(need to balance out sweetness), or some form of green tea based sauce

Cooked thin, approximately 13-15 crepes layers is sufficient.

Doing a brulee, like in the first pic, causes the pastry cream to melt quickly. And I preferred a dusting of green tea powder anyway

Home Cooked

Home cooked food update

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.


Deconstructed Eggs benedict: Shattered Serrano ham, poached egg whipped egg whites, sous vide egg yolk, hollandaise painted onto the plate, aerated brioche, dill

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.



Gnocchi in browned butter and sage, slow roasted chicken, , dehydrated chicken skin crisp, mushroom cream sauce, blanched carrot and soy beans, caramelized orange segments

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!

 

 

 

Home Cooked

Home cooked: Hestons flowerpot Tiramisu

Get the recipe here: http://www.channel4.com/4food/recipes/chefs/heston-blumenthal/tiramisu-recipe

Modifications made: I added another soaked finger layer, plus I soaked the fingers in baileys insted of Marsala. I also included baileys ‘worms’, which are basically grated baileys jelly. I replaced the grapenuts with cornflakes because I couldn’t find grapenuts in Singapore, on hindsight, I should’ve used a darker coloured cereal.

Pros: The cream portion is delicious, very light and aerated, which is why the recipe calls for gelatin. The soil is probably my favorite portion of the tiramisu, and the crunch you get from the soil makes for an interesting contrast with the cream.

Cons: The cream does go a little soft and flat if it has been out of the fridge for a while, possibly more so because of the weather in Singapore. The cream is a little sweet as well.

Thoughts and tips: It’s important to stir very vigorously while you add the chocolate to the melted sugar, otherwise it will crystallize into large lumps. That being said, watching a sugar syrup crystallize into a chocolate soil has got to be one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. My friend over at La Petite Vancouver mentioned that he had success using kahlua instead of Marsala in the cream, that might be a a substitute worth trying as well. The chocolate soil keeps in the freezer and can be made beforehand to save time. It is finished with the hazelnut oil to give it a ‘wet’ look. Overall, it is visually stunning and a fun dessert to have, although it is a little time consuming for a tiramisu, it is well worth the effort.