Beets

The beets were made according to the ginger-salt roasted beets recipe in the Ideas in Food book. I then turned them into a salad by adding nasturtium and sorrel leaves from my own plants, some chopped scallions, a couple of leftover radishes and some thinned lime juice.

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Egg, Radishes and coffee

I had quite some coffee butter lying in our fridge waiting for me to try out one of the plated egg dishes in Modernist Cuisine, one I never got round to making. Then I remembered I saw this egg dish on some blog (I completely forgot where, so leave me a message if you know), consisting of a soft-boiled egg with white radishes on unidentified green vegetables.  The presentation looked nice, and it got me thinking about a breakfast/tapas dish that doesn’t take too long to prepare. I used regular radishes for this one, prepared sous-vide, and chopped/sliced spring onion for the green vegetables. The coffee butter is used to quickly fry the radishes and onions a bit. I used the guidelines in Modernist Cuisine for the soft-boiled egg.

The result was a well-balanced dish: the egg was silky smooth with a slightly runny yolk (honestly, sous-vide eggs are divine), the radishes and onion perfectly accompanied the egg while giving a very subtle hint of coffee. This one is a keeper!

Quick and dirty recipe

The eggs are first cooked in boiling water for two and a half minutes, then cooled completely. Afterwards, they are cooked in a water bath at 65°C for 40 minutes. Then cooled again, heated with a blowtorch, and peeled. They can be kept like this for two days; to reheat simply warm them in a batch at 60°C for half an hour. From Modernist Cuisine.

The coffee butter is made by sealing 175gr coffee beans and 125gr unsalted butter in a mason jar. Then the jar is steamed for 3 hours. Et voilà, coffee butter. From Modernist Cuisine. (Note: the coffee butter had a really pungent smell when I used it, not at all enjoyable, but the end result was worth it. Don’t know if it is supposed to behave like this, it could also be due to some coffee beans being fried for a while with the butter in the hot skillet.)

The radishes are cooked sous-vide at 85°C for 45 minutes. Again, from Modernist Cuisine.

I sliced the bottom part of the onions in 1mm oblique cuts and made a rough julienne from the upper part. You can of course cut it whichever way you like! Then quickly sauté the chopped spring onions and radishes in the coffee butter (just enough to heat them through). Serve with the heated egg, add salt and pepper to taste. (Instruct the guests to make a cut halfway the egg lengthwise and about three-quarters of the egg wide.)

Pimp your asparagus!

I don’t remember where I got the website from, but a contest called pimp your asparagus catches my full attention. From the onset I decided to work from the überclassic asperges à la Flamande, recreated using modern techniques and a slight twist in taste. And so this Saturday I started preparations for sous-vide white asparagus, sous-vide egg yolk and an instant vanilla hollandaise inspired by Daniël Humm.

Sous-vide asparagus (Modernist Cuisine) Basically following the recipe from Modernist Cuisine, I cooked half a kilo white asparagus (peeled) with 50 grams of butter and 5 grams of salt for 15 minutes at 85°C. It was slightly too salty so I think I would scale it back to 4 grams. Otherwise they were pretty much perfect.

Sous-vide egg yolks (Wylie Dufresne) Oh my God, these were perfect slices of egg heaven. Everything I’m looking for in an egg yolk and then some. In case you want to visit me in my complete euphoric trip, cook strained egg yolks at 70°C for an hour (preferable in tubular form). Another confirmation of my adoration for Wylie Dufresne.

Instant vanilla Hollandaise (Inspired by Daniel Humm) I substituted lemon juice for vinegar because I can’t stand the smell of vinegar, and I’m always very careful when cooking with it (as in, I tend to avoid it altogether by substituting other sour notes where possible). Reduce 50 grams minced shallots with 100 grams dry white wine and 5-10 grams strained lemon juice to a syrupy consistency. Measure 20 grams of this reduction. Blend together with four large egg yolks, seeds from 1-2 vanilla beans (depending on the size) and 20 grams of water, vacuum seal and cook at 65°C for half an hour. Afterwards remove the egg mixture from the bag and blend in 225 grams unsalted butter until completely emulsified. Add some salt and citric acid to taste, then transfer to a siphon. Charge with 2 N2O cartridges and shake vigorously. The original recipe says to keep it at 60°C if not used immediately, should you need this.

Plate with some parsley and white/black sesame seeds. Looks pretty tasty, no? The Hollandaise shifted the tiniest bit I think, maybe because the charger was rather cold. I’m looking into this.