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Archive for the ‘3 Days’ Category

57. Sound of the Sea

Sound of the Sea
Specialty Equipment: water bath, vacuum machine, thermometer
Specialty Ingredients: soya lecithin, sodium caseinate, N-Zorbit M maltodextrin, blue shimmer powder, brown carbonized vegetable powder
Days: 3 (1 month when making the ponzu)
Dish as in The Fat Duck:

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The final dish. I think I’ve easily spent the most time on this dish. Obtaining some of the ingredients was pretty difficult. I say ‘obtaining’, but ‘trying to obtain’ are better words to describe what I did. Cooking the dish itself is actually not that hard, but the thing is in freaking Japanese: thin mouth soy sauce, rishiri-kombu, cod liver oil, shirasu, N-Zorbit M tapioca maltodextrin, blue shimmer powder, brown carbonized vegetable powder, dried dulse seaweed, dried hijiki seaweed, tamari soy sauce, Japanese lily bulb, dried wakame seaweed, shiro shoyu, fresh Codium seaweed, fresh yuzu, fresh sudachi, katsuo bushi, soya lecithin, sodium caseinate. WWWWW-What?!!!

In the end I got to grips with the ingredients, but was not able to get every one. I hope thou can forgive me. Here’s a list of the harder-to-find/possibly unfamiliar ingredients and where you can get them if you were so inclined:

Dried dulse seawead / dried hijiki seaweed / dried wakame seaweed – Almost every Japanese store sells them, although I never encountered dried dulse seaweed and dried it myself.

Fresh Codium seaweed – This was in the end not too hard to find. Two fishmongers could order it, but they both had a minimum order of 1kg, costing 45€. I couldn’t find a store selling it in smaller quantities, so to keep the costs down (and not tip the scale to having been able to eat the tasting menu at The Fat Duck from the combined costs of this recipe) I skipped this type of seaweed.

Thin mouth soy sauce (usu kuchi shoyu) / tamari soy sauce / white soy sauce (shiro shoyu) – The first two are sold by Japanese stores, but the white soy sauce may be a bit harder to find. I’ve dedicated, all in all, days trying to find some. I went online (the ones that sold it didn’t send it overseas), to Japanese stores, restaurants and more. I’m still pretty pissed off thinking about it. I won’t rest until I have some in my possession, although I might not have any need for it anymore.

Rishiri-kombu – Kombu, the Japanese kelp used in dashi, is sold everywhere. There are however a number of varieties and must say I’ve never found rishiri-kombu. In one Japanese store I found almost all the varieties, but they didn’t sold the rishiri one. I used kombu labeled as ‘dashi kombu’.

Japanese lily bulb – I was mislead by the word ‘Japanese’. In fact the Chinese adore the stuff and you can find it in Chinese stores, sold as ‘fresh lily bulbs’. It is tasty as hell by the way.

Shirasu – Almost every Oriental store sells these baby anchovies in the refrigerated section.

N-Zorbit M tapioca maltodextrin – National Food and Starch sends out samples (thanks you guys!).

Blue shimmer powder – Not too sure what it is, but Mandy pointed me to edible glitter and it seems to be the same product. It is sold everywhere. I got it at Ebay, but the weather was not playing along. We’ve been seeing snow and frost like nothing before in early December here in Western Europe. It has affected air traffic, which means my blue shimmer powder is still in the mail.

Brown carbonized vegetable powder – Your guess is as good as mine.

Soya lecithin / sodium caseinate – The first is sold everywhere. I skipped the second powder because it is a foam stabilizer and found that at home it is not really necessary (see the Anjou pigeon dish). If you do want to get it check Ebay for ‘casein’.

So, with almost all the ingredients and some understanding of them all I started with the recipe. I made the ponzu 1 month before finishing the dish. It is made from sake, fresh yuzu, fresh sudachi, mirin, rice wine vinegar, tamari soy sauce, thin mouth soy sauce, katsuo bushi and rishiri-kombu. I substituted the citrus fruits with fresh lime and store bought yuzu juice.

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50. Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh

Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh
Specialty Equipment: pressure cooker, thermomix, water bath, vacuum machine, freeze-drier, rotary evaporator, dehydrator, royale moulds
Specialty Ingredients: gelatine 170 Bloom, gellan LT100, gellan F, sheets of edible gold leaves, golden frankincense tears, twig of myhhr
Days: 3
Dish as in The Fat Duck (can’t find any photos of the dish as served in The Fat Duck):

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Finishing and eating this recipe felt like a blast from the past. I made all the components four months ago, but couldn’t finish it due to a lack of fresh sea urchins. To save me from cooking everything again I chucked the whole lot in the freezer, hoping it would keep until my fishmonger could get his hands on the little sea buggers. In the end everything retained its flavor, but the texture of some things was affected. Nothing serious though. It’s a good thing, cause looking back at the recipe I have to say it’s one of those ‘crazy ass’ ones. Multiple stocks, a royale (jellied stock), pickles and more.

Since the making of the recipe dates back a couple of months it took some time to decipher all the photos on my computer and order them. I think it went something like this – ‘four months earlier…’

Trying out the Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh recipe is like turning your kitchen in a stock-making factory. You need to make no less than five of them. To save time I chopped all the vegetables for every stock from the get-go.

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45. Saddle of Venison

Saddle of Venison, Celeriac and Sauce Poivrade, Civet of Venison with Pearl Barley, Venison and Frankincense Tea
Specialty Equipment: water bath, digital thermometer, pressure cooker, vacuum machine, PacoJet, rotary evaporator
Specialty Ingredients: gellan F, gellan LT100, golden frankincense tears, soy lecithin
Days: 3
Dish as in The Fat Duck:

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This is one of those crazy ass Fat Duck dishes. A main course consisting of three parts requiring lots of preparation time and patience. I’m feeling pretty good writing about it, in that I finished buying the ingredients, cooked everything, photographed the components and put it all online. Phew. A side effect is the fear that has taken over me of cooking the last main course, the lamb extravaganza. I shiver just thinking about it. Where are those straightforward whisk(e)y gums when you need them!

Anyway, on with the extravaganza of today (actually the past week), venison. The recipe instructs to by a whole saddle of deer. I would have loved to take home a saddle of venison, but those things weigh almost 6kg. I talked to the butcher of the poultry section of the wholesaler I regularly visit and explained what I needed. He said they sold the back part of the loin butchered and all. A saddle consists of bones, the two fillets and two loins. It’s difficult to purchase the top part of the loin separated from the saddle, because it is the best part, and is often reserved for the customers buying a whole saddle. I knew I would cook it on a low temperature, so I was more than happy with the bottom, ‘lesser’ part of the loin.

What I did get was real game. The venison I got was not farmed, but true dear from the forests of Austria.

The first step was marinating the loin with thyme for 48 hours. After marinating you have to roll it up to give it an even shape, and vacuum pack it in 150g portions.

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34. Roast Scallop

Roast Scallop, Scallop Tartare, Caviar, White Chocolate Velouté
Specialty Equipment: none
Specialty Ingredients: caviar
Days: 3
Dish as in The Fat Duck and The Book (restaurant photo is low quality):

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There is a huge difference between scallops already out of their shell in a plastic tub and the ones scooped up by divers in the seas, if you have any, near you. I never really liked them until I ate a fresh one out of the shell. No buckets of water. No bitter note. Just sweet tenderness wrapped in beautiful shells. As you can probably tell I was not at all reluctant to start with this recipe. I was a bit worried about the combination of white chocolate and caviar, but honestly not that much, because all the other uncommon combinations in the book went down well.

I found hand dived scallops, but they were not 14cm or more in diameter as specified in the recipe.

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Roast Foie Gras ‘Benzaldehyde’, Almond Fluid Gel, Cherry, Chamomile
Specialty Equipment: vacuum machine, water bath, digital thermometer, pH meter
Specialty Ingredients: malic acid, almond essential oil, gellan F, powdered gelatin 200 Bloom
Days: 3
Dish as in The Fat Duck:

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Continuing from the previous post, I had some problems with the foie gras. Long before it was cooked it broke down, making it impossible to follow the rest of the recipe. I was not about to throw away a whole piece of foie gras, so I pressed the cooked pieces of meat together to form a terrine. I kept one piece though, cooling it in the bag, hoping I could heat it up with the last minute blowtorch action, instead of placing it in a water bath to heat through.

Before the liver turned its back one me, I divided the lobes and rolled them up in clingfilm to give it an uniform look. They were then divided and vacuum packed at full pressure before cooked in a 60°C water bath to the same temperature.

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11. Crab Biscuit

Crab Biscuit, Roast Foie Gras, Crystallised Seaweed, Oyster Vinaigrette
Specialty Equipment: water bath, thermometer, vacuum machine
Specialty Ingredients: maltodextin DE19
Days: 3
Dish as in The Fat Duck:

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A number of dishes in the book use foie gras. I love foie gras, but only in small quantities. It has such a strong taste and is almost pure fat, so I am amazed by people chomping their way through a thick slice. I was once one of those ‘amazing’ people. On a ski trip in France we went to dinner at a local restaurant where a middle aged woman ran the entire kitchen on her own (wow). The restaurant felt like an extended living room of her house. Anyway, I ordered a cappuccino of foie gras and, my god, foie I got. A rich velouté was served in a huge bowl with chunks, no, let me rephrase that, bricks of duck liver. I always finish my plate, and this was no exception, but the next plate was one bridge too far. It fell victim to a full stomach.

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