So, about a month ago I joined this food blogging group called The Daring Kitchen which hosts monthly challenges for cooks and bakers…the idea being to stretch your culinary skills and experiment with recipes you might not do on your own. Sounds just like me, right? Of course!
So, I was delighted to see that the first challenge I would be participating in was one of molecular gastronomy using a recipe from the famous Alinea cookbook by Grant Achatz…because these are the kinds of crazy things you see occasionally by a renegade on Top Chef, but just don’t ever think you’ll bother to do at home! Thanks to this month’s host, Sketchy, we would all be stepping way out of the ordinary kitchen box.
Cod, Traditional Flavors Powdered
So here’s the general idea…you take a bunch of traditional flavors (cilantro, parsley, lemon, capers, onion, butter) and turn them into powders to accompany your fish…which makes for some fancy plating. Then throw in some green beans (poached in beurre monte – which is a fancy way to say butter sauce) and bananas. Yes, you read that correctly: Bananas. And here is one version of what you might have:
The recipe in it’s entirety is kind of long and involved, but I just want to say that this was a really fun experiment and the poaching-in-butter technique is definitely a keeper. My favorite surprise of the whole recipe was the bananas, for sure. I kept thinking as I was plating our dinner, “These bananas are just going to be weird.” But they actually worked really well and lent a great deal of moisture to the dish.
The powders, while interesting, didn’t add as much as I expected to the dish. Almost more texture than flavor, really. Unless I had them on-hand already, I’m not sure I would use them again. Although the citrus/lemon powder (the bright orange one) was really tasty.
Clockwise from the top these are: brown butter, lemon/citrus, caper, cilantro/parsley.
All in all it was a fun way to start what was probably our last “date night” before the new baby arrives. And I’m so grateful to be married to someone who looks at a plate full of powdered-covered fish atop beans and bananas and says, “Wow, this looks fun!”
Looking forward to what next month holds at The Daring Kitchen – thanks Sketchy!!
(If you want the recipe in it’s entirety, reply in the comments and I’ll send you the version from Sketchy or you can download it here.)