Sunday, June 27, 2010

Friday, June 18, 2010

Tweaking




Olive-Brined Chicken Thigh
White Chocolate Potato Pureé
Burnt Onion Jus
Fava Bean
Carrot
Yuzu Vinaigrette

The top photo is first attempt and assembly of dish. Knowing it needed something more, I tweaked it a bit the next night. I brined the chicken thigh's overnight, rather than for one hour. I added carrots and yuzu for acidity and snap. I added horseradish and parmesan to the white chocolate potato pureé and Angostura bitters to the burnt onion jus. Thus, the bottom photo.

It's still missing something. As tempted as I am to add fruit to every dish, I'm trying very hard to not throw apples on the plate. It would give it the juicier component, but it might be too sweet with the white chocolate. I thought of pecans because the chicken brine was a mixture of natural olive brine and fenugreek that i steeped in a simple brine (water/salt/sugar). I always find fenugreek and pecans to have a natural maple flavor to them and feel they should be paired for that reason.

I will say my favorite combination on the plate is the fava beans and wh. choc. potato pureé. I could eat that by itself for lunch.

It needs another sauce. Maybe a carrot pudding/yogurt infused with the yuzu.
Maybe a crumble of sorts. More crunch. More acid. More wetness.

Any suggestions?

Human Beans

There's a lot to be noticed about the fava bean. Between stalk and bean lies a thin white layer that resembles wet styrofoam (yummy). Like polyester pajamas, these stalks are undressed to reveal off-chartreuse pods, newly born as if they were opening their eyes for the first time. So, tonight I'm the OBeanGYN, giving birth to these fresh, in season favas.

Now, of course, the next question is to what to do? How do I raise these little pods to grow into cultured and sophisticated individuals? Never cooking them before, I decided to gnaw on a raw bean, took a nibble of the outer layered stalk (tastes like tough bean sprouts), even slurped a sliver of the styrofoam-y lining. I find it very important to explore all possibilities of produce in its raw state as possible (I'm still considering making a salad of the spongy styrofoam). Finding the raw bean chalky, as expected, I went to the next logical step of blanching. Then I just went for a full boil of about 5 minutes.

Once tender, they tasted great. Didn't even really need any salt, although I tested one with salt and olive oil.

With the proper pairings, I don't think I should touch these beans any further. I've put them on standby in the fridge and will only use them that way. Cold and pure. I'm very excited.