Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tasting Menu: Fall Memories part. 2

Course 7: Bean Soup
This was my favorite course to make. As a child I loved fall and winter nights where my mom would serve us bean soup. She would soak white beans over night, then cook them all day the next day with a ham hock, and typically with corn bread. We would wrap up in blankets in front of the TV and eat and fart - those were great times! In my updating of this family classic I started with two varieties of rare beans: Spotted Horse 4-Corner beans and Chaco Canyon River Runners. Both or gorgeous:

I cooked these with La Quercia organic pancetta from Iowa and made my mom's soup. I pureed the soup, finished it with chestnut oil spread it on a sheet (adding some elements to help it keep its structure), added a sliver of summer black truffle, and baked the soup into crackers.

I then cooked a bunch of Niman Ranch bacon and converted the juices into bacon powder using tapioco maltodextrin. At the farmers market I found a rare corn - Hopi White Flint corn. That was roasted, juiced, and made into a soup with a bit of brown sugar, green chile and other cornbready type seasonings.

In the final service I plated the cracker over the powder, and did a tableside pouring of the corn soup. Tyler said that this was one of his favorite courses of the evening.

Course 8: Patè
Having just secured 10 locally raised, freshly processed rabbits, and being gifted 10 pounds of rabbit liver, I set out to make a patè - my first ever. I added some brandy, currants and braised apple. I formed it in a PVC pipe to make a round.

And then served it with a ginger pulp triscuit

and baby carrot candied with palm sugar and sechuwan pepper, and asparagus espuma.

Course 9: Lobster
This was another great tasting dish. I infused a couple of lobster tails in coconut milk with saffron, then did a gelatin/agar mixture to allow me to create a warm "noodle" of the mixture.

Next, I created a chestnut flour w/black truffle pasta, filled it with summer squash

and made ravioli.

The final plating included a squiggle of 25-year balsmico. muscovado smear, and balsamic glazed squash seeds.

Not the prettiest plating, but very good.

Course 10: Rabbit Goat
Speaking of not the prettiest...

No, I didn't serve maggots! This is wild rice that I puffed for a savory granola (celery root, onion and rice). And again, speaking of not the prettiest...

Sous vide cooked rabbit that was later shredded and filled into the granola.

In the final plating: the granola rabbit topped with a sunchoke gratin filled with truffle cheese; fresh tortilla, avocado mousse, goat carnitas and a squirt of juniper berry cream. The plating sucked because we had some dish washing issues, but it was all good, if not a bit much for one plate.


Manggy said...

I agree, the soup crackers sound like the most fantastic thing. What elements exactly did you add? (I wonder if the answer is "uh... eggs")

Also very curious to see the lobster-infused noodle.

Very well-done, Rob. Your imagination and experimentation is simply inspiring.

Gfron1 said...

If memory serves me it was a bit of egg white, a drop of corn syrup (flexibility), ground oats and then a bunch of the oil to get it to not crack. It was the most fragile element in the dinner.

Foodycat said...

You are an artist! This is amazing.