Friday, May 30, 2008

Up To Speed

I read recently about cooking vegetables sous-vide; evidently 83˚ C is perfect for breaking down starch but leaving the pectin intact for the ideal combination of creamy yet firm. So I sliced some sweet potatoes and vacuum-sealed them with a little salt and dried sudachi zest and dropped them in the bath. Milo likes to grab eggplants and grapefruits when we shop (because they're big and beautiful) so I split and roasted the former and supremed the latter.

I puréed the roasted eggplants with some cashews, salt, olive oil, and grapefruit juice to make a sort of mutant baba ghanoush, then pushed it through a tamis to make it super-velvety. Christine made more mash from endive thinnings, and I sliced some wild Alaskan salmon into sashimi; once plated, I gave it the hot garlic-infused sesame-olive oil treatment and then squeezed a little lime juice on top.

The flavors collided in all kinds of interesting ways, and it was good fun to try all the various combinations. The sweet potato could have used more time; I had to pull it out because dinner was running late, so it hadn't completely cooked. Next time I'll try to get them going in the afternoon so they can fully soften. But all in all, this was pretty successful improv. A few days off let the creative urge rebuild, and good ingredients plus- since I finally got the crates built and packed- the time to play with them made for a meal that found a sweet spot near the intersection of lightness and complexity.


Heather said...

I should be working, but it's Friday.

I think I would like this, but it looks like a lot of soft textures (except for the radish). Salmon sashimi is one of my very favorite things - I can't believe you can get fresh wild salmon all the way over there!

peter said...

I heartily endorse your casual Friday.

The sweet potato was pretty al dente, but you're perceptive; I intended to make a brown rice-sesame-nori cracker to go with it but didn't have time.

cook eat FRET said...

the sous vide thing
i gotta do it at some point
but... not shelling out for the apparatus


you kids got it going on...

Heather said...

Who you calling cracker?