Thursday, April 12, 2007

Oooh How Green It Is!

Michael Ruhlman recently returned from cooking at The Culinary Vegetable Institute in Ohio.

His post and pictures really got a mental block in my head broken.

My parents had reservations at the restaurant Im currently working at and the Executive Chef has been asking me since I made the reservations what I was gonna make for them.

Now my parents are far from foodies, matter of fact I really think theyre uncomfortable in restaurants. How I fell so in love with the scene and the work Ill never really understand when I look at them. So, with the way they feel about food I was stumped at what I could possibly do for them.

After reading Michaels artical this morning I had a brainstorm of thoughts and ideas, so much so I had to write some things down to get it all straight.

The picture that really stood out to me was
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Photo by Chefs Garden

The bright green of the Pea Soup really took to me, So when I got to work (30 minutes early mind you to get the ball rolling) I immediatly set to work.

What I ended up with was a Asparagus Soup with Creme Fraiche and white Truffle Oil.

On the plus side my parents loved it, which I was suprised at.

Unfortantly I left my camera at work, sitting on the window of the Pantry station. I hope those night porters didnt see it... stuff walks out all the time.

But in the end I was proud of the job I did (though it did thicken up a little after it cooled) and I was able to secure a very good connection with my mother at least in a sense of now she can see why I love to do what I do.

Food, bringing people together since the beginning of time.

*ques sappy music*


The O said...

Did your aparagus dish look like the pea soup in the picture? Also, pardon my ignorance, but what is Cream Fraiche?

The Foodist said...

Sadly it wasnt that green. I peeled the base of the asparagus which leaves a whiter core to be cooked with. I did retain and blanch the tips though in heavily HEAVILY salted water, as Michael did with his peas.

Salt being and Alkaline pulls out the bright green in chloriphil leading to a bright vibrant color. I blended the tops in with the soup pre-straining to assist with flavor and color. It wasnt as green as the pea soup but a damn good color considering.

Sadly my camera seems to have been taking which means I lose the only pictures I have of the dish. But easily recreated non the less.

and to answer your question Creme Fraiche (pronounced Creme Fresh) is:

a heavy cream slightly soured with bacterial culture, but not as sour or as thick as sour cream. Originally a French product, today it is available throughout Europe and the rest of the world. Crème fraîche can be made by adding a small amount of buttermilk or sour cream to normal heavy cream, and allowing to stand for several hours at room temperature until the bacterial cultures act on the cream.

In general, crème fraîche, like sour cream, is used in food preparation, but crème fraiche has at least one advantage over sour cream: it can be mixed with air into whipped cream. Crème fraîche also exists in a more liquid form.

The Foodist said...

Oh next time you cook something green in water try this experiment.

take 3 pots. In all three add water. Take a green veg. To one pot add a ton of salt. To another add an acid such as Lemon Juice or Vinegar. Leave the last pot with just the water.

Bring the water in all three to a soft boil and add in the green veg. Watch what happens.

Without spoiling it Ill tell you that Alkaline is a Green Vegs best friend while acidity is its worst enemy. Have fun with it.