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Shrimp curry molecular gastronomy

I recently ordered some chemicals from l’epicerie. I wanted to play around and decided to do a deconstructed pineapple shrimp curry. Now this dish is still in its early phases (hence why it is under “experimental”), but i wanted to share and maybe get some thoughts on improvement. Some parts were a success and some were duds.

Anyways, I started off by making ginger pineapple sheets.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

I took some fresh ginger, and grated it. Measured out  60grams.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Added it to around a cup of water and let it steep in hot water.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

After, i strained it.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Then, I mixed:

  • 100g ginger liquid
  • 100g pineapple liquid
  • 0.6g agar agar

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

I brought the mixture to a boil, while stirring.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Pour the agar ginger-pineapple liquid into a pan or whatever, in the thickness you want the film to be.

After, I measured out

  • 500g water (purified/bottled)
  • 2g sodium alginate
  • 2.5g calcium chloride
  • 250 g curry mix (curry powder and paste with some coconut milk)

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

i added the sodium alginate to the curry mix and found it just clumped up! which i hadn’t read anywhere.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

So i tested it on some water alone first, and found that even when it clumps up, if you keep on whisking (whisk or immersion blender), it will blend through. Below is what it looks like when it clumps up. Also, sodium alginate is a natural gelling agent, and the liquid became viscous. I think i should also use less sodium alg next time.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

So, this is what the curry mix looked after some extensive whisking

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Next, i added the calcium chloride to the water, and it dissolved with some whisking much easier than the sodium alginate. I also put some more purified water in another bowl, to rinse off the spheres when created. I didn’t want to go fishing for my spheres so i just put a big strainer in the bowl so that i can lift them out directly after, and dip them in the water for washing.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

I put my curry mix in a squirt bottle. I didn’t have a syringe on hand. This worked good, just wish i had one with bigger nozzle width for bigger spheres.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Started squirting the curry mix into the calcium chloride bath.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Then washed them with the pure water bath, and patted the bottom of the sieve with a towel to dry the spheres off.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

I loved how the specks of the red curry paste showed in the yellow curry powder.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Since i was playing around, i made a big sphere with a spoon. I grabbed it.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

put it in my palm…

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

pushed and prodded…

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

pushed harder…

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

and kaboom! it gushed out

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Back to the plate, this is the translucent agar agar after i pulled it out from the fridge.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

I already had my white rice ready.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

I wanted to create a “horizon” with the shrimp jumping like dolphins. Hilarious i know, but you can be the judge if i succeeded or not:) I took a bit of curry powder, put it on a kitchen napkin and wet it a bit and streaked it across the plate.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

I cut out strips of the agar mix.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

And started plating with the rice and agar.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

My little dolphin shrimp were next.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Then came the curry caviar.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Oh, i had also put some agar liquid to set in these mini bowls i have.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

I flipped it over to create the “sun” in my “horizon” plating.lol. (btw there are many layers of dysfunctional in me)

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

It needed some acid so i used a pomegranate molasses which is thick, sweet and sour at the same time. I love it in salads usually. And you only need a little because its quite strong.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

A close up of the perfect bite: Shrimp, curry caviar, rice, and ginger-pineapple agar gel.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

This is what the final dish looked like:

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

  • Taste: I still felt like it was missing something. Not sure what. It obviously needed some greens, but i didn’t have any on hand. Also, the caviar needed to have a stronger taste.I really liked the flavor of the ginger-pineapple flim: sweet with sharp aftertaste.
  • Texture: I wasn’t in love with the liquid of the curry caviar. It was too thick.  I may have used to much sodium alginate. Iwould make the agar film thinner next time. Also, the rice needed to be different, maybe crispy rice chips?
  • Plating:  It did kinda look like dolphins jumping in the ocean with the sun setting, lol, right? or am i stretching?
  • Fail: In the beginning I tried to make coconut powder with maltodextrin, but there was too much water in the coconut butter, so it clumped up on me, so I scratched that.
  • Success: It would have to be the taste of the ginger pineapple film. That was on point.

Let me know what you think, positives, critiques etc… Also, please rate this post/concept with the star system below.Thanks a bundle!

++MIRA++

Welcome to my new site!

hiya peeps! This is my new home. I made the switch to wordpress and decided i needed a change of name as well. So, Mira uncut, fits me perfect. I’m sweet and sassy at the same time, and it’s kinda hard for me not to say my mind, so it made perfect sense.

Other changes are new facebook page, twitter, and my lovely bar on the bottom! Be sure to check it out and connect with me on there!

Also, I have some new categories. I’m really excited about the restaurant reviews section and experimental section where i will toy with molecular gastronomy. The “me” section will be about my life, things around town etc… “stuff” category will be products, bloggers, articles online … and My Kitchen will be my middleastern cooking and whatever else i come up with!

If you have any tips or ideas, feel free to share, and please follow me and harrass me anytime:)

xoxo,
++Mira++

Creme brulee – molecular gastronomy style

hiya peeps-

I’m sure alot of you have heard the term molecular gastronomy,some chefs hate that term. Well, i don’t care what you call it, but I love the many possibilities it has opened. I have ordered some chemicals and havebeen toying around with tapioca maltodexrin, what that does is it turns fat based stuff to powder.So, it looks completely different, but when you put it in your mouth it melts and tastes like the stuff you put in, so it invokes the memory of that taste without the visual cues. If what you try to pair it with is not fat based it turns to goo. Yucky goo.

What the maltodextrin does is it absorbs the fat molecules and holds them till it contacts water, i.e. your saliva in your mouth.

I decided to make some creme brulee powder. It took some trial and error. I worked out the kinks.

Basically, make the creme brulee mixture according to your favorite recipe, then, instead of popping them into ramekins and in the oven, place the liquid mix into a saucepan and on very very lowwwww (i said LOW!)  heat constantly stir the mixture till alot of the water evaporates and it thickens and becomes pudding like. This could take 15-20  min. Make sure to keep stirring.

Once it’s of pudding like consistancy, put the mixture into a food processor and keep adding tapioca maltodextrin till you have the consistency powder you like.

You will end up adding alot of tapioca compared to how much creme brulee there is. This is normal.

Once it was a powder, I decided to keep what is classic of creme brulee, which is the sugar crust. I made it real thin. All I did was melt sugar on tin foil (i used the creme brulee torch) and slowly peel it off. You will get breakage so trial and error will help.

creme brulee

creme brulee

This is what my end product was. What do you think? As usual, any ideas are welcome 🙂

Salt baked Fish + GIVEAWAY

I have never made this before. I’ve seen it once and funnily enough bobby flay made it this week on iron chef, though in a slightly different way

So, what i used was lemons, red snapper (1 lb each), salt,lots of salt,lol, and bay leaf and seasoning.

i cant live without lemons, i looooove them…yum
Salt baked fish

i ended up using 3 salt boxes/cans, i think u can get away with 2

i filled the bottom of a pan with it, NOTE, wet the salt and make it stick to each other

Salt baked fish

red snapper is one of my favorite fish, its sooo delicious and easy to eat

I actually like my fish whole, i just get it gutted and de-scaled, however NOTE that i read that its better to leave the scales on the fish, so the skin peels off easier with the salt. If i had read tehis before i wouldve tried each fish one way

Salt baked fish

in tony montana voice: say hello to my little friend…

Salt baked fish

stuff with lemon, seasoning and bay leaf

Salt baked fish

wet the salt with water

Salt baked fish

so its this consistancy, dont mind the writing on my hand, thats my to do list.lol. if i write it on paper i lose the to do list so i forget what i have to do.lol
Salt baked fish

mound the salt around the fish. NOTE bobby flay and martha stewart both add a couple egg whites to the salt instead of water and bobby also put some parchment paper over the fish before covering with salt. I would reccomend this because if you are not careful preparing this parts of the fish exposed to the salt can be too salty
Salt baked fish

i baked at 350 for 30 min, its really 15 min per pound according to martha.

I struggled a bit with “uncracking” this and revealing it, and salt flew everywhere! haha..so be careful.

Salt baked fish

Ta dahhhhh!

also, u need to peel the skin right off
Salt baked fish

Salt baked fish

So here it is! sorry for the plating but my camera was running outa battery so i had to hurry lol

It was really cooked perfect inside, just make sure you get all the salt off before plating it(because i made the mistake of not wetting all the salt)…hehe..so enjoy..if u make this let me know of any tips!
Salt baked fish

also, this is a great book: Martha Stewart’s Cooking School and they have this recipe in it so i’m giving a new copy away!


To enter you must be a US resident, You can either tweet an entry @MiraUncut, RT to your followers, or comment here, or do all and it counts as 3 entries!

====> to enter just tell me what your favorite cook book is!

this giveaway will end on friday by 5 pm ET and i’ll announce on saturday. good luck!

UPDATED TO ADD: the winner is KATE from thisamericanwife.net! yay!!

Meatloaf Cupcakes

hey peeps! i was brainstorming the other day and i thought meatloaf cupcakes, how awesome would that be? Now, i have never had or made meatloaf in my life, and neither has my hubby so i thought what the hell, why not? so i googled “meatloaf recipe” and got one off of http://www.momswhothink.com/ . I modified it a little, but the basics are there, and let me tell u we loved it!

here is their recipe:

1/2 cup bread crumbs (i added a lil more)
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 cup milk
1 large egg
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard (i substituted with celery seed)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground sage (i also added 1/4 teaspoon thyme)
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder (didn’t have this)
1/2 cup barbecue sauce ( I had run out so i used Ketchup, hot sauce, honey and A1 for the sauce)
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce ( didnt have so i used A1 steak sauce instead)

Meatloaf Cupcakes

added the A1
Meatloaf Cupcakes

onions
Meatloaf Cupcakes

herbs n seasonings
Meatloaf Cupcakes

i added this pik cuz i LOVE how u can see each salt particle …im silly i know
Meatloaf Cupcakes

breadcrumbs which i made by toasting toast in the oven for 10 min
Meatloaf Cupcakes

1 egg
Meatloaf Cupcakes

milk
Meatloaf Cupcakes

So, i added a big spoonful for each cupcake whole, but what i would do differently is add probably at least 1/2 more, because they shrank a little when cooked.
You can also add cupcake liners, which i shouldve tried but my brain wasnt working.

Meatloaf Cupcakes

Meatloaf Cupcakes

Meatloaf Cupcakes

make sure to make a cupcake “dome” to look like a cupcake since meatloaf doesnt rise
i used the bottom of the spoon to shape them
Meatloaf Cupcakes

and voila! I only had a 1lb ground beef so i was short.
Meatloaf Cupcakes

SO, i didnt put the sauce on them right away. Pop them in the oven at 350 for 30 min
this is what they look like, before saucing them and popping them back in
Meatloaf Cupcakes

So, the sauce i made is 2/3 ketchup, 1/3 A1 steak sauce, 1 tablespoon honey, and 1/4 teaspoon hotsauce
Meatloaf Cupcakes

spoon it on then pop back into the oven for the last 20-30 min
Meatloaf Cupcakes

yummmmy
Meatloaf Cupcakes

For the frosting, i wanted to use a boxed mashed potatoe. I usually hate potatoes from a box, but these are not too bad, and i wanted it to be really smooth, and i was being lazy and didnt want to bother with peeling potatoes:)

Meatloaf Cupcakes

After it cooled a bit, i popped the mash into a ziplock and went to town
Meatloaf Cupcakes

And here u go!
Meatloaf Cupcakes

imaginging i was in a 5 star restaurant i dotted the plate with hot sauce.hehe.
Meatloaf Cupcakes

I would really recommend trying this. It’s really fun, and i would imagine it would be a hit with kids. Also, use more meat per cupcake then i did, and try it with a cupcake liner (*hit myself in the ass for not doing this)

xoxo

Potatoe pie madness

Have you ever had leftover baked, mashed or other potatoe. Well, this is a reason to make sure you do have leftovers. Some yummy easy potatoe pie for the next day!

The beauty of this is you can add whatever you want into this, even top it off with marinara sauce at the end. Here is what you need.

ingredients
===========
leftover mashed potatoes, potatoes…
1 lb ground beef
italian herbs
1 carrot finely chopped
1 onion chopped
2 tablespoon vinegar
salt pepper to taste
crushed croutons/ bread crumbs
optional: marinara sauce

1) whatever leftover you have, it needs to be mashed and made thick and creamy.
Spread half the potatoe mix at least 1/2 inch thick along the bottom of the pan and smooth it out
mashed potatoe madness

season it VERY well
flavor the potatoes with aLOT of seasoning and herbs or it will come out bland. I dont do bland:)

mashed potatoe madness

2) sautee the onion, add the carrot and ground beef. Add the vinegar and salt n pepper to the meat.you can add tomatoes too if you like, or any other veggie

3)the ground beef should be spread on top

mashed potatoe madness

4) spread the rest of the potatoes on top of the beef this can be tricky. Put a huge dollop of potatoes then slowly spread with a spoon without picking up meat

mashed potatoe madness

5) after its all ready, pop in the oven for 20-25 min at 350

mashed potatoe madness

6) top with the crushed croutons about 10 min before taking it out of the oven.

mashed potatoe madness

7) take a slice out and enjoy with a vinegerette salad (this is a must!). The sour of the salad pairs great with this

mashed potatoe madness

my hubby had never had this, and he loved it. My mum used to make it for me on those cold school days. And it always just makes me feel at home. What did your mum make for you that made u feel cozy and warm and puurrrfect?

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