Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Daring Cooks July 2009 Challenge: Skate, traditional flavors powdered (slightly altered)



This month's Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Sketchy of Sketchy's Kitchen.

This is a dish from Grant Achatz, found in the Alinea cookbook - page 230 and is an example from a branch of cooking called molecular gastronomy. Says Sketchy ... "I picked a recipe that could be completed without having to order a bunch of specialized chemicals or powders. Just a little work and you can make this, the techniques are not very hard and only require a few tools."

Hahaha. When I first read the recipe, my head spun around a few times. Wow, I wanted a challenge, but this recipe was *really* a challenge. I was on the fence, yes, no, yes, no, yes, no, until I finally said to myself, "this is why you joined Daring Bakers and Daring Cooks, to stretch yourself."

For the recipe, which is featured on the Daring Kitchen site, click here. Even if you don't want to read the recipe, you should go look and see the rotating pics of everyone's dishes. It's fascinating how everyone starts with the same recipe but they all end up looking so different.

Once committed, I jumped in, dehydrated different foods, and ground them into powders to serve with lemon sole (a substitute for the skate). Since I didn't have a dehydrator, I used the microwave, cooking the foods on half power until they were dried and ready to be ground.

I made several powders:



Parsley-cilantro (green), red onion (pink), and lemon citrus (light brown on plate). On the fish (see picture below) is banana-cream (darker brown and made from banana chips and dried cream powder that was browned in the oven),

I made two designs out of the powders. On a round plate, this design below resembles a flower shape.


On a rectangular plate, this design below channels a wave pattern.


On both, the fish, poached in a beurre monte solution, tops green bean rounds and thick cut bananas. Yes, I said bananas. And you know what? The bananas were the highlight for me.

In the Daring Cooks forum, where everyone posts their results, many members were delighted with the medley of flavors on their palates, and many experimented with additional powders.

For me, the dish was good, but I didn't get the same thrill that others did.

That said, Sketchy picked a great challenge, and I learned to think out of the box about food.

Thanks, Sketchy.

17 comments:

Emily Anderson said...

Very interesting!

lisamichele said...

WOW, just wow. You did an amazing job, and dang, those photos are beautiful. I really wish I hadn't rushed mine in one day! BUT, I didn't decide to do it until that last day! Regardless, I'd like a plate of yours, please, and that pie for dessert!

Jayle said...

Beautiful photos! And I agree about the bananas - surprisingly yum. Looking forward to next month...

Justin said...

you REALLY got into the styling with this

Ninette said...

Justin, LOL. I'm glad you thought I was into styling, but since I did the challenge on the last day, I was just trying to get it done! Maybe with more time, I would have come up with something better. Or maybe not.

thekitchenette said...

I'm so impressed with your plating! Glad to know I'm not the only one whose head spun around when I first read the recipe...

Audax said...

Amazing plating love those waves and the colours of the powders are so bright and clear. Very interesting posting and it seems you learnt many new skills in this challenge and that is the point of the Daring Kitchen. Bravo cheers from Audax in Australia

Coco Bean said...

Wow, it looks great. So you say the bananas were the best part eh, I shouldn't have skipped out on them! I have a ton of powders left over, maybe I'll try it again with the bananas! Thanks

zurin said...

Ninette, Im passing on the Kreativ Blogger award to you. Pls chk out my blog for it ok! LOve the foodpowder designs..u are truly creative!!:))

stephchows said...

WOW that does look like a challenge... I think I would have been scared off! Great job!

Marc @ NoRecipes said...

That looks fantastic. Kind of reminds me of a japanese rock garden. I've been thinking about joining daring cooks but stuff like this scares me off. You are much braver than I:-)

Tina said...

Looks great! Love all of your pictures

My guest was very impressed and she finished up all of her powders!

Sweet Kitchen said...

Wow on the plating - very creative! I'm glad you decided to go through with it as you did such a great job!

Ninette said...

Marc, you would be very welcome on the Daring Cooks. I'm sure you would raise the bar on the rest of us!

La Table De Nana said...

What fabulous dishes! I must go read the other links..Very well done!

tastestopping said...

One of the reasons I think I don't try out more new recipes is that I'm always worried that I will put in all the work and time and ingredients, and come up with something that just doesn't click. However, your post makes me realize that in the process of doing, sometimes there is learning. Maybe a technique that can be carried over to a familiar recipe. Maybe an ingredient or flavor that stands out and demands to be used again. Thanks for the reminder!

Anyway, I found you through TasteSpotting and am writing to say that if you have any photos that aren’t accepted there, I’d love to publish them. Visit my new site (below), it’s a lot of fun! I hope you will consider it.

Best,
Casey
Editor
www.tastestopping.wordpress.com

~Carole said...

Beautiful plating! Just beautiful!