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.