Sunday, November 2, 2008

Rosie Tries Her Hand At Alinea.

As you may know, I received my copy of Alinea last month. Suppose they had named the restaurant Pilcrow. Just doesn't have the same cachet, does it? As I scanned through the recipes, I'm seeing strange ingredients, most of which I've never heard of. Ingredients like microshiso, yuzo juice, tapioca maltodextrin, high-acyl gellan gum, low-acyl gellan gum, sodium alginate, mastic, calcium lactate, muscovado sugar, apple-wood sawdust, feuilletine, trimoline, Louis Francois Super Neutrose Gallia stabilizer, isomalt, monk fish livers, cassia buds, bergamot flowers, methocel F50, cremodan 64 stabilizer, blade mace, carrageenan, zuta levana leaves, Kelcogel JJ gellan gum, pure-cote B790, ultra-tex 3, ultra-sperse 3, live Pacific sea urchin. Do you see potential problems here for me? I have anxiously awaited for award-winning food blogger, Carol, from French Laundry At Home, to start on Alinea At Home. So when she finally posted a few days ago I was quite happy. Especially since the dish she posted was ONE I COULD ACTUALLY DO. Here's the dish: Bacon, butterscotch, apple, and thyme.
Please notice the service piece. Click on the above link and scroll all the way to the right. The next to last piece is this one. Also referred to as the "sex swing."
Looks like I have my work cut out for me.
First, my bacon went into a 170-degree oven for 3 hours.
Butterscotch up next.
Sugar and corn syrup go into the pan and it's heated to 350 degrees.
When the temperature reached 350, I poured the cream in.
And heated it back up to 240 degrees.
The butterscotch is then poured out onto my brand new silicone mat I just bought. Isn't it pretty?
The neat thing about this mat is you can just pick it up, bend it, and pour the butterscotch into a bowl.
The next step is making the apple leather ribbons.
I sliced and cored two Granny Smith apples and put the slices on another pretty silicone mat.
Place face down and roast for about 30 minutes at 375 degrees.
I scooped the flesh out and pureed it in my mini processor.
Then I spread the puree out on another silicone sheet. OK, so I didn't puree it as well as I should have and I didn't strain it through a chinois.
Alinea said to dehydrate the apple puree for 45 minutes at 160 degrees, but the bacon was already in there at 170 degrees, so I put the apple puree in with the bacon. What's 10 degrees?
My bacon went for 3 hours and I didn't think it was ready for my tastes. It looked raw. So I kept it in another hour or so.
Here's my homemade fruit roll-up.
Dehydrated bacon and apple leather.
Now, I'm ready for assembly.
First I cut the apple leather into little ribbons.
Creamy butterscotch goes into a pastry bag.
Butterscotch gets piped onto the bacon.
Then I tried to artfully wrap the apple leather ribbons around the bacon, using the butterscotch as glue, "producing an organic-looping look."
Finally, I placed thyme leaves in the butterscotch.
I tasted this along the way and really, really, really liked how the thyme added such a nice touch to the bacon, so I added a bit more thyme.
I am then instructed to "suspend each bacon strip from stainless steel bow." Well, the stainless steel bow is $35 and backordered. Can you believe that? That serving piece is $35? And it's backordered? Who's ordering these things? So I decided to make my own "sex swing."
I can be extremely creative when pressed.
Ah ... It's coming together now.
And ... ta daaaaaaa!
I thought the use of fish hooks was just a touch of genius.
Salty bacon, sweet butterscotch, tart apple, and the zip of thyme. Everything came together and it was good. Very good. And it's all gone.


Sara said...

That looks really cool! I haven't bought the Alinea book yet, I'm ashamed to admit I've never even made anything from my french laundry book.

Carol Blymire said...

HEY!!!!! Your apple leather worked -- bravo, you!

Marilyn said...

Yes, you are very creative. Looks yummy too (the food, not the sex swing).

Unknown said...

I love my mini processor, but it NEVER does as good of a puree job as the big boy.

Damn. Further temptation to buy this cookbook so I can try this on Christmas.