custom cakes/cookies

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Baked Tofu, traditional flavors powdered

The July challenge from the Daring Kitchen was hosted by Sketchy from Sketchy's Kitchen who chose a dish from Grant Achatz's Alinea cookbook - page 230. This challenge was mostly geared toward pushing culinary normalcy by delving into molecular cuisine. I have to admit, the prep that went into completing the challenge seemed a bit ridiculous at the outset, but the resulting presentation and flavor made it more than well-worth the endeavor. The flavors of these powders really pop on your tongue—the combinations are brilliant! Some alterations on my part, of course: the original recipe called for skate poached in a butter emulsion, and Sketchy suggested flounder or cod as substitutions. Wanting to keep things vegetarian (actually this time, vegan!), I opted the soy route and used locally produced Rosewood Tofu that I baked in traditional Asian flavors. For the most part, the powder preparations were a breeze. I borrowed a colleague’s dehydrator (the Snackmaster). You simply set it and forget it for 12 hours—not a bad way to start cooking a fantastic meal!

Onto the recipe:

1 lb tofu
300g fresh green beans, sliced into very thin rounds (2 mm)
300g lemons
5g citric acid/vitamin c tablet
150g cilantro
150g parsley

100g dried banana chips
300g powdered milk
100g cup minced red onion

200g capers (brined, not oil)

Powders – prepared in advance

caper/ onion powder

lemon powder

cilantro/parsley powder

‘brown butter’ powder

Citrus Powder
300g lemons
1000g simple syrup (1:1 sugar to water)
5g citric acid/vitamin c tablet

Zest lemons and poach in the simple syrup three times. Strain thoroughly and move to the dehydrating tray. 130° F for 12 hours. Pulse the zest in a coffee grinder, pass through chinois, and mix with citric acid/vitamin C powder. If you do not have a dehydrator, place in microwave for 8 to 10 minutes at medium powder.

Cilantro/Parsley Powder
150g cilantro
150g parsley

Blanch the parsley in boiling saltwater for 1 second, submerge the leaves in ice water for 3 minutes. Shake to dry and place on dehydrator tray. 130° F for 12 hours. Grind and pass through chinois. If you do not have a dehydrator, place in microwave for 30 seconds, turn over leaves and microwave for another thirty seconds.

Onion Powder
100g cup minced red onions

Place in dehydrator set at 130° F for 12 hours or microwave at medium power for 20 minutes. Pulse in grinder, then pass through chinois.

Caper Powder
200g capers

Rinse the capers in cold water for two minutes to remove some of the brine. Strain well and dehydrate for 12 hours at 130° F degrees. Once dry, pulse and sift the powder. Mix with onion powder. Or try microwaving on medium for 1 minute. Check the moisture content and stir. Repeat for 30 second intervals until dry.

Brown Butter Powder

100g Dried banana chips, unsweetened
300g spray powdered milk

Preheat the oven to 350° F, sift the milk powder into a fine layer on a parchment-lined baking tray. Bake for 4 minutes, then remove for heat.

Grind the banana chips in a coffee grinder and mix with the toasted milk powder. Pass this through a chinois

Baked Tofu

1 pound firm tofu, rinsed, patted dry, and sliced ½ inch thick

¼ cup soy sauce

¼ cup mirin

¼ cup rice vinegar

2 Tbs agave nectar

2 Tbs sesame oil

2 Tbs minced gingerroot

1 tsp minced garlic

Preheat Oven to 350° F. Lay tofu slices in a single layer in baking dish. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over tofu. Bake 45 minutes, or until tofu is nearly dry and well browned.

To Plate:

Take the tip of a small spoon and make a small mound of the citrus powder, the onion-caper powder, and the cilantro-parsley powder. Swirl these around in desired pattern. Mound green beans on plate and place tofu wedge on top, sprinkle with brown butter powder.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

xo, kim