Supper Club (2021-08-20)

Braised leeks, black garlic and parmesan foam

With summer holidays coming to an end and the school year full of uncertainty, I want to do as many supper club as possible by the end of the month…but let’s face it, I might be able to get one more in before school starts. The plan is to continue working but slow down to once a month come September (I will re-assess once school gets rolling, I do enjoy it!). Supper club this week was all about learning new things: 1) Megan pushed me to go vegetarian this dinner (dairy ok); 2) mould-making for the corn dish; 3) seitan as a main and 4) testing new ice cream recipes because we are trying to only have homemade ice cream at home now.

Appetizer #1: The leeks were braised and cut in half, then topped with black garlic that we did last year (many, many days in a dehydrator), sitting on top of a parmesan foam. The foam was 200g of water simmered with some parmesan to extract flavour, then I incorporated 12g of gelatin mass and mixed in 100g egg whites. It rested in the fridge for 2 hours, then into an ISI with 2 charges. It will still need some testing in the future. Megan and I both agreed, although visually it looked good, it lacked a few components to tie it all together. We talked about having some component underneath the foam as a surprise – perhaps potato or seafood that would also elevate the leeks a little higher above the foam.

Corn Bavarois, half popped corn from NUTS.com, huitlacoche and creamed corn

Appetizer #2: The corn cob on the plate is actually a corn bavarois, set in a silicon mould made from a corn cob (full post and video to follow). It was made with a corn reduction with some lime juice, salt and whipped cream folded in. A couple of issues: was the serving temperature (the corn bavarois was a bit frozen), and the texture/overall flavour wasn’t great. The other components were tasty, but in a second iteration perhaps both can be thinned out and turned into a sauce with the corn bavarois sitting in the middle. More testing needs to be done to improve this in the future. The best component was the store-bought half popped corn from Nuts.com, lol.

Pan seared Black maitake mushrooms, seitan and mushroom sauce.

Main: Overall, we were quite pleased with this dish. Who doesn’t like a mushroom with nice crispy bits, pan-seared in butter? One issue though, the dish was too BROWN on the plate… perhaps adding some herbs and/or a root vegetable puree would help with the colour. The mushroom sauce was good, but there were too many slices of seitan. FYI – vital wheat gluten is a pain to clean up if you accidentally spill it all over your kitchen.

Mango sorbet, fresh mangos, passion fruit ganache and jellies

Dessert #1: This week’s dessert focus was to try new ice cream recipes for the kiddies to make at school. We tried a mango sorbet for this dish, but it was way too sweet, soft and also stringy (too much glucose syrup). We paired it with some fresh mangoes, passion fruit ganache and some jellies that we had in the freezer. All together, the flavours were nice but as a dish it could have used a sponge and some crunch.

Pandan Panna Cotta, vanilla ice cream, cashew crumble

Dessert #2: This dessert turned out much nicer than the sorbet. The pandan panna cotta was a little too firm and sweet in my opinion, but Megan liked it, so we will probably keep that as-is. Happy wife = happy life! The vanilla ice cream was good in terms of flavour and texture, we hope to use the recipe for those mini ice cream bars dipped in a chocolate coating. For the crumble, we had a mixture of chopped cashews, toasted coconut and craquelin. We played around with a few variations of plating and both agreed that the dessert should have been bigger.

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