Friday, June 13, 2014

Faux Apples - Waldorf

Waldorf Salad: Apples, Celery, Walnuts, Grapes in
a mayonnaise/whipped cream based dressing.  Kind of gross, right?  I'm not sure why I keep going back to it (besides my love for celery, maybe).  Well, we had a cool idea for a walnut/apple based technique and my mind went to Waldorf, I guess.

We make our own walnut "butter" (like peanut butter" in the blender with water, toasted walnuts, sugar and salt.  Once the butter is smooth, add more toasted walnuts, like chunky peanut butter.  Depending on the texture, you can form balls by hand or use a mold which is what we do.  Once the butter is rounded, put a stick in it and freeze it.  This is to make the center hard and easy to work with.

Once the centers are firm, we take an ounce of goat's cheese, form a thin disk by hand, like PlayDoh and wrap the center in it.

After the walnut centers are wrapped in goat's cheese, freeze them again, for ease of dipping. (Make sure you kind of shape the goat's cheese like an apple, which is harder than you might expect...apples are not very round)

We make our dipping gelee out of apple juice and freeze dried raspberries for color (easy to find at most Whole Foods)  The recipe is:

1.5 cups Apple Juice
1 tablespoon FD Raspberries (powdered)
2 tablespoons Sugar
5 sheets Gelatin.

We superfreeze the exterior of the goat's cheese with liquid nitrogen, but you could put it in a box with dry ice as well, it would just be slower.  This is what the process looks like:

money shot
The finished apples look a bit like this ->
It takes 5 dips to fully glaze them.
Afterwards, they have to be refrigerated 
until fully thawed, then the skewer
 can be removed and replaced 
with an herb sprig or leaf.

Convincing, aren't they?

At that point, we serve them with a relatively standard waldorf salad.  Our only additional flourishes include candied walnuts and a house made mayonnaise dressing.

Cool beans

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Something you can do with your carrots

Its been awhile since I've posted.  I've got something to share, but the "production value" may not equal some of the work I've done previously.  This project has kept me busy for a month, however and I am quite proud.  The idea started as a potential way to highlight rawness and the liveliness of very fresh produce.  Well, what could be more raw and lively than a backdrop of living carrots.

The top inch of carrots in a half inch of water sprouts really awesomely after only a week!

Figuring out how to drill a hole in glass was easy, after the first few casualties.  The carrots are more than willing to grow through the tiny hole.

 A little bit of wire, moss and a picture frame shadow box....

We serve a baby carrot crudite with bell peppers, broccoli and celery against the backdrop of the live carrot mini "tree"

Our ranch dressing is made with carrot tops to complete the picture.  Here's the recipe:

1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons sour cream
3 tablespoons finely chopped carrot tops
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
2 tablespoons finely chopped dill
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1 medium garlic clove, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt or to taste

Mix all ingredients with a whisk and store under refrigeration until needed.


Cool beans