Showing posts from January, 2018

Beef, Elements of A.1. - An Alinea Recipe

A rather big one for change. The recipe calls for 18 parts to prepare. It is, however, not overly complex or complicated to prepare. And it tastes absolutely awesome.
To understand the dish, let’s first look at A.1. If you are from the US or Canada (or, to a certain extend, the UK), A.1. is familiar to you as a somewhat off-center steak sauce. If you are from the rest of the world, not so much. ;-)

A.1. is a steak sauce produced by Kraft Foods. It has a rather long, but apparently not overly successful, history, which you can explore on your own.

It is of note here that the sauce itself is not used in the recipe at all. So why the title? Quoting from Wikipedia:

"A.1. Sauce includes tomato purée, raisin paste, distilled vinegar, corn syrup, salt, crushed orange purée, dried garlic and onions, spice, celery seed, caramel color, and xanthan gum."
If we strip the fillers from this list, we are looking for tastes of tomato, raisin, vinegar, orange, garlic, onion, spice, celery s…

Salad, Red Wine Vinaigrette - An Alinea Recipe

This is, if you have the necessary equipment, the easiest ever Alinea recipe. You need a juicer and a freezer. And a fork.

The idea, and that probably is the essential Modernist approach, is to take something that is perfectly fine, and present it in a way that is substantially different, yet somehow remains true to the model. The showcase here is salad, resented as a slushy ice.

Part 1: Salad Ice

We juice Arugula,  Romaine and Spinach and freezer the juice. As simple as that.

Part 2: Vinegar Ice

Thought it didn't get any easier. Wrong. We freeze vinegar.

Part 3: Assemble and serve:

Using a fork, scrape of salad ice, resulting in some slightly slushy, crystalline salad ice. Leave the salad ice on the countertop for a few minutes if the scraping off doesn't wok. Do the same with the frozen vinegar. Drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle some salt flakes and pepper on top and voila. A Michelin star raw food salad slushy. Doesn't take have bad.

Part 4: The recipe


Veal Stock - A staple for the freezer based on an Alinea Recipe

About once a year (mostly when spending a weekend in the kitchen anyhow, it is time to make veal stock. If you have a large pot (mine is 14 liters), making a large amount is useful, it can be stored in the freezer and comes in handy for various recipes, Alinea or otherwise. There are about a million recipes out there, from too-simple to super complex, from quick to taking a couple of days. I usually stick to the Alinea-based one, since the result is consistently good and I don't mind that it take 2 days to prepare. If somewhat in a hurry, Modernist cuisine has a good recipe using a pressure cooker.

Veal stock is made by cooking out bones with some spices and then somewhat reducing the liquid.

In short, it consists of 4 steps: Blanching the bones, 2x cooking the bones and reducing the stock.

First step is to "blanch the bones", this serves to simply remove the most obvious impurities and ugly stuff. You start by placing the bones and feet in a large pot, cover them with w…

Pork Belly, Pickled Vegetable, BBQ Sugar, Polenta - An Alinea Recipe

This one is one of my favorite recipes, Alinea and otherwise, and the difficulty and amount of prep time required is actually not too bad. And there is almost no special equipment needed. It was one of the earlier recipes I have tried, it worked out in the first attempt, and I have done it many times since, so without further ado, here it is:

Part 1: Pork Belly
Ah, pork belly. Have you ever had a bad recipe with pork belly? Neither did I. The pork belly here gets cured by letting it rest in a mixture of salt, sugar, smoked paprika and chipotle chili powder. Since I like it a little hotter and less sweet, I sometimes replace chipotle chili for regular chili powder. As for the smoked paprika, do yourself a favor and get some Pimentón de la Vera. You can thank me in the comments.
The mixture stays in the fridge in a Ziploc bag for 2 days. This not only dries out the meat, it also lets it absorb the spice taste. It then gets cooked for 4 hours sous vide at 88º C. Since the temperature is so…