The greater goal of this blog is not only to document and share some of the wonderful dining experiences we are blessed to be able to enjoy, but also to take a little of the mystery of ‘eating-out’ food away. I want to show that, with a little application, pretty much anyone can make restaurant quality food at home.
Well of course just like everything in life, some dishes are more complex than others, and some require specialist equipment to make. I post both : Dishes that are very accessible and easily replicable with some standard pots and pans, and some that will benefit from a few gadgets. This is one of the latter – its a pretty straightforward looking dish but one actually full of modernist techniques (sous vide, super-fine purees, an espuma, a savoury tuile). If you don’t have any of that stuff in the kitchen, dont despair, you can replicate almost all of the flavour without.
This dish celebrates springtime with a perfectly cooked piece of clean cod, paired with a zingy fresh pea puree, edame beans, fresh shitakes, and a foam of reduced cream and shitake mushroom. To add some flourish and texture a tuile of squid ink sets the whole thing off.
- Cod fillet (200g per person)
- Frozen peas (a good handful per person)
- Sachet of squid ink (ask your fish monger)
- Edamame beans
- 1 medium sized potato
- Shitake mushrooms x 10 (enough for 2)
- Double cream 250ml
1. First make the pea puree. Take frozen peas and boil in salted water until they rise to the surface of the water. Drain and puree as fine as you can. I use a wet and dry spice grinder that makes super smooth purees. Pass through a drum sieve and then set down with a little water and a dash of white wine vinegar to bring out the sweetness and freshness. Season.
2. Chop the shitakes, reserving a couple for garnish, and and boil in cream until reduced by half. Strain out the mushrooms keeping the thickened cream. When ready to plate, heat, pour into a foam syphon, charge and add as a foam to the plate.
3. Make the squid ink tuile. This is mix whose ratios I’m still trying to work out, but this time I used 15 g of flour, 45 grams of light olive oil, and 30 g of water. That would make enough for probably 20 little biscuits so a lot went into the freezer. Mix it up with a fork until it comes together, then introduce small spoonfuls to a very hot pan. As the water in the mix separates and boils out it should create a very pleasing little spiderweb biscuit.
4. Finely dice the potato and boil in salted water for 5 mins until starting to break down. Drain and allow to cool. Later deep fry until crisp.
5. Put the cod into a sous vide bag and cook at 56c/132f for 15 mins.
6. Plate. Onto a warmed plate, put some of the pea puree, then place the cod carefully on top. Scatter the edamame beans which have been lightly warmed in butter around, then the mushroom foam and the rest of the garnish. Enjoy!!