Thursday, October 29, 2009

Kitchen Conservatory Cooking Class

Another really terrific evening teaching a class at Kitchen Conservatory last night. I really do get to know alot of interesting people. I seem to do alot of talking at these classes, everyone is just so congenial. I started with the French Laundry's recipe for "Peas and Carrots". Almost any dish from that cookbook is challenging to say the least. Chef Thomas Keller's wit is on display here with this over the top dish. His idea of peas and carrots is this chive crepe filled with lobster and mascarpone, served with a sauce of ginger and carrot juice underneath and topped with a salad of pea shoots.

Next up were lamb chops with red currant-mustard buerre blanc served with pear-parsnip puree. Cognac, walnuts and chocolate filled the pie with cognac flavored whipped cream.

I took some liberties with the recipe as Chef Keller wrote it. For example to get 2 cups of carrot juice he starts with 3 pounds of carrots, put through a juicer-I purchased a good quality carrot juice from the health foods store. So of course I didn't have the carrot pulp to dehydrate, pulverize and turn into carrot dust to garnish the plate rims with. So I will present my mere mortal's interpretation of this food God's masterpiece.

Here are the steps, it could be done in a two day period.

1) Make the crepes

2) Make the lobster filling

3) Make the lobster glace and add to the filling

4) Make the carrot ginger emulsion

5) Make the pea shoot salad

6) Assemble the dish


1 cup all purpose flour
Pinch of salt
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cup milk
4 tablespoons of melted butter

Place the ingredients in a blender and mix

Make the crepes in an 8" crepe pan, using about 2 ounces of batter per crepe

Place the crepes, presentation side down on parchment paper and cover until ready to assemble the crepes.

Lobster filling
1 pound cooked lobster meat-I used tails-chef keller used whole lobsters, but not the claw meat
1/4 cup chopped chives
1 tablespoon finely minced shallot
1 cup marscapone
1 tablespoon lobster glace-recipe follows)
Freshly ground pepper and salt to taste
Combine the ingredients and mix well
Lobster Glace
Lobster shells
carrots, onion, celery. parsley, bay leaf. thyme
3 to 4 cups of water
Simmer ingredients for at least 1 hour
Strain the stock and reduce the stock to 1 tablespoon-cool before adding to lobster filling
Carrot Ginger Emulsion
2 cups carrot juice
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 carrot, grated
1/4 cup cream
3/4 pound butter, slightly softened
Freshly ground pepper and salt to taaste
Combine the juice, ginger, and grated carrot, simmer for ten minutes. Puree the mixture and return it to the sauce pan. Add the cream and reduce the mixture to about 1 cup. Slowly whisk in the butter a couple tablespoons at a time. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Pea Shoot Salad
1 cup pea shoots-I found them at an asian grocery store or you can sprout your own
Zest of one lemon
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
Freshly ground pepper and salt to taste
Make a dressing with the zest, juice, oil, salt, and pepper
Wash and dry the shoots.
Toss the shoots with the dressing and let marinate 1/2 hour, drain before using.
To Assemble the dish:
Fill the the crepes with the lobster filling (about 1/4 cup per crepe), making a neat little package, lay seam side down on a buttered baking sheet. Brush the tops of the crepes with a little melted butter
Heat the crepes in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes
Ladle some sauce on the center of the plate, use the back of a spoon to spread the suce into a small circle. Place a heated crepe on the center of the sauce, and top the crepe with some pea shoot salad.

No comments: