For foodies who haven’t been satiated by the array of cuisines that have recently been introduced in city restaurants, here’s something they may not have across before.
Spanish chefs Miquel Lajarin and Leon Benmergui, who run Michelin-star restaurants in Europe, are travelling around the world to showcase the traditional as well as modern point of view of their native gastronomy. They are adding a scientific dimension to an ongoing Spanish food and wine festival at Miro, serving up an array of foams, froths and gels, better known as molecular gastronomic cuisine.
The chefs are offering dishes like beetroot foam, green pea gel and agar-agar stabilised serrano ham froth, thereby creating an array of unique flavours and textures. “The philosophy of molecular cuisine is to enjoy it, not only with the intention of filling your stomach, but also by discovering a new way of eating,” says Lajarin of the bite-sized, but elaborate dishes.Not all science
Lajarin is confident that connoisseurs in the city will take to this form of ‘progressive cuisine’. "The public here is very demanding. They don’t like major changes in traditional recipes, but they welome different cuisines," he reasons.
The chef’s fascination with the cuisine stems from an endeavour to constantly improve. The chef explains, "The kitchen is like a world of unhappiness. We may like what we eat, but we’re always trying to better it. Once we’ve secured this knowledge, even a simple ingredient offers a number of possibilities. The potato doesn’t remain a simple tuber. You think of all its properties and constantly try to alter its texture, flavour and colour."
Green pea and ham update (serves 4)
For the green pea mousse
Green peas 200gms
Whipped cream 50 ml
Agar agar 1 gm
For the onion & garlic sauce
Olive oil 100ml
Veg stock 50ml
Soy sauce 1 tspoon
For the ham foam(Apparatus required espuma gun)
Iberico ham 150gms
Garlic 1 clove
Beef stock 100ml
For the Green Pea Mousse
In a sauce pan blanch the green peas,drain in ice cold water,strain in a chinois & blend in a mixer with ice
Melt the gelatin & agar agar in warm water,add whipped cream
Put the green peas,and all the ingredients in a mixing bowl,using a spatula fold in all the ingredients to incorporate air
Refrigerate & allow to set for 4-5 hours
For the Onion& Garlic Sauce
Saute the onions in a sauce pan until caramilised
Add in the garlic & suate.add in the stock and reduce
Blend and strain in a chinois
For the Ham Foam
Saute the onion,garlic & iberico in olive oil,add stock & reduce
Blend all the ingredients,mix in the cream & put the mixture in the espuma gun & refrigerate
Before use,pass the gun through warm water & shake
For the Iberico Crisp
Place the iberico on grease proof paper & bake in the oven at 150 c until crisp
Spoon the onion & garlic sauce on the plate
Place the green pea mousse on the top
Using the espuma gun place the foam on the top
Garnish with iberico crisp & basil sprig
Try dishes based on molecular gastronomy till April at Miro, Andheri (W).