Friday, May 1, 2015

Extreme Cooking

A few months ago, I wrote an essay for the Oryana newsletter defending home cooking as a simple, economical way to get dinner. While that's undoubtedly true, there is another side of cooking, one that may be more open to the "elitist" characterization.

Welcome to my next experiment in extreme cooking.

Over the next four days, I'll prepare a multi-course dinner using methods and techniques unlikely to be demonstrated on the Food Network. This will not be a cheap dinner, nor will it be easy. I'll be sprouting, fermenting, dehydrating, curing, baking, and maybe even cooking.

The menu has a Scandinavian influence with most recipes adapted from my new manual of extreme cooking, the cookbook of Bar Tartine in San Francisco. I will be preparing:

Pistachio Dip with Flax Crackers (Bar Tartine, p. 216)
Chilled Beet Soup with Coriander and Yogurt (Bar Tartine, p. 158)
Chicory Salad with Anchovy Dressing (Bar Tartine, p. 184)
Gravlax with Coriander, Caraway and Mustard-Dill Sauce
Rene's Danish Rye (Tartine Book No. 3, p. 140)
Slow-roasted Carrots with Burnt Bread and Almond Milk (Bar Tartine, p. 224)

Because I'll be exhausted by the end, the Food Network can handle dessert, which will be Bobby Flay's Bananas Foster Milkshake, having nothing to do with Scandinavia or extreme cooking. It's a quick blender concoction, although I will make my own caramel sauce ahead of time.

First step is shopping for the ingredients. They look lovely:

To make the burnt bread sauce, I will need bread. I'll be burning the last of my caraway-coriander sourdough, so that means it's time to make more bread. Grinding whole wheat for flour:

Adding bread flour:

Mixing the dry ingredients:

The wet ingredients (I add a little yeast as an insurance policy because my kitchen isn't very warm this time of year):

Mixing the dry ingredients with the wet:

Old bread sliced to burn:

After broiling it in the oven for several minutes it is ready to go in the dehydrator:

Another do-ahead project, carrot top oil. I've blanched the tops of two carrot bunches, then whizzed it in the blender with a cup of sunflower oil. It will drain in the refrigerator, I hope.

Other Thursday night projects were soaking rye berries for the Danish rye bread and making another batch of yogurt. More to come!

No comments:

Post a Comment