In Under Pressure: Cooking Sous Vide, Chef Thomas Keller explores experimental cooking methods, including recipes for Compressed Watermelon and Hayden Mango "Yolk"; Salad of Heirloom Beets, Anjou Pear, Mâche, Candied Walnuts, and Blue Apron Goat Cheese Coulis; and Air-cured Waygu, Treviso Leaves, Compressed Asian Pear and Whipped Pine Nut Oil.
Makes 4 Servings
We serve this traditional flavor pairing-beets, goat cheese, and walnuts—as a cheese course, but it could just as easily be an appetizer. The beets are not cooked sous vide, because in this dish we like the complex flavors that develop through roasting, but we do marinate the cooked and cooled beets in oil and sherry vinegar sous vide to give them even more flavor.
Blue Apron goat cheese is made specially for us, but any fresh goat cheese, such as Coach Farm, would work in this recipe. We blend the goat cheese with buttermilk and canola oil to make the coulis, then pass it through a strainer for a very smooth texture. The walnuts are first cooked in a simple syrup, then deep-fried until very crispy. The dish is finished with beet powder and a beet reduction, and a delicate salad of baby mâche.
Goat Cheese Coulis
For the Beets: Wash the beets and trim the stems to about 1 inch. Put each type of beet on a piece of aluminum foil. Divide the canola oil, peppercorns, garlic, thyme, and salt among the beets, wrap up in the foil, and place on a sheet tray Roast at 400°F for 25 minutes, or until there is no resistance when the beets are pierced with a sharp knife. Cool slightly
When they are cool enough to handle, rub each warm beet with a C-fold towel to remove the skin. Trim away the stems and roots.
Place each type of beet in its own bag and season each with 15 grams of the olive oil, 20 grams of the sherry vinegar, and salt to taste. Vacuum pack on high. Refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours.
For the Candied Walnuts: Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. (When you candy nuts, the simple syrup should just cover them.) Stir in the walnuts and reduce the heat to medium. Simmer very gently; adjusting the heat as necessary; for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the liquid reduces and the nuts are glazed. As the syrup reduces, stir the nuts from time to time to cook them evenly: Pour out onto a rack set over a sheet pan. Separate any nuts that have stuck together.
To Complete: Heat the canola oil to about 163°C (325°F). Add about half the nuts-do not crowd them-and fry; moving them around from time to time, until they are a rich brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove to a parchment-lined sheet pan. Repeat with the remaining nuts. Once cooled, the walnuts can be cut into smaller pieces as desired.
For the Goat Cheese Coulis: Combine the buttermilk crème fraîche, and oil in a Vita-Prep and blend well. Add the cheese and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary: Strain through a chinois or fine-mesh conical strainer into a bowl. Stir in the vinegar and season to taste with salt.
Makes about 250 grams
For the Beet Reduction: Bring the beet juice to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat and boil to reduce. Each time you can see a ring around the side of the pan, strain the juice into a clean pan. Reduce until the juice has reduced by three-quarters. Add the sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves and the reduction is at the desired viscosity: Add a few drops of red wine vinegar and salt to taste.
Makes about 110 grams
For the Pear: Combine the water and ascorbic acid in a bowl, stirring to dissolve the ascorbic acid. Peel the pear. Working quickly; since the pear can discolor, cut into 1/2-inch wedges: to cut perfect wedges, leave the pear whole and cut the wedges away from it, stopping short of the core. As you cut, drop the wedges into the acidulated water.
Drain the wedges and toss with a light coating of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt. Place in a single layer in a bag and vacuum-pack on high.
At Service: With a spoon, sweep some goat cheese coulis across the top half of each plate. Brush a band of beet reduction over the bottom. Lightly dress the mache leaves with olive oil, champagne vinegar, and fleur de sel. Arrange the beets on the plates, garnish with the mâche and walnut pieces, and sprinkle the plates with beet powder and fleur de sel.
This page created January 2009
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