It has been a while since I've written anything in this space. It isn't that I've been completely inactive, just lazy about updating the blog. There is some catching up to do. Regular posting commences...now.
One of the things I'm committing to is work on creating new dishes. To this end, I started a tastes diary of sorts where I write down ideas for things that I come across by accident (soy sauce/toasted walnut oil, granny smith apple/roasted garlic/white chocolate...etc.) and tastes I enjoy in dishes I've attempted.
As a further step in this development is learning to create new textures and flavor combinations with techniques I have learned. That is what is below, as a test.
I took some olive oil and made a gel out of it. This isn't an invention of mine, but something I wanted to add to my repertoire. It is really quite easy, if you've made gelatin before. I made a couple of shapes. First were cubes, which I think mimic croutons. Second, I made a thin sheet, which I then cut up into strips and rolled.
The manipulation of ingredients into different textures and shapes often brings excitement to a plate. I've experienced this. I'm not sure why, but these sorts of things do have an effect on the taste. At least a partial explanation might be that we (I, at least) pay more attention to the taste of the food when it is presented in an unusual way. Whereas something like olive oil might pass nearly unnoticed, the fruity mouth coating deliciousness of a piece of this gel is quite prominent. The gel helps, too, keeping the oil on the palate for a longer period of time. (As a side note, interesting research into this topic.)
I'm looking forward to refinement and learning how to make more components of dishes like this. Time to let the creative juices flow.
water 100 ml
olive oil 200 ml
5 sheets gelatin (silver strength, so I think I used about 15 grams)
1. heat/dissolve sugar, glucose, isomalt in the water
2. At around 90C, add in bloomed gelatin
3. Add olive oil and blitz in blender/immersion blender/food processor
4. Pour & set
(Recipe adapted from khymos.org)