Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Girls Cooking Night: Celebrity Chefs

For our last girls cooking night, we decided to each choose a celebrity chef recipe, not tell the others whose it was, and see if we could all guess. The picture above is of the Wylie Dufresne dish I attempted to make - the caviar "egg roll."

It's basically a deconstructed egg. The whites and yolks are separated, seasoned - the whites with salt and white pepper, the yolks with salt and cayenne pepper, and beaten. The yolks are poured into a rigid plastic bag - probably ideally a tube, but I went with what was on hand, just ziplocs - and set aside to allow time for the bubbles to disappear.

The whites are fried quickly into bubbly thin sheets. Wylie called for 1 cup of clarified butter for the frying! I opted instead for a few tablespoons of duck fat (again, what I had on hand).

After an hour or so of resting, the yolks were then supposed to be cooked in a bain-marie (water bath) of 155 degrees for 2 hours. Here you can see my make-shift set-up for this - with the plastic bags duct taped to chopsticks which could rest on the edge of the pot so the bags didn't hit the bottom, and a computerized meat thermometer to make sure the water stayed around the 155 mark.

Then the yolks are chilled in the bag for another few hours until they set up nice and firm, and eventually the whole shebang is rolled together. Well, while mine are not so pretty, they tasted pretty good, at least. I served mine with tobiko roe rather than black caviar for the obvious reasons of frugality. The slow-cooked yolks develop a nice creamy consistency.

When I emphasized the deconstruction element of the dish, Brownie guessed Ferran Adria, and when told she was on the right track, got WD as the chef pretty quickly.

The other dishes of the evening were Mark Bittman's chickpea salad (which everyone guessed since we all read the NYTimes food section), Rachel Ray's lemon chicken (no one guessed), Jamie Oliver's bread with herbs and goat cheese (struggled on that one), and Bobby Flay's lamb chili (guessed right away).

Amazingly, even though we didn't really coordinate ahead of time (since we had to keep our dish a secret), we ended up having quite a complete and rounded meal - with appetizer, bread, salad, 2 different meats.

We finished off with desserts made by Princeton's local celebrities at Chez Alice.

1 comment:

BrookLEn said...

Impressive. What balances a reconstructed bain-marie egg like lamb chili?