Friday, September 25, 2009

Wisconsin Boys Weekend 2009 Part 2- Molecular Gastronomy

My friend Dan, at this years annual Boys Weekend trip brought up a bunch of chemicals to perform an amazing feat of molecular gastronomy, recreating Fabio Viviani's beef carpacchio salad with spherical olives from the 5th season of Top Chef.
First, he started by putting all the olives into a blender to puree them as much as possible.
He dumped the olive mix into a special bag so that he could strain out all the liquid from the olive mixture for use. I tried the residual solid left in the bag, and discovered it had absolutely no flavor at all.
With the olive liquid extracted from the mix, he then added a specific amount of Calcium Chloride.
Dan mentioned that the only place he could find an incredibly accurate scale was not the kitchen store, but at the head shop.
He then prepared and alginate solution in another bowl, and taking small amounts of the olive liquid, he dropped them into the alginate. This reaction created the "skin" around the olive mixture.
After a small time sitting, he removed the "spherical olives" rinsed them and placed them in some olive oil for more flavor. He then finished the rest of the salad and carpacchio and, voila, the dish was complete.
Biting into the spherical olives was a unique experience. They seemed to pop like a grape releasing the olive flavor.
Stay tuned for part 3.

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