In culinary school I was taught that beurre blanc, while not a mother sauce, is a sauce of great importance. Interestingly, though it bears resemblance to Hollandaise, it doesn’t have nearly the same number of variations or “lesser sauces”. In my culinary text there were only two beurre blanc variations: herb butter sauce (throw some chopped herbs into your beurre blanc), and beurre rouge (use red wine in the initial reduction instead of white).
In the Eleven Madison Park cookbook there are at least five variations on classic beurre blanc:
- Lemon Beurre Blanc. Using a lemon reduction instead of wine and vinegar. I haven’t made the EMP recipe yet, but it calls for an insane volume of 1 cup lemon
… Continue reading.
Baby’s first fluid gel! Fluid gels are an entire category of sauces that are ubiquitous in contemporary cuisine. I avoided them for years, another example of my old disdain for things I considered “modernist”.
Flipping through the Eleven Madison Park cookbook I saw several dishes in which yogurt was drawn across the plate in perfectly smooth lines. I had recently used yogurt on a lamb dish, and not only did it not look smooth, it also tended to weep a bit of moisture when put on a warm plate. I finally discovered that the yogurt component in these EMP dishes were actually dairy fluid gels made with agar agar. While the yogurt has to be somewhat diluted with milk or … Continue reading.
The whipping siphon is a perfect example of a modern tool I eschewed and deliberately didn’t learn to use because I thought it was a pretentious, unnecessary gimmick. I’m trying to actively address my many culinary prejudices, so I challenged myself to put a component made with a whipping siphon on my 2021 fall menu.
I was keen to do a take on beet salad with goat cheese, and for the first few iterations I was just crumbling fresh goat cheese onto roasted, sliced beets. However because I had the salad components laid out and not tossed together, it was a little difficult to get the small pieces of cheese onto a fork and into your mouth. There seemed to … Continue reading.
These are gluten-free crackers containing only cheese and egg white. My recipe closely follows the Cheese Crackers in the Eleven Madison Park cookbook, which are a component of the Goat Cheese and Lemon Galette (photo pg. 242, recipe pg. 330). I love the clean look of these crackers. I also thought they could be a viable crust for a cheese tart I was hoping to put on a menu this winter. This is a versatile preparation that could serve as a bar snack, a canapé base, or a crispy garnish much like a frico.
While the recipe in the EMP cook book has a good core ingredient ratio and general procedure, when I made the crackers myself there were … Continue reading.
This is effectively a no-bake cheese cake mixture made with goat cheese. Other cheeses with a similar consistency can also be used, such as mascarpone, cream cheese, and ricotta. I particularly like Lakeside Farmstead fromage blanc in this recipe. Unlike the Goat Cheese Mousse from Whipping Siphon, which has the texture of whipped cream and is spreadable, this is a set mousse that is sliceable.
I adapted my recipe from the Goat Cheese Mousse in the Eleven Madison Park cookbook that is a component of the Goat Cheese and Lemon Galette (photo pg. _ recipe pg. 330). I made the following changes:
- All volume measures have been converted to metric weight measures for consistency.
- I opted to use powdered gelatin
… Continue reading.
Originally published March 18, 2012.
Cream, rich as an Irish brogue;
Coffee, strong as a friendly hand;
Sugar, sweet as the tongue of a rogue;
Whiskey, smooth as the wit of the land.
-a traditional toast accompanying Irish coffee
The Irish coffee typically served in restaurants here either has cream stirred into the drink, or whipped cream floating on top. The traditional way to enjoy the drink is to gently pour heavy cream onto the surface of the coffee so that it floats, then sip the coffee through the cream.
Let’s discuss ingredients.
The Coffee – Use good coffee. Brew it strong.
The Sugar – Irish coffee is made with brown sugar which has a distinct, cooked, molasses-like taste. … Continue reading.
Risotto is a traditional northern Italian dish of short-grain rice cooked in broth and finished with butter and grated hard cheese, usually parmigianno. The “ris” in the name refers to the rice, so “barley risotto” is sort of an oxymoron. There happens to be an Italian word for barley cooked in the same style as risotto: orzotto.
Anyways, this morning I prepared a squash and barley risotto on Global Edmonton and promised to post the recipe here. This is a dish we do at Elm Catering throughout the autumn, a re-imagining of the traditional risotto using some local fall ingredients. It would be a great addition to a Thanksgiving dinner, perhaps in lieu of mash potatoes.
You can use … Continue reading.
This is a tasty spread I often serve at Austrian cooking classes.
Liptauer is originally from Liptov, in Slovakia, formerly part of the Austro-Hungarian empire. The dish became quite popular in Austria-proper, and is now considered a classic part of that country’s cuisine.
In Austria Liptauer is made with a soft, fresh cheese called Topfen. Topf is the German word for pot, so Topfen can be translated as “pot cheese”. It goes by the name Quark (pronounced “KVARK”) in many other parts of Europe. Austrians will scoff, but the recipe below approximates Topfen by using a mixture of cream cheese and sour cream.
Besides cheese, the other essential ingredient in Liptauer is paprika, which is ubiquitous in several Eastern … Continue reading.
I have purchased, without exaggeration, tens of thousands of dollars of Sylvan Star cheese. Not for personal consumption, of course, but for the restaurants I’ve worked for over the past few years. The mac and cheese served from the Nomad food truck, for instance, was made with Sylvan Star medium Gouda. The grilled cheese sandwiches at Elm are currently made with a blend of medium, smoked, and aged Gouda. Rarely does a week pass without my purchasing at least a whole wheel of cheese from Sylvan Star.
Jan Schalkwyk is the owner of Sylvan Star, and he was already a champion cheese-maker when he left Holland and came to Canada in 1995. He had fully intended to leave cheese-making behind … Continue reading.
Originally posted July 4, 2013. Reposted for Eat Alberta.
When I was little there were only two types of cheese: cheddar and marble cheddar. This was in Ontario, in the 1990s. Most meals were accompanied by a small plate of pickles and orange cheddar.
Anemic, industrial versions of two classic French cheeses were my first glimpses into the wider world of cheese. One was “Brie”, and the other “Goat cheese.” Both were vapid compared to the samples I would eat later in life, but I remember them because they were so different from the blockish, pressed, firm-textured cheddar of my youth. They were both bland and comforting, yet they both had very interesting textures in their own rights: the Brie … Continue reading.