Cream Dory, Arugula Spaghetti, and Shiitake Mayo
I was very excited to try out this molecular gastronomy kit from Molecule-R.
Here is a shot of all the goodies inside the box, I grabbed this photo from their website.
I have absolutely loved science and chemistry since I was a kid and playing with test tubes, actually blowing things up, still peaks my interest (nerd alert). Molecular Gastronomy involves the help of different friendly (aka edible) chemicals that can transform ordinary food into something as awesome as that volcano you made as a kid for the science fair. The Cuisine R-Evolution kit’s contents have enough items to make all sorts of different recipes for spherification, gelification, and emulsification. The Arugula Spaghetti noodles recipe was what caught my eye. Check out Molecule-R’s Video to see what I mean.
After blending the leaves, take the liquid Arugula and inject it into the tubing, then chill in an ice bath. Pretty simple to make. I am not sure about using Arugula next time though as my version came out pretty bitter. I would suggest basil or even mint. Next time around I will also use less water than the recipe calls for in order to create a thicker gelatin; my noodles were a bit delicate and broke easily.
Enough about fancy jelly noodles. What originally inspired this dish was a trip to the Sunday Farmers market. I was introduced to a pretty cool ingredient, bee pollen. Its flavor is a crunchy mix of semi-sweet honey and a very floral pollen aroma. Bee pollen has a ton of health benefits and I imagine it would be good in a granola bar or salad. I bought it because of the unique and vibrant color, plus I am obsessed with honey. To pair with fish, I combined it with a drizzle of Japanese chili sesame oil and some lemon zest.
I bought some local Shiitake mushrooms from the Farmers Market as well and I steamed half of the batch in butter, and the other half I minced. I made a sort of mushroom Duxelle with the minced Shiitake by sauteing it in a mix of browned butter and herbs de provence. I puréed the Duxelle in a food processor and combined it with a homemade mayonnaise, resulting in a very nice sauce for the fish. I really enjoyed this sauce and I am going to be making it again to pair with other things (patatas bravas perhaps?)
I pan seared the Dory in my trusty cast iron skillet, and then finished it in oven on low heat. This keeps the skin very crispy and the fish itself moist and delicate. I separated the skin and trimmings and fried them with whole garlic and lemon slices which I used to garnish the plate. This really helped give some crunch to all the soft textures of this dish. I was happy to stumble upon the edible Blue Ternate Flowers at the Farmers Market. They are not just for looks; along with their amazing color they have many beneficial properties listed in the previous link.
I had so much fun messing around with my pioneer molecular gastronomy adventure, stay tuned for more “gastronaut” additions in the future! If you have ever played with molecular gastronomy and have any feedback, tips, or suggestions please let me know in the comments below.