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Molecular Gastronomy Class » digest LA
chefs working with liquid nitrogen

Chef Whitney Werner and Chef Martin Gilligan working with liquid nitrogen

I am just back from a very long Molecular Gastronomy class at Sur La Table. Maybe it was because it was my fourth class in two months, but I wasn’t feeling this one as much. We did make an amazing NY Strip Steak with a coffee rub and parsnip puree. I also learned why my reverse spherification turned out so awful. It ends up I used Calcium Chloride instead of Calcium Gluconate. How silly of me. The teacher, Chef Whitney Werner, said that Calcium Chloride is toxic! Luckily for me, I don’t think that is true. It does, however, taste awful.

We used a different technique for reverse spherification in this class. The juice to be spherized was frozen in a half sphere shape. It was then dropped in a hot batch of sodium alginate. I am not really clear on why the algin was hot, but freezing the juice means that you don’t have to worry about creating perfect spheres.

On foam… We made foam in this class for the roasted beet salad. It turns out, that you make foam exactly the way I accidentally made foam the other day. You use an immersion blender and introduce air to the mixture and et voila. You got foam. I don’t think I will be making any foam in the near future, but at least I know I am an idiot savant of foam making.

Some pictures from the class

Roasted beets with Walnut Tuile and Parmesan Air

Roasted beets with Walnut Tuile and Parmesan Air

This was pretty delicious actually. I have made tuiles before, but not since I got a Silpat so it may be time. The beets were delicious and I loved the dressing with shallots.

Coffee Rubbed New York Striploin with Cauliflower and Parsnip and Rocky Mountain Wild Blueberry Spheres

Coffee Rubbed New York Striploin with Cauliflower and Parsnip and Rocky Mountain Wild Blueberry Spheres

This was by far the winner of the night. The rub on the steak was delicious, but the sauce that Chef Gilligan made was amazing. Also, who doesn’t love a good cauliflower and parsnip puree?

Swordfish and Cous Cous Involtini with Yuzu Foam and Blood Orange Gastrique

Swordfish and Cous Cous Involtini with Yuzu Foam and Blood Orange Gastrique

I wasn’t a big fan of this one because I just didn’t love the taste of the swordfish. I did learn, however, that you can make your own cous cous at home.

Chef Gilligan Pouring Liquid Nitrogen

Chef Gilligan Pouring Liquid Nitrogen

I think this is how chefs have fun.

  • The Dad

    I’m not sure how toxic CaCl2 is. Sodium Chloride is common salt, of course, and Calcium is a close relative. However, CaCl2 is used to chlorinate pools–and no one likes that taste or smell–and it is also the ’salt’ used to dissolve ice. I’d rather not eat it.

  • Evan

    How does one make cous cous at home? I don’t get it.

  • admin

    I guess it is just little balls of semolina – http://www.videojug.com/film/how-to-make-couscous

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