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Chris Hennes

[Modernist Cuisine] Lentil Salad (p. 5•267–271)

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I've previously made this salad but had to cheat on a number of the ingredients. I'd like to try it again with less cheating, but I have a number of questions before I dive in.

 

First, when making the foie gras cherries, the instructions indicate that you should use a torch to melt to tops of the hemispheres while they are still in the silicone mold. I assume this is a very quick pass? I'm nervous about destroying the mold. Has anyone else tried this and run into problems, or does it work fine?

 

Next, after dipping the "cherries" you chill them in the refrigerator: what orientation works best for this? Laying on their sides, upright, or upside down with the sticks pressed into foam or something?

 

The recipe for the foie coating calls for "Amarena cherry syrup": I see many different brands of Amarena cherries packed in syrup. Is that syrup what the recipe is talking about? Any favorite brands?

 

The sherry gel cubes list "chamomile blossoms" as an ingredient, and the lentils list "chamomile blossoms (fresh)": when I made it last time I used chamomile tea for the gel cubes since without the "(fresh)"  in the ingredient list I assumed dried. Is this correct? The dried blossoms absorbed a lot of the liquid, I had to press on them to extract it and even then the yield was much less than the stated "215g" (which I don't think can be right, based on the ingredient quantities listed).

 

The lentils also call for black radish: is red radish a reasonable substitute for this? I can't find black ones in the stores here, and can't recall ever having them so I don't know what the taste and texture are like.

 

What is a "green hazelnut" and any tips for sourcing them?

 

Finally, I'm looking for a source for food-grade chamomile essential oil: anyone have a supplier?


Edited by Chris Hennes (log)

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Radishes:

 

Red radish would be fine as a substitute; black radish is tougher/woodier and has a bitter, peppery flavour that for me is quite similar. Red would be better than white (daikon) as white is milder.

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I've previously made this salad but had to cheat on a number of the ingredients. I'd like to try it again with less cheating, but I have a number of questions before I dive in.

 

First, when making the foie gras cherries, the instructions indicate that you should use a torch to melt to tops of the hemispheres while they are still in the silicone mold. I assume this is a very quick pass? I'm nervous about destroying the mold. Has anyone else tried this and run into problems, or does it work fine?

 

Next, after dipping the "cherries" you chill them in the refrigerator: what orientation works best for this? Laying on their sides, upright, or upside down with the sticks pressed into foam or something?

 

The recipe for the foie coating calls for "Amarena cherry syrup": I see many different brands of Amarena cherries packed in syrup. Is that syrup what the recipe is talking about? Any favorite brands?

 

The sherry gel cubes list "chamomile blossoms" as an ingredient, and the lentils list "chamomile blossoms (fresh)": when I made it last time I used chamomile tea for the gel cubes since without the "(fresh)"  in the ingredient list I assumed dried. Is this correct? The dried blossoms absorbed a lot of the liquid, I had to press on them to extract it and even then the yield was much less than the stated "215g" (which I don't think can be right, based on the ingredient quantities listed).

 

The lentils also call for black radish: is red radish a reasonable substitute for this? I can't find black ones in the stores here, and can't recall ever having them so I don't know what the taste and texture are like.

 

What is a "green hazelnut" and any tips for sourcing them?

 

Finally, I'm looking for a source for food-grade chamomile essential oil: anyone have a supplier?

 

Hopefully we have a few answers for you. 

 

First, a quick pass with a torch should be fine and should not destroy the mold. With regard to the orientation of the "cherries," the sticks should be pressed into the foam. 

 

Dried blossoms are a good substitute, but our team suggests increasing the water portion by 100%to 100 g if you are going to make the substitution. Make sure to stay within the scaling percent even if you end up with a little more water.

Red radishes are also fine to substitute and the green hazelnuts are actually just young hazelnuts. 

 

Fabbri is also what we recommend and we actually just source our chamomile essential oil from the supermarket. 

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