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foams


pastramionrye
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i am wanting to do a pernod foam for a fish appetizer that has a saffron cream sauce...just a little spray to complement the other flavors in the dish...

anyone have an idea as to how to do it?

i have a recipe from adria for a coconut foam.; but coconut is so much fattier, so i wonder if i will need more gelatin or what not...

the recipe for coconut foam is: 1 c. coconut milk, 1 t. gelatin, 1/4 c. water; once all combined, it will be put in a whip cream cannister.

i will be testing this tomorrow,once i get some nitrous....but if any of youy have suggestions...fire away.

Nothing quite like a meal with my beautiful wife.

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SINCE YOU already have a sauce and would like to enhance it with a hint of pernod, why don't you make a reduction with pernod being dominate and pour into a spray mister and finish the dish that way. I do this on certain dishes whether it be a slad with a mist of blue cheese essence or a meat dish with a mushroom essence, etc. Although foams are great to work with there are other techniques to enhance flavour in a dish. If it is a foam you want do you want it cold warm or a hot foam?

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Your problem is that gelatin is not soluble in alcohol, so you would need to be sure to add sufficient water to hold the gelatin. This will probably mean that the ratio of pernod/water would result in a rather anaemic pernod flavour......

Gerhard Groenewald

www.mesamis.co.za

Wilderness

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I have to confess that I cannot see what the pernod foam would add to the dish, other than an element of novelty. Served as an amuse before the fish dish, maybe, but as an adjunct to the saffron sauce?

Gerhard Groenewald

www.mesamis.co.za

Wilderness

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Can someone please explain to me why foams are so popular now? Is the texture supposed to be novel, or the taste enhanced in some subtle way?

I'm not trying to be obnoxious about this -- I see already we have some foam opponents on this thread. I'm genuinely curious about why this is considered an attractive thing, and why it's become so trendy.

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Well, actually, I like to make a foam of dashi to put under mussels. Looks and tastes great.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Can someone please explain to me why foams are so popular now? Is the texture supposed to be novel, or the taste enhanced in some subtle way?

It's called being pretentious!

:biggrin:

Some folks like to live in the past. Apparently to these foam abusers 1998 was a banner year. Carrot juice anyone?

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Now, that's funny, Spencer.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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It is equally pretentious to dismiss foams simply because they are overly popular in some circles. The point is to use them where they enhance a dish, and nowhere else.

Both the "pro" and "anti" positions seem more religious than gastronomic.

Jonathan Day

"La cuisine, c'est quand les choses ont le go�t de ce qu'elles sont."

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i thought a foam would be a nice way to subtley bring in a flavor like pernod...since the main flavor of the sauce is saffron. a foam should ideally be light and frothy and airy, and the pernod somewhat subtle ddue to this.

i thought it would be visually appealing as well.

thanks for the lively discussion...

along with the knives and uniforms debate, i have become the biggest boob on the site.

Nothing quite like a meal with my beautiful wife.

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and i dont know where you all go to eat; but i have not been inundated with foams at the restaurants i choose to go to...sure, they are used in art culinaire and at some of the nicer restaurants in the country...but so is creme brulee and tenderloin and blue cheese and proscuttio...caviar, and the holy grail foie gras...

now if you are looking for something played out....foie gras is used and misused WAY MORE than foams.

why not hate foie gras while you all are at it...oh, i forgot, most of you do hate it....hehehehehe

Nothing quite like a meal with my beautiful wife.

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Your problem is that gelatin is not soluble in alcohol, so you would need to be sure to add sufficient water to hold the gelatin. This will probably mean that the ratio of pernod/water would result in a rather anaemic pernod flavour......

could i cook the alcohol out of the pernod?

Nothing quite like a meal with my beautiful wife.

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I am not sure that you would not cook out a lot of the aromatics in the process as well. Would the end result still be recognisably Pernod?

Gerhard Groenewald

www.mesamis.co.za

Wilderness

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What about an aniseseed (and other herb?) infusion in milk or cream. Depending on the desired effect you could add gelatin and go the siphon route or use some simpler foam with less structure. I guess it would depend on how you wanted it to sit with the rest of the dish.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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the recipe for coconut foam is: 1 c. coconut milk, 1 t. gelatin, 1/4 c. water; once all combined, it will be put in a whip cream cannister.

i will be testing this tomorrow,once i get some nitrous....but if any of youy have suggestions...fire away.

My jury is still out on this issue, but I have been interested in it.

How much foam does this make? I'm thinking anything more than 2 tablespoons of volume (3.5 cubic inches?) would look excessive on a plate. And unless you're having a big dinner party, I'm guessing a lot will go to waste, no?

Just curious...

Drink!

I refuse to spend my life worrying about what I eat. There is no pleasure worth forgoing just for an extra three years in the geriatric ward. --John Mortimera

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i am going the immersion blender route, combining butter and pernod...hopefully that will work...

as for the anti-foamers...i didnt mean to foment an argument...

i think everything has a place somewhere. things shouldnt be so black and white.

Nothing quite like a meal with my beautiful wife.

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I'm very close to Jonathan Day's position on this--meaning that there is no valid position for or against foams. I've written this before, it's like saying you are against sorbet. Spence, you against tomato sorbet? How could you be? Foams have been around for a long time--much longer than Adria--and the mind, tools and techniques used to produce them are like anything else in the chef's repertoire--mousse, sorbet, sauce, custard--whatever--they're just an option to be employed in a dish, hopefully in the service of pleasing a diner. But foam is neither inherently good or bad, neither flavorful or not, neither a wise choice or an ill-gotten one.

Pastramionrye has made a few interesting statements:

"i am wanting to do a pernod foam for a fish appetizer that has a saffron cream sauce...just a little spray to complement the other flavors in the dish"

Aside from speculating on the fish/saffron/pernod combination, in this case, do you want a "spray" like a spritz of some droplets of flavor--or do you want a foam, also called an espuma? These are two different things P. Foams can have very different consistencies but they are mousse-like not aerosol-like, as something that would come out of an atomizer;

"a foam should ideally be light and frothy and airy, and the pernod somewhat subtle due to this.

i thought it would be visually appealing as well."

well, foams shouldn't necessarily "be" anything--they are what a chef wants them to be in the context of the dish he wants. If you want a subtle foam, you make a subtle foam; if you want something intense or airy or green or rough--you make it that way. If it works in the dish, visually in a presentation-sense and on the palate, it works.

"and i dont know where you all go to eat; but i have not been inundated with foams at the restaurants i choose to go to"

with this I agree completely--you live in DC, right, and cook at Palena? I'm in DC and I'm not inundated with foams, I don't think a lot of area chefs understand them, but I have seen them for years and I've had my share of good ones and poor ones. The French are anti-Adria-foam and (generally) don't want to use the iSi because a Spanish guy developed the technique, but even Antoine Westermann had a few foams on his opening menu at Cafe 15 in the Sofitel. I use foams and espumas myself--and of the 24 plated desserts on my restaurant menus at the moment--5 have foams as a component of the dish. Not the key element, a side player. Would that be inundated? At Zaytinya I do a creme-anglaise-based cardamom foam and a gelatin-apricot-based foam, at Cafe a banana with a touch of cream foam, at Jaleo an "arroz con leche" foam (milk with a touch of gelatin and salt--the milk that the rice is cooked in so it has the flavor of the rice, lemon and cinnamon) and also a "crema catalana" foam, which is creme anglaise-based, served alongside a very traditional flan. So P. if you've eaten at Jaleo or Cafe Atlantico or Zaytinya you've seen foam. (Jose Andres and Katsuya at Cafe Atlantico have several savory foams on the menu, including potato-vanilla, foie-gras-corn, and an anchovy foam. But these are in service of little dishes among many. I don't think Jose has a single foam at Jaleo or at Zaytinya.) In any event, a higher percentage of my desserts have a frozen component than have a foam component--is anyone fretting about desserts being inundated with sorbets or granites?

The coconut foam "recipe" mentioned here is just one of many ways to skin that cat--you should see Grant Achatz's description of how and why he makes his coconut foam on another thread, which begins with fresh-shaved coconut. You can also make a coconut foam simply with coconut milk and a touch of cream--you don't need gelatin at all. Chefs mix and match proportions of things to get the texture, flavor and airiness they want in their foams--just as chefs mix and match ingreidents to get different textures, intensities of flavor and mouthfeels in their sauces, reductions, creams, etc.

If you go the "Immersion blender route" realize you will likely get a froth--something bubbly and frothy--not a foam or "espuma" with usually has more body. Even the Adrias use the immersion blender technique for certain dishes where wispy bubbly froths are more appropriate for what they are trying to create. There's been some technical discussion of this on the site--French chefs not wanting to use the iSi Profi whipper and instead using the immersion blender. A few chefs are playing around with those new self-contained milk froth pitchers, including Grant. I saw him in an ad for one of these not too long ago.

Tools, recipes, techniques for foams--just weapons in the arsenal. The end result is what matters not the buzz word or the process behind the dish. Foams can be water and gelatin based, they can be pure or diffuse; some chefs might not like using cream instead of gelatin in a foam because the cream might dilute the flavor, another might embrace the fat the cream would add to a foam and complement an otherwise lean austere dish. To each his own.

Report back on how you do--the recipes which come with the iSi foamer are a good starting off point--they cover most of the main forms. I'd think an anise infusion thickened with gelatin might be one way to go since the sauce already has cream in it. Maybe infuse anise in a fish stock or consomme and then add gelatin?

And also realize if your dish goes awry it's probably not the fact that you decided to utilize a foam, just that your still-developing palate or your ability to synthesize techniques let you down. As more of the chef within you emerges, you'll find the most appropriate outlet for all these influences, tips and techniques which you are assimilating.

Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

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the evolution of the foam definitely has its place, however one must move beyond inert recipes within the foam its self. We forget that time and temperature alter shapes and sizes over very short periods of time. Using a ramedial example: ice cream melts on plates at room temperature. To speed this process up with a foam is well.............something you will have to wait and see, its very exciting.

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Some folks like to live in the past. Apparently to these foam abusers 1998 was a banner year.  Carrot juice anyone?

So I'm doing a little Internet research on this topic because I like to broaden my horizons, regardless of whether something is 'in' or 'not.' It doesn't matter to me because what was in yesterday, is not today, but will return tomorrow; plus, what we learned yesterday is what we do today, which is what we build upon tomorrow.

I've heard about foams for a couple of years now, but I've never seen it on a plate. Not in my four visits to The French Laundry, three visits to CIA (cutting edge?), two visits to Chez Panisse, La Toque, nor in my visits to Rovers and the Herb Farm in Seattle. But that doesn't keep me from experimenting with it. Who knows, I might build upon this and come up with next "new thing."

Through Google I found a Web site talking about using espresso machines to whip up a foam as opposed to buying another gadget.

Using espresso machines, chefs whip up all kinds of foams and sauces.

Check out the date.

Chef Spencer, you crack me up. :laugh:

Drink!

I refuse to spend my life worrying about what I eat. There is no pleasure worth forgoing just for an extra three years in the geriatric ward. --John Mortimera

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