A Couple Of Passing Cooking Thoughts

Previously, on tastingmenu.wordpress.com –

* https://tastingmenu.wordpress.com/2011/01/01/on-suimono/

I finally understood why japanese cuisine occasionally blanches some of their seafood before adding it to a stew.   The other day, when I was doing shabu shabu and I added raw squid tentacles to the broth, it discolored the shabu shabu broth. A little later, when I was making suimono and I had clams and some more squid tentacles, I blanched them and   left the suimono clear.

Recently, I came across an entry in my copy of The Flavor Bible.  During a passage regarding turbot, I discovered a comment from Chef Eric Ripert. On pg 353, Chef Ripert writes:

…When I create a dish, I start with fish and ask, What is the inspiration of the momen? I will choose a culture and start there. For a recent dish, I was in a Japanese mood and wanted something light and refined.  I used a piece of turbot and paired it with miso and mushroom broth.  The mushrooms don’t relate so much to the culture, but the miso definitely does. I created  a lemon miso paste with white miso and lemon confit.  The fish would sit on the paste and at the last second, the waiter would add the mushroom broth.  If you add the broth to soon, the miso kills the mushroom flavors…

Well I found the lemon confit recipe at: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/lemon-confit
I also found a light mushroom consomme from Chef Ripert at: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/a-meal-from-a-true-cook/

In other words, I think I just learned how to do HIS recipe that was featured on Top Chef.  In fact the following internet reference confirms the dish: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1303590/synopsis

 “…Eric and his chef observe. Leah is making mahi-mahi with miso lemon with mushroom sauce…”

So, the dish I had intended to make back in Oct of last year was probably easier than I thought.  When I make this dish with this understanding, I’ll update that entry on Eric Ripert’s Top Chef dish.  According to the recipe, 6 lemons need to be layered in a jar of 5 cups salt to 5 tablespoons of salt and refridgerated for about 2 weeks.  The lemon confit focuses on the peels ONLY.  So I would probably end of zesting the peels into shiro miso with a microplane grater. So how much confit for how much miso? Current research suggests 1 teaspoon of shredded zest is the equivalent of 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.

I have to wonder, though, if Chef Ripert might have been thinking of miso yuanji like the one described in Chef Murata’s ‘Kaiseki’ (p. 162).  In that recipe, Chef Murata brings to a boil a blend of:

3/4c sake
3/4c water
3 T mirin
2 t usukuchi soy
4 t regular soy

and then adds chopped peel of 1/2 a yuzu (no pith). To the  the cooled liquid, he adds the chopped yuzu peel and 2.2 lbs (1K) of saikyo miso paste. It suggests a microbatch version of

3 oz sake
3 oz water
1 T + 1t + 1/2 t mirin
1 t usukuchi soy
2 t regular soy
1/4 yuzu peel (chopped; how many teaspoons is that?)
1lb + 1.6 oz of miso

For reference, a container of the Yamajirushi miso is 1lb 10 oz. Since the lemon confit is cured with salt AND sugar, I would wonder if the lemon miso paste would be something like:

3 T sake
3 T water
1/2 t usukuchi soy
1 t regular soy
some amount of the grated lemon confit peel
1 c of shiro miso

Stay tuned….

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