Chef J got us one of authentic recipes for the class. We made it, and the whole school came to taste our falafel — the best I ever had. I remember other chef-instructors couldn’t believe it was truly vegan and gluten-free, with no wheat flour added to the mix.
A canelé is a classic French pastry made from the same ingredients as French crepes — eggs, milk, and sugar. The batter is the same thin. These two-bite pastries are famous for their unusual combination of textures. Long baking and high temperature turns the batter into a delicacy with crunchy caramelized crust outside and custardy sponge inside.
It was during my vacation on Hawaii Big Island, on the farmers market in Hilo. I stopped at Ratana’s food trailer and watched her making salads. Seeing the process and being exposed to all the aromas coming from her mortar made me hungry and curious. I tasted her Som Tam and… became an addict. How this famous Thai salad had escaped my attention before? What else was I missing in Thai food?
They are also known as microwave cakes. In a world of foams they are solid foams. Pastry chefs describe them as a sponge with delicate and feathery texture. You need a blender, a whipping siphon, a microwave, and 10 minutes of time to make them.
Almond whipped cream has different properties than dairy whipped cream. It is much lighter, there is less fat in it. It doesn’t form stiff picks, so it can’t be used for decorating cakes or pastries. But it tastes good and it will successfully replace whipped cream in, for example, coffee or hot chocolate.
I used Austrian pumpkin seed oil to flavor my modernist “burrata” appetizers. This oil is a culinary specialty from southern Austria, Styria. It adds beautiful green color and amazingly reach nutty flavor.
Pkhali (ფხალი) is a signature Georgian appetizer. Its consistency is similar to pesto and tapenade. Pkhali’s main ingredients are cooked vegetables and walnuts mixed with traditional herbs and spices. If you don’t aim for authenticity, and rather prefer to explore your own vegetables-nuts-herbs-spices variations, play with different nuts and seeds. Use your favorite spice mixes and herbs instead of Utskho Suneli and Khmeli Suneli. You won’t be able to name your dish “pkhali”, but you’ll enjoy it for sure.
Kharcho (ხარჩო) is a traditional Georgian meaty soup or stew. It is usually made with beef or chicken, but can also be made with other meats and poultry. Depending on the region, its consistency may vary. There are many recipes, many variations. What similar characteristics make them all “kharcho”?
Okonomiyaki is a Japanese pancake made of shredded cabbage mixed with a variety of ingredients and some batter. Cooked okonomiyaki is served with okonomi sauce, Japanese mayonnaise, katsuobushi, and aonori. All these components are important.
Okonomiyaki originated from the Osaka and Hiroshima areas (West) of Japan. The name means “what you like, grilled”. Okonomi means “what you want” or “what you like”, yaki means “grilled” or “cooked”.
Guacamoles are the best when made fresh. The ingredients that make guacamole taste wonderful lose their intensity with the time. Try to make it at home with ripe avocados, crushed fresh herbs and green chiles, and freshly squeezed key lime juice — and you’ll never buy guacamole again.