Printer Friendly

Eye Candy.

Her eyes said, "Yes" before her lips could say "What's That?!"

CERTAINLY A CULINARY AFICIONADO WHO THUMBS through any of the preferred food lover's compendiums will quickly discover there is no reigning definition, classic or modern, for the term 'Eye Candy.' Even Auguste Escoffier failed to include in Chapter Ten of The Escoffier Cook Book a few words on eye candy as a "Leading Culinary Operation." Nor can it be found for that matter in Chapter Seven, "An Elementary Preparation." Louis Saulnier makes no reference to it in his Le Repertoire de La Cuisine. Alan Davidson's more modern Oxford Companion of Food seems to pass over eye candy all together--hastily departing the 'E's' for the 'Fs'--but not without a final thought on "eye-eating." Surely not what Art Culinaire had in mind.

Eye candy: It's that special dish--you know the one. The one that easily illicits stares from gawking guests when whisked across the dining room to the lucky recipient. It receives the same special treatment as the President; high security, plate practically spit-shined, coordinated down to the last detail--one final sprinkle of paprika, perhaps. Don't even think about getting near it, or risk reprimand.

Who hasn't, at one time or another, exclaimed, "What's that?" when a dish you wanted was wheeled en route to someone else. Try controlling yourself around Michel Richard's dazzling Sushi D'ici at Citronelle. And if you are lucky enough to stay at the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, Jeff Lehuede's dessert work will have your head spinning. Might as well surrender now.

Customers know it as "the impulse buy." Those who try to escape or ignore eye candy most often fail. How can one resist that savory-something or solicitous post-dinner plated dessert? Alluring and not easily forgotten; it's recalled instantly when all the decadent details are relayed to a salivating and envious onlooker. This special instantaneous spontaneity is the zenith of eating experiences.

They'll know it as the dish that oozes carnal appeal. Regardless if it's read alone from the menu in quiet comfort or described exhaustively by an especially zealous member of the waitstaff, eye candy has no real need for explication. It's shrewd appeal? It sells itself.

Jeff Lehuede

Who said all pastry chefs are quiet?

We'd care to dispel the myth that all pastry chefs are reclusive, quiet types. You know the ones; the sort who might start baking if someone said they'd like to have a 'long chat.' No chefs, put away your silpats, we are not referring to 'Langue de Chat.'

Well, the cat hasn't got Jeff Lehuede's tongue. We lunched with the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel pastry chef and between bites, we learned quite a lot about life outside his pastry kitchen. For Jeff, life is a labor of love. And that life includes everything from his wife, to cutting the grass, to Southern California and whatever else that's sent his way.

Prior to joining The Ritz-Carlton in early 2001, Jeff Lehuede worked as a pastry chef for Mandarin Oriental Hotels in Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Indonesia. Ask him about Asia and he'll tell you, "The food was so spicy, I wanted to die! My friends used to ask me, 'Are you alright?' You have to burn your palate first before you can build it up ..."

"And everything is rice! Breakfast is rice. I'd say, 'Give me potatoes' ... and I'd get rice."

It's been an interesting journey for Lehuede who came to the states because the quality of life was much more conducive to raising a family and having a well-rounded existence.

"You have more time for yourself. Here, I have two days off, but in Asia ... I sometimes worked a few weeks without a day off. It's just part of life there."

And Lehuede could use as much time off as possible to complete the multiple projects he's continually working on.

"My wife wants an office." For anyone else, they'd have a contractor on the phone. But not our sweet pastry chef, who smiles when he speaks of these grand undertakings. The same perfection that goes into his pastries go into his projects.

"Home improvement is my hobby. Moldings, furniture, painting ..."

He continues, "I redid my fireplace. All the tiles were ugly and they looked even uglier since we just redid the floor and carpet. I spend hours inside."

"I made all the furniture for my daughter's room including a birch bench." (He lovingly refers to her as a "dragon.")

We can see he gets a genuine satisfaction from this kind of work, taking pride in the fine details.

"I reupholstered a chair, redid the wood fittings and polished it. It would have cost me 500 bucks to buy the chair new!" He reveals he bought the chair 'as is' at a bargain--50 dollars.

"And once something is done, I can say, 'I did it!'"

Perhaps Jeff inherited the nimble hands from his mother.

"My Mom ... she has gold fingers. She makes curtains, paintings, tapestries--everything. She used to do wedding cakes. She went to cooking school. She had her own garden. She cooked."

"Growing up, everyday, we had dessert. She would make her own dough and grow strawberries. Maybe one day there was a strawberry tart, and maybe the next, something else."

No wonder Jeff's interest in pastry came at a young age.

"As kids, my older brother would make the tart dough, then go to the beach. And while he was gone, I would make the tart. Then he'd ride back home on his bicycle and eat my pastries. For me, the attraction was not in the eating, but in the making."

By the time he was nine-years-old, Jeff knew he wanted to be a pastry chef. And he never once changed his mind. At 12, he was buying his own books--the kind with recipes in them. "The books had cartoons of tomatoes, fondue, puff pastry, or instructions on how to pipe something."

He finds working with sweets a different challenge than with savory.

"It's very difficult to make a good cake. A three-course meal takes three hours and it takes the same three hours to screw up a cake."

In his teens, Lehuede worked in a cake shop. Then as a teenager, he spent his apprenticeship in France, receiving his Master Certificate in Pastry. As a young man, Jeff surrounded himself with top chefs. He spent time at Le Pre Catalan restaurant in Paris and worked at more than one Michelin star. These were all formidable experiences. "I think at different stages in life you have different experiences and learn different things. You never know when you're going to use them."

He and his wife visit France on occasion. "When we go on vacation, we cook! Friends say, 'You're nuts, you do that for a living!'"

Jeff can't talk enough about his wife. He says the two met when he was working at his first hotel in Asia.

"She had just come from Hong Kong and was looking for work. She happened to stop in at the cafe where I was. Instead of the cook telling her how to make something, she was telling the cook! 'Make this, make that.' The chef said, 'I don't know how to do that, it's not on the menu!' She showed the chef, and I was like, 'Who is this girl?'"

Jeff enjoys relaying the memory. He smiles at the thought and becomes quiet. For all of two seconds.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Michel Richard

"STOP COOKING? THAT'S LIKE WAITING FOR DEATH."

9:00am, Citronelle Restaurant, Washington D.C. There's a quiet corner near the glass-walled kitchen where an abstract painting hangs. Look at the signature closely. It's signed by Michel Richard. It's clear the chef has a way with color, form and creativity. And he hasn't yet arrived for our photo shoot.

If there is such a thing as the archetypal chef, Michel Richard fits the profile. His physical presence is both commanding and warm. Richard is playful. One moment he's teasing, or singing, the next, he's intensely focused on the task at hand. He speaks in rapid-fire French, at times firmly directed toward the kitchen.

On this day he is surrounded by colleagues and friends--some are both--who've been with him for years. Take Jean-Jacques Retourne, the impeccably-dressed Maitre'd at Citronelle--wearing a Tom Wolfe white suit with tangerine-shaded handkerchief. He's been with Richard since the opening of Citrus. That was in Los Angeles, circa 1986. Then there is Robert, the unassuming and well-dressed Frenchman swirling a glass of red wine, watching his friend work. He reveals he comes in "almost daily." This is "as good as entertainment."

Michel Richard calls this "his family, his club, a harmony."

Citronelle is now Richard's flagship restaurant. He's had others--in Philadelphia, L.A., not to mention San Francisco, and he still owns another Citronelle in Santa Barbara, California. Washington D.C. however, holds something special for Richard. "It's a beautiful small town. We have rivers, canals, the four seasons. I have everything I need here--my wife, my children, my friends, my Art Culinaire!"

Richard spent 26 years in France. He was born and raised there, but he calls, what is smugly situated inside the Latham Hotel, "home," as well as "the biggest, but best risk of his life." Could he still be such an optimist after almost ten years here?

"It keeps getting better. As long as you take care of what you have. It's like a marriage. If you take care of your wife, if you respect her, you'll do well for a long time." The chef hides no emotion.

Michel Richard began his career as a protege of the great Gaston Lenotre, a Parisian patissier who was one of the founding fathers of nouvelle cuisine. Richard's whimsical touches are carried over from pastry to savory. We had a specific interest in his recently-introduced menu item: sushi d'ici, bite-size bundles packing intense flavor. Chef Richard calls the jewels, "a new adventure." He also says that with them, he has to "restrain his creativity."

"They are like a package. The sauce should be on the inside. The moisture inside. The texture inside. With regular French food, there are more components spread all over the plate."

He spends time wondering how to make what he does better or how to do something differently, shaking his head at the notion that a chef could become jaded or a cynic. "I'm a chef 24 hours a day. My chef's jacket is my tie." A principle taken to heart.

"I would be the happiest man if one day I didn't need to ask for money ... if I could just cook ... but you have to buy the next fish ... the next piece of steak, the next bottle of champagne for the new lovers ..." He winks, smiles sweetly and we all break into laughter.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

"The customer, they are my kings and queens."

His kings and queens are also his family--whom he doesn't get to spend as much time with as he'd like, "I miss my children. When I get up, they are sleeping. When I come home they are sleeping."

So he tries to find time for everyone. Giving ample attention to his customers, seeing his wife who he "adores," not to mention the children--if only to give them a kiss. This chef does not like to disappoint. For Richard, dining isn't much different than signing a contract.

"When you go to many restaurants, you ask, 'What was that?' And on top of that, pay for the experience--it's as if no one respects you. I don't want that to happen in my restaurant."

He continues, "I love my customer. I want them to say, 'We heard so much about Michel Richard. I love what he's doing, he respects us. I want my customer to feel like they want to make another reservation."

Okay, Chef. How about dinner Saturday at 8:00pm. They'll be four of us.

RELATED ARTICLE: Mandarin Medjool Date Sushi (Serves 6)

Jeff Lehuede

directions

For the mandarin sushi: In a rice cooker, add rice and water and cook for 30 minutes. Let rice steam for a few minutes before adding mandarin juice and simple syrup. Mix well and shape the rice into a 2X1-inch round log. Place rice over date and press a mandarin segment into top of rice.

For the sauce: In a small saucepan, bring water and honey to a boil. Remove from heat and add almond essence. Set aside, keeping cool.

To serve: Position a ti leaf around the base of a martini glass, wrapping it around the stem all the way to the top of the glass. Pour sauce into a martini glass and place chopsticks across rim. Balance sushi on chopsticks.

ingredients

For the mandarin sushi:

1 cup sushi rice

1 cup water

2 ounces mandarin orange juice

2 ounces simple syrup

12 medjool dates

Mandarin orange segments as needed

For the sauce:

2 ounces water

4 ounces honey

Bitter almond essence to taste

For the garnish:

Ti leaves*

Chop sticks

* Available through Floral

Resources/Hawaii Inc. at (888) 959-5851

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

RELATED ARTICLE: Caramelized Almond Pumpkin Pie (Serves 6)

Jeff Lehuede

directions

For the dough: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle, combine butter, sugar, almond flour, salt and vanilla. Add egg and mix to combine. Add cake and bread flours and mix well to combine. Cover dough and place in refrigerator until chilled. Transfer to a lightly-floured work surface and roll to 1/8-inch thick. Transfer to a parchment-lined sheet pan. Bake until golden brown.

For the filling: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine eggs, sugar, brown sugar and salt. Whisk until dissolved and add ginger and clove powders, milk and powdered milk. Mix until combined. Fold in pumpkin puree until well mixed. Spread the pumpkin mixture evenly on the dough and bake for 25 minutes.

For the caramelized almonds: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium saucepan, bring the simple syrup to a boil. Add almonds and infuse for two hours. Strain through a colander and place almonds onto a silpat-lined sheet pan. Bake until caramelized. Reserve for mousse.

For the mousse: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk, add egg white. In a small saucepan cook sugar and 1-ounce water to 300 degrees. Drizzle cooked sugar over egg white while whisking constantly. In a bowl, dissolve gelatin in 1/2 ounce hot water and add into egg white mixture. Fold fromage blanc into egg white mixture and spread over cooled pumpkin pie. Sprinkle with caramelized almonds; place in refrigerator overnight. Slice into 12 2 1/2X1-inch pieces.

For the cranberry sauce: In a saucepan, bring cranberries, sugar and orange juice to a boil. Cook until cranberries burst. Refrigerate to cool.

To serve: Place two slices of pumpkin pie on a dessert plate and garnish with cranberry sauce and caramelized sugar sticks.

ingredients

For the dough:

2 1/2 ounces butter

1 1/4 ounces granulated sugar

1 ounce almond flour

Pinch salt

1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg, beaten

2 1/4 ounces cake flour

2 ounces bread flour

For the filling:

2 eggs

2 1/2 ounces granulated sugar

1 ounce brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ginger powder

1 teaspoon clove powder

4 ounces milk

3 ounces powdered milk

8 ounces pumpkin puree

For the caramelized almonds:

2 ounces simple syrup

1 ounce sliced almonds

For the mousse:

1 egg white

1 1/2 ounces granulated sugar

1 1/2 ounces water

7 ounces fromage blanc*

1 1/2 gelatin leaves, softened in cool water

For the cranberry sauce:

4 ounces frozen cranberries

1 ounce sugar

2 ounces orange juice

For the garnish:

Caramelized sugar sticks

* Available through Murray's Cheese Shop at (888) MY-CHEEZ.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

RELATED ARTICLE: Fig Carpaccio with Lemon Cheesecake (Serves 6)

Jeff Lehuede

directions

For the cheesecake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle, mix cream cheese until smooth. Add lemon zest, vanilla seeds and sugar. Add egg and mix until smooth; mix in cream. Pour cheesecake mixture into 3-inch oval flexipan molds and place into a hot water bath. Bake until firm, about 25 minutes.

For the sherbet: In a medium saucepan bring water, glucose, powdered milk, orange zest, stabilizer and sugar to a boil. Add orange juice and blood orange juice and strain through a fine mesh sieve. Set in an ice bath until chilled. Freeze in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's instructions.

For the phyllo sticks: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stack sheets on top of each other and brush the top sheet with clarified butter; sprinkle with sugar. Cut into decorative strips. Place on a parchment-lined sheet tray. Top phyllo sticks with parchment and another sheet tray to keep phyllo sticks flat. Place in oven until golden brown, about 10 minutes.

For the sauce: In a small saucepan, reduce port to a syrup consistency.

For the fig carpaccio: Scoop out insides of figs and flatten to 1/16-inch thick between two sheets of plastic wrap. Place on a sheet tray and freeze. Remove from freezer and cut into 2X3-inch squares.

To serve: On a dessert plate, peel off one side of the fig carpaccio and place unwrapped side down on plate; peel off remaining plastic wrap. Place cheesecake and sherbet on plate. Garnish with sauce, figs and phyllo sticks.

ingredients

For the cheesecake:

11 ounces cream cheese

Zest 1/2 lemon, grated

1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped

3 ounces sugar

1 egg

3 ounces heavy cream

For the sherbet:

3 ounces water

2 ounces glucose

1/2 ounce powdered milk

Zest 1/2 orange

1 teaspoon stabilizer

3 ounces granulated sugar

6 ounces orange juice

6 ounces blood orange juice

For the phyllo sticks:

1 sheet phyllo dough, quartered

Clarified butter as needed, melted

Sugar as needed

For the sauce:

10 ounces port wine

For the fig carpaccio:

6 figs, halved

For the garnish:

2 figs, quartered

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

RELATED ARTICLE: Apple Millefeuille (Serves 6)

Jeff Lehuede

directions

For the ice cream: In a medium saucepan, bring milk, powdered milk, cream, butter and glucose to a boil. In a bowl, combine egg yolk, sugar and stabilizer; whisk until smooth. Temper the egg yolk, adding one-third of hot milk mixture while whisking constantly. Whisk the tempered egg yolk mixture in the remaining milk mixture and place over medium heat. When the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve. Add the Armagnac. Set in an ice bath until chilled. Freeze in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's instructions.

For the cider jelly: In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add apples, reduce heat to low and cover to infuse for two hours. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and add apple cider. In a small saucepan, heat simple syrup and add gelatin. Add simple syrup mixture to the apple cider mixture. Place onto a small sheet pan and refrigerate until set. Remove from refrigerator and cut into cubes.

For the nests: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lay the feuille de brik on a flat surface. Brush with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Cut into thin strips. On a sheet tray, place twelve 3-inch ring molds and make "nests" with feuille de brik strips. Save 12 strips for garnish and lay out on sheet tray. Place in oven and bake until golden brown. Remove from mold when cool.

For the apples: In a medium saucepan, melt sugar until golden brown. Reduce heat and mix in butter cubes until combined. Arrange apples in sugar mixture and cook on medium heat. Turn apples to cook on both sides until tender. Remove from saucepan and set aside, keeping warm.

To serve: Place a nest on plate, layer with apples, then place another nest on top. Scoop ice cream on top of nest and garnish plate with powdered sugar, apple cider cubes and feuille de brik garnishes.

ingredients

For the ice cream:

12 ounces milk

2 ounces powdered milk

9 ounces cream

2 ounces butter

2 ounces glucose

1 egg yolk

3 ounces granulated sugar

1 teaspoon stabilizer

2 ounces Armagnac

For the cider jelly:

4 ounces water

2 Granny Smith apples, sliced

5 ounces apple cider

2 ounces simple syrup

2 gelatin leaves, softened in cool water

For the nests:

6 feuille de brik sheets*

1 ounce butter, melted

2 ounces granulated sugar

For the apples:

5 ounces granulated sugar

3 ounces butter, cubed

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and quartered

For the garnish:

Powdered sugar

* Available through Paris Gourmet at (800) PASTRY-1.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

RELATED ARTICLE: Banana Samosas and Coconut Sorbet with Hazelnut-Praline Foam (Serves 6)

Jeff Lehuede

directions

For the sherbet: In a bowl, combine yogurt and coconut milk. In a medium saucepan, bring the water, glucose and sugar to a boil. Add gelatin and whisk sugar mixture into yogurt mixture. Freeze in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's instructions.

For the hazelnut foam: In a medium saucepan, bring hazelnut paste and cream to a boil. In a bowl, whisk together egg yolk and sugar, until thick and pale. Remove cream mixture from heat and temper egg yolk mixture, adding one-third of cream mixture while whisking constantly. Whisk remaining cream mixture into the tempered egg yolk mixture. Add gelatin to dissolve and set in an ice bath until chilled. Transfer to a whipped cream dispenser and keep refrigerated.

For the samosas: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a saute pan over medium heat, melt butter. Add bananas and cook until browned. Brush feuille de brik sheets with clarified butter. Square off sheets and cut four 1 1/2-inch wide strips from each sheet. Place two slices of banana and a few pieces of chocolate at the shorter edge of the feuille de brik. Fold feuille de brik at an angle to form a triangle; continue folding triangles until the remaining feuille de brik is used. Repeat process making 11 more samosas. Set on a sheet pan and bake in oven until golden brown.

To serve: On a plate, place two samosas and top with a scoop of sherbet. Spoon foam around plate and garnish with nougat, powdered sugar and chocolate strip.

ingredients

For the sherbet:

7 ounces plain yogurt

7 ounces coconut milk

3 ounces water

1 1/2 ounces glucose

2 1/2 ounces granulated sugar

1 gelatin leaf, softened in cool water

For the hazelnut foam:

1 teaspoon hazelnut praline paste

6 ounces heavy cream

1 egg yolk

2 teaspoons sugar

1/2 gelatin leaf, softened in cool water

For the samosas:

2 ounces butter

4 baby bananas, peeled and sliced

3 sheets feuille de brik*

Melted clarified butter as needed

4 ounces dark chocolate

For the garnish:

Nougat, crushed

Powdered sugar

Chocolate strip

* Available through Paris Gourmet at (800) PASTRY-1.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

RELATED ARTICLE: Green Tea Clafoutis with Golden Raisin Ice Cream (Serves 8)

Jeff Lehuede

directions

For the clafoutis: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine almond flour, sugar, cake flour and tea powder. Add egg yolks and sake; mix until combined. Fold in whipped cream and whipped egg whites. Pour into 1 1/2-inch flexipan molds and bake for 25 minutes.

For the pate a choux: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan, bring water, butter and salt to a boil. Remove from heat and fold in flour until combined, making sure to break up any lumps. Fold in one egg at a time until smooth; spread a thin and even layer onto a silpat-lined sheet pan. Run a comb across the layer, forming perforations. Sprinkle with chocolate and bake until golden brown. Remove from oven and break into long pieces reserving for garnish.

For the chocolate sauce: In a medium saucepan, bring water, sugar and cocoa powder to a boil. Add cream and bring to a second boil. Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve.

For the ice cream: In a medium saucepan, bring milk, powdered milk, butter, vanilla bean and glucose to a boil. In a bowl, combine egg yolk, sugar and ice cream stabilizer; whisk until pale and smooth. Temper the egg yolk, adding one-third of hot milk mixture while whisking constantly. Whisk the tempered egg yolk mixture in the remaining milk mixture and place over medium heat. When the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve. Set in an ice bath until chilled. Freeze in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's instructions. Fold raisins into freshly churned ice cream.

To serve: Place one clafouti on pool of sauce and top with ice cream. Garnish with pate a choux pieces, raisins and tea powder.

ingredients

For the clafoutis:

2 1/2 ounces almond flour

3 1/2 ounces granulated sugar

1/2 ounce cake flour

1 teaspoon macha green tea powder*

5 egg yolks

1 ounce sake

8 ounces heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

2 egg whites, whipped to soft peaks

For the pate a choux:

4 ounces water

1 1/2 ounces butter

Pinch salt

2 1/4 ounces cake flour

2 eggs

Dark chocolate, grated

For the chocolate sauce:

4 ounces water

3 ounces granulated sugar

1 ounce cocoa powder

2 ounces heavy cream

For the ice cream:

14 ounces milk

3/4 ounce powdered milk

2 ounces butter

1 vanilla bean, split

1 ounce glucose

1 egg yolk

3 ounces granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon stabilizer

5 ounces golden raisins

For the garnish:

Golden raisins, soaked in sake

Macha green tea powder as needed*

* Available through The Tea

Emporium at (416) 483-9547.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

RELATED ARTICLE: Pineapple Chocolate Tart (Serves 6)

Jeff Lehuede

directions

For the ice cream: In a medium saucepan, bring milk, powdered milk, butter and vanilla bean to a boil. Add pandan leaves and infuse for 30 minutes. In a bowl, combine egg yolk and sugar whisking until smooth. Temper the egg yolk, adding one-third of the hot milk mixture while whisking constantly. Whisk tempered egg yolk mixture into the milk mixture and place over medium heat. When the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve. Set in an ice bath until chilled. Freeze in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's instructions.

For the dough: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle, combine butter, sugar and salt. Add egg yolk and mix to combine. Add flour, baking powder and cream. Mix until dough comes together, making sure not to over-mix. Cover and place in refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator and transfer to a lightly-floured surface; roll to 1/8-inch thick. Transfer to a parchment-lined sheet pan. Bake until golden brown. Cut out six circles using six 2-inch round cutters. Keep cutter on baked dough and reserve for chocolate filling.

For the chocolate filling: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a double boiler, melt chocolate and butter. In a bowl, whisk eggs, egg yolks and sugar. Temper the eggs adding one-third of the chocolate mixture while whisking constantly. Whisk the tempered egg yolk mixture into the chocolate mixture. Pour into ring molds and bake in oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and refrigerate until cool. Remove tarts from ring molds heating the outsides with a blowtorch until they slide off.

For the pineapple: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine pineapple and sugar. Cook until thickened. Remove from heat and add cinnamon. Set aside, keeping warm.

For the pineapple chips: Preheat oven to 200 degrees. In a small saucepan, heat the simple syrup and pour it over the pineapple. Place in the refrigerator overnight. Strain the pineapple and transfer to a silpat-lined sheet pan. Place in the oven until dry.

To serve: Place pineapple on dessert plate and top with chocolate tart and ice cream. Garnish the plate with pineapple and pineapple chips.

ingredients

For the ice cream:

9 ounces milk

1 ounce powdered milk

2 ounces butter

1/2 vanilla bean, split

1 1/2 Pandan leaves, chopped*

1 egg yolk

2 ounces granulated sugar

For the dough:

5 ounces butter

3 ounces granulated sugar

Pinch salt

1 egg yolk

11 ounces cake flour

1/2 ounce baking powder

1 ounce heavy cream

For the chocolate filling:

6 ounces dark chocolate

5 ounces butter

2 eggs

3 egg yolks

2 ounces granulated sugar

For the pineapple:

1 cup finely chopped pineapple

1/2 ounce granulated sugar

Pinch cinnamon

For the pineapple chips:

7 ounces simple syrup

3 ounces pineapple, sliced into paper thin ribbons

* Available through West Central

Produce at (213) 629-3600.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

RELATED ARTICLE: Beef and Jicama Sushi (Makes 4)

Michel Richard

directions

For the beef: Cut four 1/8-inch thick slices. On a flat work surface, place beef between two layers of plastic wrap and gently pound to 3-inch circles. Square off to 3X3-inch squares.

For the sauce: In a bowl, combine ingredients and mix well. Set aside.

To assemble the sushi: Brush beef slices and four slices of jicama with sauce and sprinkle with shallots. Layer starting with the jicama, alternating with a layer of beef and finishing with unsauced layer of jicama. Slice into four triangular pieces.

ingredients

For the beef:

1 6-ounce filet beef

For the sauce:

1 teaspoon mustard

1 teaspoon soy sauce

For the sushi:

1 medium jicama, peeled and sliced into five 3X3X 1/8-inch thick slices

1 shallot, peeled and chopped

Salt and pepper

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

RELATED ARTICLE: Mushroom Cigar with Squab (Makes 6)

Michel Richard

directions

For the mushrooms: Preheat deep fryer to 350 degrees. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, add mushrooms and finely chop. Place in a medium saute pan and add oil, thyme and rosemary. Cover and cook for 10 minutes until mushrooms have released all their liquid. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, pressing down on mushrooms to extract as much liquid as possible. Reserve the liquid for sauce. Transfer the mushrooms to a pastry bag with a 1/2-inch tip. Set spring roll wrapper on a flat work surface and pipe mushroom mixture onto one side of wrapper. Brush with egg wash on the opposite side of wrapper. Roll up wrapper and seal. Deep-fry until golden brown and blot with paper towels. Cut into three 2-inch pieces. Repeat process.

For the squab: Preheat oven to 275 degrees. In a small saute pan over high heat, add oil. Season squab with salt and pepper. Brown in pan and place in oven and cook until desired doneness. Remove, rest for five minutes and slice into six pieces.

For the sauce: In a small saute pan, add butter. Add chanterelles and saute. Add mushroom liquid and salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a blender and mix until smooth. Pass through a fine mesh sieve and finish with balsamic vinegar.

To serve: Spoon sauce in small serving dish. Place "cigar" over sauce and one piece of squab. Garnish with celery greens, pistachios, capers and sea salt.

ingredients

For the mushroom cigars:

6 ounces white mushrooms

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 sprig thyme, stemmed and chopped

1 sprig rosemary, stemmed and chopped

2 6X6-inch spring roll wrappers

Egg wash as needed

Salt and pepper

For the squab:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 squab breast

Salt and pepper

For the sauce:

1 tablespoon butter

4 ounces black chanterelles

Reserved mushroom liquid

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper

For the garnish:

Micro celery greens

Pistachios, chopped

Capers, fried

Sea salt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

RELATED ARTICLE: Haricots Vert Sushi with Lamb (Makes 8)

Michel Richard

directions

For the black bean sauce: In a medium saute pan, render bacon. Add garlic and brown. Add onion, carrot, ginger root and cumin. Cook onion until slightly caramelized. Add red wine and reduce until dry. Add beans, chicken stock, veal stock, orange juice, rosemary, thyme and orange zest. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Cover with parchment and simmer until beans are tender, about one hour. Strain through a fine mesh sieve. Liquid should yield 2/3 cup; add soy sauce.

For the haricots vert: In a saute pan over medium heat, melt butter. Add shallot and cook until tender. Add haricot vert and brown slightly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. In a small saucepan, add chicken stock and gelatin. Bloom gelatin for two minutes; bring to a simmer. Add haricots vert and mix well and allow to cool. Cover a flat work surface with plastic wrap, make a stack with half of the haricots vert and brush with one tablespoon of liquid. Roll haricots vert tightly into a roulade using plastic wrap. Repeat process, making a second roll. Refrigerate until set.

For the crepes: In a bowl, combine flour, milk and squid ink and mix well. Place a 6-inch non-stick crepe pan over medium heat and melt one teaspoon butter. Pour about three tablespoons of crepe batter in pan and swirl around to cover pan. Cook until bubbles form on surface, then flip, cooking for 30 seconds. Remove from pan and set aside. Repeat process with remaining batter. Remove haricots vert roulades from refrigerator and wrap crepe around roulade. Brush edge of crepe with egg wash to secure. Slice each roulade into four 1/2-inch pieces.

For the lamb: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a bowl, combine soy sauce and sesame seed oil. Submerge lamb and marinate for 30 minutes. Remove from marinade and dry lamb with a paper towel. In a saute pan over high heat, add olive oil. Brown lamb, place into oven and cook until desired doneness. Remove from oven, let rest for five minutes and slice into eight pieces.

To serve: Place haricots vert roll on plate with lamb. Garnish the lamb with salt and pepper. Place sauce in a ramekin and garnish the plate with amaranth.

ingredients

For the black bean sauce:

2 slices bacon, chopped

1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped

1/4 onion, peeled and chopped

1/2 carrot, peeled and chopped

1/4-inch gingerroot, peeled and chopped

Pinch cumin

3 tablespoons red wine

4 ounces black beans

1 cup chicken stock

1 cup veal stock

2 tablespoons orange juice

1 sprig rosemary, stemmed

1 sprig thyme, stemmed

Zest of 1/2 orange

1/3 cup soy sauce

Salt and pepper

For the haricots vert:

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 shallot, peeled and chopped

6 ounces haricots vert, cooked

2 tablespoons chicken stock

2 teaspoons gelatin powder

Salt and pepper

For the crepes:

2 ounces pastry flour

4 ounces milk

Squid ink as needed

2 teaspoons butter

Egg wash as needed

For the lamb:

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup sesame seed oil

1 8-ounce lamb loin

1 tablespoon olive oil

For the garnish:

Amaranth

Sea salt

Cracked black pepper

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

RELATED ARTICLE: Tomato Confit and Basil Bread Crumbs (Makes 8)

Michel Richard

directions

For the bread crumbs: In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, add basil and bread crumbs. Mix until combined; set aside.

For the spring roll cups: In a small saucepan, heat oil to 350 degrees. Using a 3-inch round cutter, cut out eight circles from spring roll wrappers. Cut off bottom part of carrot and wrap spring roll circle around it, sealing the seams. Fry until golden brown, season with salt and repeat with seven remaining circles. Set aside on a paper towel-lined sheet pan.

For the tomatoes: Preheat oven to 275 degrees. In a bowl, mix the tomatoes with the olive oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a sheet tray and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and discard rosemary, thyme and garlic. Coat tomatoes with bread crumbs.

To serve: Place spring roll cups on a plate and fill with tomatoes. Garnish with anchovies and amaranth greens.

ingredients

For the bread crumbs:

5 ounces basil leaves, fried

2 ounces bread crumbs

For the spring roll cups:

4 6X6-inch spring roll wrappers

1 medium carrot, 1-inch in diameter

Olive oil as needed

Salt

For the tomatoes:

8 cherry tomatoes, peeled

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced

1 sprig rosemary, stemmed

1 sprig thyme, stemmed

Sugar, salt and pepper

For the garnish:

8 whole anchovies, filleted

Amaranth greens

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

RELATED ARTICLE: Rice Crispy and Foie Gras Sushi (Makes 6)

Michel Richard

directions

For the Rice Crispies: In a bowl, mix the Rice Crispies with the cocoa butter, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Place into 1-ounce rectangular flexi-cup molds. Set aside for two hours.

For the raspberry powder: In a coffee grinder, pulverize the raspberries.

For the potato tuiles: Preheat oven to 250 degrees. In a small saucepan, bring potato, chicken stock and butter to a boil. Cook for five minutes. Set aside to cool. Add parsley, egg white and salt and pepper to taste. On a sheet of plastic wrap, place potato mixture and roll into a 2-inch log. Bring a pot of water to a simmer and submerge the log, cooking for five minutes. Remove and cool. Place in freezer. When frozen, slice into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Bake on a silpat until golden brown and crispy.

For the foie gras: Preheat oven to 220 degrees. Season foie gras with salt and pepper. On a sheet of plastic wrap, place foie gras and form into a 1X1 1/2-inch rectangle and refrigerate for one hour. Remove from refrigerator and unwrap. Place a saute pan over high heat and sear foie gras. Place in oven for three minutes, remove and refrigerate to chill. Roll in raspberry powder and cut into 1/4-inch slices.

For the sauce: In a bowl, combine ingredients and mix well. Let sit for one hour. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and set aside.

To serve: Place a slice of foie gras onto a Rice Crispy mold. Garnish the plate with a potato tuile, chervil and sauce.

ingredients

For the rice crispies:

1 cup Rice Crispies

1 ounce cocoa butter, melted

Salt and pepper

For the raspberry powder:

2 ounces dehydrated raspberries

For the potato tuiles:

1 potato, peeled and shredded

2 ounces chicken stock

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 bunch parsley, stemmed and chopped

1 egg white

Salt and pepper

For the foie gras:

6 ounces foie gras, cleaned and deveined

For the sauce:

2 teaspoons mayonnaise

1/4-inch gingerroot, peeled and chopped

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon water

Salt and pepper

For the garnish:

Sea salt

Micro celery greens

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

RELATED ARTICLE: Stuffed Onion Sushi (Makes 8)

Michel Richard

directions

For the dried egg yolk: Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Push the egg yolks through a tamis onto a sheet tray. Place in the oven until dry.

For the onion: Preheat oven to 200 degrees. On a sheet of plastic wrap, place onion, thyme and chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Wrap several times in plastic wrap tightly and place in a water bath in oven for 1 1/2 hours.

For the stuffing: In a saute pan, heat oil. Add onion, artichoke hearts and garlic. Saute until onion turns translucent. Add soy sauce and cream. Mix to combine. Set aside to cool.

For the basil aspic: In a small saucepan, add tomato water and gelatin and let set for two minutes. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Transfer to a blender with basil and blend. Season with sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and pour 1-ounce of the liquid into eight serving dishes. Refrigerate until set.

To assemble the onion: Cut onion in half and separate layers. Place one layer on a sheet of plastic wrap and fill with 1-ounce of stuffing. Roll up in the plastic wrap making a football shape and refrigerate for one hour. Repeat with remaining layers. Remove onions from refrigerator. Roll onion in dried egg yolk.

To serve: Place onion on top of aspic and garnish with snow peas and fresh peas.

ingredients

For the dried egg yolk:

5 egg yolks, cooked

For the onion:

1 onion, peeled

1 sprig thyme, stemmed

1 teaspoon chicken stock

Salt and pepper

For the stuffing:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, peeled and chopped

2 artichoke hearts, cooked and chopped

1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped

1 teaspoon soy sauce

2 ounces heavy cream

For the basil aspic:

8 ounces tomato water

2 teaspoons gelatin powder

2 bunches basil, blanched

Sugar, salt and pepper

For the garnish:

8 snow peas, blanched and thinly sliced

Fresh peas

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

RELATED ARTICLE: Veal Roulade Sushi-Style (Makes 8)

Michel Richard

directions

For the veal: Preheat oven to 225 degrees. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add oil. Add veal cheeks and brown on all sides. Remove from pan and add onion, carrot, celery, garlic and mushrooms then caramelize. Add tomato paste and cook for three minutes. Add wine and reduce by half. Add orange and lemon zests, rosemary, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, stock, orange juice and veal cheeks. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and place in oven; cook until tender. Remove the cheeks, cool, and shred the meat. Strain sauce through a fine mesh sieve and reduce to a thick sauce consistency.

For the filling: In a small saute pan, add oil. Saute shallots until translucent. Add potato, soy sauce and chicken stock. Cook potato until tender. Add gelatin and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool.

To assemble the roulade: Lay plastic wrap on a flat work surface. Overlap the carrot slices to form a 4X10-inch rectangle. Spread potatoes on top of carrots leaving a 1-inch gap along the top of the 10-inch side. Place veal cheeks and vegetables on top of potatoes. Using the plastic wrap, carefully roll into a roulade. Tighten the roll and refrigerate for one hour. Remove from refrigerator and slice into 1/4-inch pieces.

To serve: In a small dish spoon sauce and top with a slice of roulade. Garnish with carrot balls, micro herbs and parsley powder.

ingredients

For the veal:

2 tablespoons olive oil

8-ounces veal cheeks

1 onion, peeled and chopped

1 carrot, peeled and chopped

1 rib celery, chopped

2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

4 ounces mushrooms, chopped

1/4 cup tomato paste

1/3 cup white wine

Zest of 1/2 orange

Zest of 1/2 lemon

1 sprig rosemary

1/4 bunch parsley

1/4 bunch thyme

1 bay leaf

2 cups veal stock

1 cup orange juice

Salt and pepper

For the filling:

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 shallot, peeled and chopped

3 new potatoes, peeled and finely chopped

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 cup chicken stock

1 teaspoon gelatin powder

Salt and pepper

To assemble the roulade:

3 carrots, blanched and sliced paper thin lengthwise

Reserved veal cheeks

1 dozen haricot vert, blanched

1/2 Roma tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped

Salt and pepper

For the garnish:

Carrot balls

Micro herbs

Parsley powder

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

RELATED ARTICLE: Tarte au Citron Sushi (Makes 8)

Michel Richard

directions

For the sugar dough: Preheat oven to 275 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle, combine butter, sugar, egg and salt. Add half of the flour and mix well. Add remaining flour and mix. Roll dough to 1/8-inch and cut eight circles the size of a quarter. Bake for seven minutes.

For the lemon filling: In a microwave-safe bowl, add all ingredients and mix well. Heat in microwave for 45 seconds. Remove, mixing well and return to microwave for an additional 40 seconds. Remove and stir well. Place filling into a pastry bag and refrigerate.

For the lemon meringue: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk, combine egg whites, lemon juice and gelatin. Mix until soft peaks form. Fold in powdered and granulated sugars. Pour meringue into a microwave-safe terrine mold and cook in microwave for two minutes. Remove and cut into 1/4-inch cubes.

For the coulis: In a blender, combine ingredients and blend until smooth. Pass through a fine mesh sieve.

To serve: Spoon raspberry coulis on plate, top with lemon filling, cookie, and lemon meringue. Garnish with raspberry powder, pistachios and orange segments.

ingredients

For the sugar dough:

2 ounces butter, softened

1 ounce granulated sugar

1 egg

Pinch salt

4 ounces all-purpose flour

1 ounce almond flour

For the lemon filling:

Juice of 2 lemons

1/2 teaspoon gelatin powder

2 egg yolks

2 ounces sugar

1 ounce butter, softened

For the lemon meringue:

4 egg whites

Lemon juice as needed

1 teaspoon gelatin powder

4 ounces powdered sugar

4 ounces granulated sugar

Raspberry coulis:

5 ounces granulated sugar

10 ounces raspberries

For the garnish:

Raspberry powder

Pistachios, chopped

Orange segments

Nougat, crushed

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

RELATED ARTICLE: Pomme D'Amour (Makes 9)

Michel Richard

directions

For the candied apples: In a medium saucepan, bring sugar, citric acid, glucose and coloring to 310 degrees. Remove from heat. Insert toothpicks into apples and immediately dip into candy. Place apples on a bed of pistachios.

ingredients

For the candied apples:

1 pound sugar

2 teaspoons citric acid

4 ounces glucose

1 teaspoon red food coloring

3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into 9 1-inch balls

Pistachios as needed, chopped

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]
COPYRIGHT 2003 Culinaire, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2003, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Newman, Carol M.
Publication:Art Culinaire
Date:Dec 22, 2003
Words:7607
Previous Article:Between the sheets.
Next Article:An influential elixir--hot chocolate.
Topics:


Related Articles
TRAVELING CIRCUS LANDS IN GLENDALE FOR TWO SHOWS.
The Polaroid Book.
Readers comments from www.advocate.com.
Denmark's foxy new digs.
CRIT-O-MATIC.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters