Winter Rundown

The seasons have changed, which means that I can turn to a new chapter of the Alinea cookbook. The following five recipes are those I hope to complete in the next 3 months or so.


Yuzu, pine, black sesame, shiso: This recipe presents both odd ingredients and techniques that I do not feel very confident about. On the ingredient side, I need to find pine scotch oil, yuzu juice, and micro shiso (or perhaps just regular shiso). On the technique side, I need to perfect my abilities as working with, presumptively very fragile, frozen strands of food. You read correctly there. Frozen strands of food.


Niçoise Olive, saffron, dried cherry, olive oil: This recipe is essentially an elaborate pastry. I do not think I’ll have too many difficulties in completing it, so long as I practice the pastry making bits of the recipe enough, but I definitely need to get myself a kitchen torch and a spice grinder first. I’m excited for this one because it’ll also give me an opportunity to try making an invert sugar at home (Trimoline, specifically). I believe the biggest obstacle will be finding freeze-dried cherries.


Bean, many garnishes, pillow of nutmeg air: Bean will be the most labor intensive and complex recipe I’ve made so far, should I actually be able to complete it this season. One of the major difficulties will be producing the aromatic aspect of the recipe. I know very well that I will not be able to create a “pillow of nutmeg air” just yet, but I have various theories of how I could create the same effect in other ways. Once I figure out the aromatic component, there are nearly 15 other components of this recipe to figure out. Most of them seem to be fairly simple in execution, so the daunting aspect of this dish is the labor and time management inherent in the process. I also need to get my hands on a pressure cooker and a tamis. But seriously guys, I am so excited as the prospect of completing this recipe.


Sea Urchin, vanilla, chili, mint: I feel like I’ve already done a lot of recipes in this cookbook that, at their simplest manifestation, are flavored gelatins with something else in it. See Green Almond; Blackberry; Pear. This is another one of those recipes.  This time, however, I’ll be using a relatively exotic filler ingredient (sea urchin “roe”). I can’t wait, especially since I feel very comfortable now with working with gelatin in this fashion.


Sweet Potato, brown sugar, bourbon, smoking cinnamon: This recipe is a combination of flavors that I love without qualification. It might as well be called “Happiness, rainbows, sunshine, glitter” in my mind. I need to track down a couple special hydro-colloids first though. And I might want to purchase the unique serving piece that it’s presented on, because I don’t think I have any adequate substitutes laying around for this kind of dish. Oh, I should mention that in case the flavors didn’t get you excited already, this dish is fried. Deep fried.

There are, of course, more Winter recipes that I may complete but these ones are my priorities. And I still have some Autumn recipes that I want to try before too much time passes.


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