Monday, July 26, 2010

Sunday Dinner, July 25, 2010

Recently I dined with four neurosurgeons at Cyrus in Healdsburg, CA. We were presented with a beautiful pristine piece of chicken, and the four surgeons looked puzzled at the cut. Apparently it was anatomically incorrect, and Jason realized this was an application of a new revelation to him - meat glue.

Yes, those pristine cuts are actually trimmed pieces of meat, "glued" together using an enzyme called transglutaminase. Recently we received a sample of Activa from Ajinomoto. Jason gave it a go this Sunday dinner using a leg of lamb and a leg of pork. The result is picture perfect (if anatomically incorrect) cuts, without the unwanted sinew or excess fat.

Our experimentation couldn't stop there. We also experimented with making potato pancakes in the waffle iron - a crispy success when fresh out of the iron. For dessert, we used some sweet juicy peaches in a crumble. We tested out polenta in the topping using a recipe by David Lebovitz. I didn't love the polenta, I admit. However, I also wanted oats in the topping, without them getting soggy. So a third experiment ensued. I coated the oats in carmelized sugar and cooled before breaking the oats up and adding to the crumble topping before baking. They stayed crunchy and substantial, but still added that oaty earthiness I love in crisp or crumble toppings.

Course One
Grilled Corn, Heirloom Tomato and Jalapeno Salad

Course Two
Leg of Lamb and Leg of Pork with Jus and Scallion Gremolata
Braised Red Cabbage, Waffled Potato Latkes

 Course Three
Peach and Cranberry Crisp
Honey Lavender Sherbet


Honey Lavender Sherbet

  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup good quality wildflower honey
  • 1 t lavender buds
  • 3 T cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup dried milk (optional)
  • 1/8 t xanthan gum (optional)

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat milk to nearly a scald, add lavender buds and steep for 30 minutes or until it is the strength you want it. 
  2. Strain lavender buds, add honey. 
  3. Make a slurry with the cornstarch and add to milk along with the dried milk.
  4. Heat over medium heat stirring often, until the mixture comes to a boil and is thickened. 
  5. Using a stick blender, blend the xanthan gum into a 1/2 cup of the thickened base. Stir in the rest of the thickened base. 
  6. Cool completely and refrigerate overnight. 
  7. Freeze in an ice cream machine.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely blog, so glad I dropped by! The pictures are really fine!