Friday, 10 August 2007

Forget Salsa. Chicks Dig Meringue.

Sometimes at work things can be repetitive. Every once in a while I like to try something new and sometimes things work and sometimes they don't. It is useful that I don't have to pay for my experimenting as well.

In a previous post (the ratatoiulle recipe) I briefly explained what a confit is. Here is an example of a fruit confit where the fruit is usually saturated in acid.

A simple, cheap recipe that takes a minute (hopefully you have a stand mixer to help you along the way) and allows you to practice making a meringue.

There are three types of meringue typically: common, swiss and Italian. This recipe is best with Italian (beating the egg whites while adding a hot simple syrup) because it is more stable in humid temperatures but it takes extra time and practice. The common meringue works perfectly well.

Vanilla Scented Poached Meringue with a Balsamic Strawberry Confit

4 Egg Whites
350 g White Sugar
1 Dozen Ripe Strawberries, cut into 6
50 ml Balsamic Vinegar
50 ml Vanilla Extract

In a small sauce pan, bring about half a liter of water to a boil. Add vanilla and let simmer.

Sprinkle a little sugar at the base of a small bowl. Add egg whites on top and let whip with a hand mixer or stand mix. When egg whites double in volume, start adding remainder of sugar slowly. Approximately 8 - 10 minutes. Egg whites should reach stiff peaks and should be glossy and very sweet.

In a frying pan on med heat, drizzle canola oil and let get hot. Add strawberries and quickly saute. Add sugar and vinegar and whisk until dissolved. Turn off heat and let cool.

Using two spoons, scoop 1 tbs. into vanilla water and let poach for one minute. Turn over meringue and continue poaching for another minute. Remove and drain. Repeat until desired amount is reached.

To serve, spoon strawberry mix onto plate, then place one meringue. Repeat and finish with Mint Oil.

Serves 4.

Mint Oil

1 Bunch of Mint
15 ml Hazelnut Oil (or any form of peanut oil)
Dash of Sugar
Squeeze of Half a Lemon

In a blender, add all ingredients and blend thoroughly.


A Humble Chef's Tip: When making an herb oil, you can blanch the herb in simmering water and chill in a ice bath. Actually, I recommend it if you are using a leafy herb like parsley or coriander. It won't affect the taste of the oil, but will make the oil a little greener. It will also cut the life span of the oil a little because it may turn brown faster.

No comments: