Friday, May 29, 2009

Iron Chef Challenge: FOAM

Oh, how thrilled I was to be assigned foam as the featured ingredient! I’ve had this little 4 inch by 15 inch piece of textured packing foam tucked away in a cupboard for well over a year. I just knew I’d find a use for it someday. I’m a bit of a hoarder of scraps and I strive with some success to make all my plush from these discards.

Flotsam and Jetsam repurposed–that’s my motto! Behold my inspirational foam scrap:

Beautiful, no?

So, on to my actual entry in the great Iron Chef Competition–A Molecular Gastronomy Experiment Turned Plush. I present for your amusement: Savory Waffles topped with Fried Egg and Asparagus Spears with a Hollandaise "Foam." (This is a variation of one of my family's brunch favorites.)

iron chef plush challenge:  foam

Of course, the waffles are formed around pieces of my treasured foam–taking full advantage of its "waffley" texture. I've cut out one of the bumps of foam to give the egg yolk a little extra rise. And, as a twist, the hollandaise foam was not created ala el Bulli with soy lecithin and an emersion blender, but is just a little hand whittled scrap of the master foam block left au naturel.


Foam as ingredient vs foam as molecular gastronomy technique. Eat your heart out Ferran Adrià!

I offer the recipes:

For the Plush Version: Waffles (packing foam, used wool sweater scraps, thread); Egg (used cashmere sweater scraps, packing foam, thread); Asparagus (used wool and cashmere sweater scraps, thread); Hollandaise "Foam" (packing foam)

For the Edible Version: Take your basic waffle recipe; add a pinch of herbes de provence and salt to the batter. Cook waffles. Grate gruyere cheese on top of the cooked waffle, melt under broiler. Top waffle with steamed asparagus and a poached egg if desired. Serve with homemade hollandaise on the side. (Skip the soy lecithin, enjoy the true texture.)

Bon Appétit!

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