Wednesday, September 12, 2007


The Essence of Nearly Anything, Drop by Limpid Drop

‘Many new ideas bubbling up in restaurant kitchens aren’t of much use to a home cook without a machine shop and acres of counter space. But some are simple and flexible enough that they just may trickle down to everyone else. In the case of an easy technique called gelatin filtration, that would be a very slow trickle.

Gelatin filtration is a way to make sparklingly clear liquids that are intensely flavored with … well, whatever you like: meats, fruits, vegetables, cheeses, breads, any and all combinations of ingredients.

Why would anyone want to make such a thing? Think of such liquids as essences. They have no fibers, no pulp, no fat, no substance at all. They’re just flavor in fluid form, perhaps with a tinge of color, like a classic beef consommé. In fact chefs are calling these essences consommés, and they often use them the same way, as a soup or a sauce. And they can be delightfully surprising, because their appearance often gives no hint of the pleasure they’re about to deliver.’

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