Dave Arnold’s

Rapid-Infused Orange Bitters

Dave Arnold's Rapid-Infused Orange Bitters, made with the iSi Gourmet Whip.

Dave Arnold’s Rapid-Infused Orange Bitters.
Made with the iSi Gourmet Whip.

What are Bitters, Anyway?

(as defined by dictionary.reference.com):

1)  bit·ters : [bit-erz] – noun ( used with a plural verb )
a liquid, often an alcoholic liquor, in which bitter herbs or roots have steeped, used as a flavoring, especially in mixed drinks, or as a tonic.

(as defined by the many bartenders we’ve talked to):

2)  bit·ters : [bit-erz] – an ingredient (used with brandy, gin or other liquor )
a liquid, always a super-high proof alcoholic liquor, infused to the max with strong concentrated flavors – an essential in classic drinks and “vintage” bartending styles, always used sparingly to add balance to certain mixed drinks, and never as a tonic. A required staple in any “real” bar.

So, why is Dave Arnold using the iSi Gourmet Whip to Infuse his own Bitters?

Over the years, we’ve often found ourselves “on the other side of the bar” – listening to the woes of our bartender friends across the country, and in these extraordinary conversations, we’ve learned a lot just by listening. But, we don’t always “talk shop” about iSi – we deliberate on the best glassware (and the worst), we’ve had dozens of debates on who makes the best ice (and how they do it) – but mostly we hear, “I wish my hair were as amazing and versatile as Don Lee” (owner of New York’s coveted Cocktail Kingdom & New York’s newest must-see shining star, The Golden Cadillac).

What can we say? True story. Research it for yourself: the cocktail industry is obsessed with Don Lee (and his hairstyles).

But… back to bitters. Many of today’s most inventive bartenders are revamping their own signature versions of old-school classic drinks in which bitters are an essential ingredient (Old Fashioned, anyone?). What’s so bittersweet about this evolving revolution is the absence of variety – there are only 5 “mainstream” readily available bitters – despite the fact that bitters have been around since the early 19th century. Growing in presence, availability and popularity, smaller-batch, artisanal bitters have started popping up in top-notch distribution channels and selling their products online, like Dashfire Bitters Co from St. Paul, MN.

Dave, being the experimental whiz-kid that he is, decided he wasn’t in love with with traditional bitters – he wasn’t even fully satisfied with the smaller artisanal brands. Only his own creations – a methodically calculated combination of unique flavors and sensations – made à la minute from the freshest, premium ingredients could placate his palate.

Constantly seeking precision, purity and evolution, Dave took one look at the iSi Gourmet Whip and he instinctively knew that iSi’s Culinary Systems are engineered to create much more than just whipped cream. He first identified the two major components available to him: an air-tight sealed vessel and a gas-powered charger that could be dispensed into it. This simple understanding was fascinating, and led him into a whirlwind of trial & error food-science experiments – you name it, and it’s likely that he’s tried it. Dave proved that the iSi Gourmet Whip + iSi cream chargers, when used together, could rapidly infuse ingredients under pressure. He has since shared his technical knowledge, recipes, and so much more with Chefs, bartenders, and aspiring culinary students around the world, and continues to experiment with “what else” the iSi Gourmet Whip can do.

Here, we share one of our favorite Dave Arnold recipes with you: Rapid-Infused Orange Bitters. We hope this recipe inspires you to see the world of flavor with new eyes, and unlock your potential for creating any type of bitters you’d like.

Just make sure to use iSi brand cream chargers, an iSi Gourmet Whip, and you’re on your way to inspiration-ville.

 

RECIPE: Dave Arnold’s Rapid-Infused Orange Bitters

Ingredients

350 ml · 11.8 fl. oz 40% abv neutral vodka

25 g · 0.9 oz fresh orange peel (no pith, orange only)

25 g · 0.9 oz dried orange peel (Sevilles preferable)

25 g · 0.9 oz dried lemon peel

25 g · 0.9 oz dried grapefruit peel

0.2 g · 0.01 oz whole cloves (3 cloves)

2.5 g · 0.1 oz green cardamom seeds removed from pod

2 g · 0.1 oz caraway seeds

2.5 g · 0.1 oz quassia bark

5 g · 0.2 oz dried gentian root

Preparation

1) Pulse all the dry ingredients (everything but the fresh peel and the vodka) in a spice grinder until everything is the size of whole peppercorns.

2) Put the dry mix, the vodka, and the fresh orange peel into a 0.5 L iSi Gourmet Whip.

3) Screw on 1 iSi cream charger and shake.

4) Put the iSi Whipper in simmering water (at. max. 75 °C/165 °F) for 20 minutes.

5) Cool the iSi Whipper in ice water for 5 minutes then vent by pressing the lever down fully.

6) Remove the head of the Whipper and pour the infused liquid through the iSi funnel & sieve into a container.

7) The peels will have absorbed almost all the liquid.

8) Put them in a press sack or superbag and squeeze the bitters out.

Yield*:

52% (185 ml · 6.2 fl. oz).

*Upping the yield makes a bitterer product with fewer aromas.

 

Dave Arnold’s revolutionary approach to making better-looking, better-tasting drinks:

For all  of our Dave Arnold Fans, you’ll be thrilled to know that his cocktail (science) book is coming out this fall, and it’s on pre-sale now at Amazon – get it while it’s  hot!

Questions?

Please share your comments, experiments and favorite flavor combinations with us – we always love to hear from you! Visit us on Facebook, chat with us on Twitter, or just send us an old-fashioned email: isinorthamerica@isi.com

 

 

Recipe: “iSi Rapid-Infused Ceviche”

In our last post, we talked about the versatility of the iSi Gourmet Whip and how to rapidly infuse, pickle or marinate virtually anything using the iSi Rapid Infusion technique.

We also promised you recipes! Here is a brilliantly creative recipe for “iSi Rapid-Infused Ceviche”, contributed by our friend Chef Jill Houk . This dish is an exceptionally inventive, yet simple, example of Rapid Infusion put to work. Enjoy this modern twist on a classic light dish, splendid for spring & summer!"iSi Rapid Infused Ceviche" using the iSi Gourmet Whip. Contributed by Chef Jill Houk.

“iSi Rapid-Infused Ceviche” using the iSi Gourmet Whip.
Contributed by Chef Jill Houk.

 

iSi Rapid-Infused Ceviche

Contributed by Chef Jill Houk*

Ceviche is a seafood dish that originated in Peru. It’s a combination of raw fish, citrus juice, peppers, and onions. The citrus juice de-natures the proteins in the fish, giving it the texture of cooked fish. Because the fish isn’t actually cooked, it’s essential to use ultra-fresh fish that is kept cold at all times. The iSi Gourmet Whip speeds up how quickly you can get your ceviche to the table. Traditionally, the fish would need to sit in citrus juice for 30 minutes to an hour. Now, you can eat ceviche in minutes, simply by using iSi’s Rapid Infusion method.

 

Serves 2-3

 

Equipment

0.5L (Pint) iSi Gourmet Whip

2 iSi cream chargers

 

Ingredients

1/2 pound firm white fish, such as sea bass, whitefish, tilapia, or mahi mahi

1/2 cup fresh lime juice (the juice of 4-5 limes)

1/4 cup fresh orange juice (the juice of 1/2 an orange)

1/4 cup water

1 small serrano pepper or 1/2 jalapeno pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely diced

1/4 cup thinly-sliced red onion

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

 

Garnishes

2-3 large leaves of lettuce

1 sweet potato, peeled, diced and cooked

 

Preparation

1)  Freeze fish 10-15 minutes to make it easier to cut.

2)  Remove from freezer. Remove skin (if necessary) and slice into 1/4-inch thin strips. Cut strips into bite-sized pieces.

3)  Place half of fish into iSi Gourmet Whip. Add lime juice, orange juice, water, serrano, and onion. Screw the head firmly onto iSi Gourmet Whip.

4)  Insert an iSi cream charger into charger holder and screw onto the iSi Gourmet Whip to release the gas into the Whipper.

5)  Remove the charger and discard (or, recycle!). Cover the decorator tip with a cup (to capture spray) and, in an upright position, press the lever of the iSi Gourmet Whip to release all of the pressurized gas inside, and remove the Whipper head.

6)  Strain fish mixture over a bowl through an iSi funnel & sieve or fine chinois. Set marinated fish aside.

7)  Return marinade to iSi Gourmet Whip. Add remaining fish. Screw the head onto Gourmet Whip.

8)  Insert an iSi cream charger into charger holder and screw onto the iSi Gourmet Whip to release the gas into the Whipper.

9)  Remove the charger and discard (or, recycle!). Cover the decorator tip with a cup (to capture spray) and, in an upright position, press the lever of the iSi Gourmet Whip to release all of the pressurized gas inside, and remove the Whipper head.

10) Transfer contents of the iSi Gourmet Whip into a bowl and add the fish which was set aside in step 5. Sprinkle with salt.

11) Line plate with lettuce. Top with marinated fish. Garnish with sweet potatoes and serve immediately.

 

*Chef Jill Houk is also the author of “The Complete Soda Making Book”, which features over 100 creative recipes to make your own artisanal sodas at home. Jill’s book mentions our iSi Soda Siphon as an option for creating bubbly beverages!

 

 

The iSi Gourmet Whip: More Than Just Whipped Cream

Now that we’ve covered all you need to know on making fresh whipped cream in your iSi Whippers, let’s explore some other inspirational techniques that will take you beyond traditional whipped cream. It’s time to experiment and have some fun – if you can dream it up, you can whip it up!

Important: We only endorse using the iSi Gourmet Whip for these techniques, because it’s the most versatile product we offer, and it’s specially designed to handle all of the “beyond whipped cream” applications we’ll talk about today.

Flavor Injections – iSi Injector Tips

You already know and love your iSi Gourmet Whip. You’ve tried endless recipes for foams, espumas, batters, and just need that extra “umph” to take your culinary creations to the next level. iSi Injector Tips are an inexpensive attachment for your iSi Gourmet Whip which multiply the versatility of this already marvelous tool. Just attach an Injector tip in place of the decorator tip, and you’ve opened up a whole new world of possibilities.

Quickly inject flavor, brines or marinades into proteins like chicken, turkey or pork. The pressure from the iSi cream charger will do all the work.

To satisfy your sweet-tooth, use the iSi Injector Tip attachment to fill pastries like donut holes or muffins with flavored cream – or even “espesso” (espresso-flavored foam created by the great Ferran Adrià)!

Use the shorter Tips to decorate donuts with a mouthwatering chocolate drizzle, or when you’re working with strong flavors that just need a “touch” of iSi magic. Chef Louisa Chu of Chicago recently created a zesty Chive Emulsion – just a few small drops brought the perfect bit of “bite” to top off Roasted Potato Foam on a Roast Beef Crostini.

Made of 100% stainless steel, iSi Injector Tips are a great addition to a product you already have in your kitchen – or, if you don’t already own an iSi Gourmet Whip, maybe they’ll inspire you to add one to your toolkit just so you can inject, decorate, and stuff away! Plus, they’re dishwasher-safe. Just be sure to clean them between uses.

Here’s a great recipe for Tabasco-Maple Brined Fried Chicken from our friend Chef Chris Cosentino of Incanto in San Francisco. It’s also featured in our cookbook: A Culinary Journey.

Tobasco-maple-brined-fried-chicken-isi-chris-cosentino

Tabasco-Maple Brine:
Ingredients for 1/2 pint (.25 liter) iSi Gourmet Whip using an iSi Injector Tip
1 iSi cream charger
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup Tabasco or other hot sauce
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoons kosher salt

Fried Chicken:
4 chicken legs
Tabasco-Maple Brine (see recipe above)
Buttermilk, for soaking
Seasoned flour, for dredging
Vegetable oil, for deep-frying

Combine all ingredients for brine until dissolved. Transfer 1 cup of the brine to a 1/2 pint iSi Gourmet Whip. Charge with one iSi cream charger and shake well. Screw on a long iSi Injector Tip needle. Hold Whipper with Tip pointed downward and inject chicken with brine. When complete, place chicken in a bowl and cover with buttermilk. Refrigerate overnight.

In a deep, heavy bottomed skillet or electric fryer, heat oil to 350°F, using a thermometer to keep track of the temperature.

Drain chicken and dredge in seasoned flour, shaking off the excess.

Working in small batches (to avoid a drastic temperature fluctuations in preheated oil), fry chicken until golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes per side. The internal temperature of the chicken should reach at least 180°F.
Drain chicken on a rack placed over a sheet pan. Cover loosely with foil to keep the skin crisp while keeping the chicken warm.

Carbonation – iSi Soda Chargers (CO2)

Did you know that your iSi Gourmet Whip can also carbonate water (or, any liquid) – and also create fizzy fruits? The same (CO2) iSi soda chargers that you use in your iSi Soda Siphon can be used interchangeably in the iSi Gourmet Whip. Just be careful not to carbonate anything cream or milk-based (carbonation and cream don’t mix) – but anything else is yours to bubble up!

Carbonation adds zing and zip, and lightens flavors on the palate. Fizz up pure green teas or seasonal fruit juices. Or add all-natural Monin or homemade syrups to water to create your own artisanal, hand-made soda. Add a bit of bubbly to cocktails and wine. While it’s still cold outside, try sparkling mulled hard cider! We like Jill Houk’s newly released Complete Soda Making Book, featuring 100 all-natural handmade soda recipes – right now, we’re stuck on the homemade root beer, but we’ll leave the experimenting up to you.

To take your carbonation experiments to the next level, consider carbonating fruit in your iSi Gourmet Whip. Imagine orange slices, watermelon chunks, strawberries, raspberries, grapes, or even cucumber with a fizzy “love at first bite”. Why carbonate fruits? Why not! Imagine the difference between a glass of still water and soda water on your tastebuds. Soda water is more crisp, refreshing, and leaves a tingling sensation in your mouth. Plus it’s unique, fun, and an easy way to add some pizzazz to your next dinner party (and, of course – impress your guests with your modern cuisine skills)!

For best results, select fresh, juicy seasonal fruits (or, even vegetables). Ingredients with high water content work best (remember, it’s the water in the fruit that’s actually carbonating to make the crispy bubbles). Juicy pears, grapes, pomegranate seeds and ripe strawberries are some of our favorite ingredients for this technique.
Make sure to peel your fruit first and cut it into bite-sized pieces. If you’re using pomegranates, carbonate only the seeds.

For this technique, fill your Gourmet Whip bottle with the ingredient you want to carbonate. Screw on the head securely, and then charge with one iSi soda charger. Rotate/shake the bottle around a bit to mix the gas into the fruit. This process literally happens overnight – so make sure to chill in the fridge overnight for best results.

When you’re ready to serve, press the lever down to release all the gas from the bottle. Now the Whipper is de-pressurized, so you can unscrew the head. It’s important to serve your fizzy fruit immediately. This makes for a simple and fun garnish – drop into cocktails for an unexpected little surprise, or enjoy the twinkle of carbonated grapes one by one.

Batters – iSi Soda Chargers (CO2)

Whether you’re making pancakes or crispy tempura, using your iSi Gourmet Whip to aerate the batter makes it better. In the case of pancakes or waffles, you’ll see that they’re noticeably lighter and fluffier than a traditional preparation – and, as an added benefit you’ll get more yield from your batter since the tiny bubbles that are fluffing your food up take up extra space in the batter mixture.

In the case of tempura, you’ll notice an undeniably crispier, crunchier crust. We recently attended a cooking demonstration with Chef Richard Blais and the James Beard Foundation at Sur la Table in Chicago, where Chef Blais said he uses iSi soda chargers to aerate batter for his famously delicious onion rings in all of his restaurants – because they don’t get soggy as quickly, and have a crispier crust. Take it from us, or from the pros – this is a technique to try.

The trick to great tempura is keeping the batter chilled and carbonated, both which create a final dish that’s delicate and crisp -not doughy. With your iSi Gourmet Whip, you’ll make tempura like a master in no time. Here’s a simple tempura recipe to start with, although you can aerate any of your favorite batters (just make sure to run the batter through a fine mesh sieve – or the iSi Funnel & Sieve to avoid any particles getting stuck in the nozzle of your Whipper).

Tempura Batter Recipe
Ingredients for a 1 Pint iSi Gourmet Whip:
1 cup cold water
1 cup all-purpose or rice flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preparation:

1) Pour water into a large bowl. In another bowl whisk together flour and salt. Sprinkle flour mixture over water then barely whisk the batter. There will be lumps – don’t worry, this is normal!

2) Strain through a fine mesh sieve, or the iSi Funnel & Sieve

3) Pour the smooth batter into your iSi Gourmet Whip up to the indicated fill line

4) Screw on one iSi soda charger. Shake vigorously about 5 times

Test your batter. It should look like fizzy, soft whipped cream. Dip lightly floured pieces of seafood, veggies or tofu immediately, or you can let the batter chill in your fridge until you’re ready to fry.

Preheat your oil to 375°F and fry battered pieces until they are a light golden color. Sprinkle with salt while still hot – serve and enjoy immediately.

Welcome to light & crispy tempura – made the iSi way!

Now, let’s talk about fluffy pancakes (and waffles, too!)

1) Prepare your favorite pancake/waffle recipe, or pre-packaged mixture. Pour the batter through a fine sieve (or iSi Funnel & Sieve) into your Gourmet Whip, up to the indicated fill line

2) Screw on the iSi Whipper head, and charge with an iSi soda charger

3) Dispense batter directly onto hot griddle until golden brown

Voila! Fluffy pancakes/waffles served!

Tip: you can keep any unused batter in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Thanks for joining us in exploring some fun techniques beyond whipped cream! Remember, we also have a wealth of recipes in our online database: http://bit.ly/1exNQTa

Next week, we’ll get into the science behind foams and infusions using iSi Whippers, so stay tuned!

 

Welcome to Whipped Cream!

Why use canned whipped cream when you can get more flavorful, healthy, and signature results – just by using an iSi Whipper with an iSi cream charger?

There’s nothing better than billows of sweet, indulgent whipped cream on desserts and coffee drinks… unless it’s freshly made whipped cream that can be flavored with all sorts of other delicious ingredients, from flavored syrups & extracts to cocoa powder. It’s the kind of over-the-top garnish that creates craveability and premium appeal for any dessert-lover, and using the iSi Culinary System (iSi Whippers + iSi cream chargers) makes it easy to make & store, too.

Cream of the Crop
The appeal of fluffy, delicious homemade whipped cream can turn a standard dessert into an irresistible signature dish that will taste as wonderful as it looks!
• Transform pre-purchased, fully prepared desserts like cakes, pie, brownies and more into must-have signature desserts
• Build decadent sundaes and other ice cream confections that will appeal to anyone on your guest list
• Garnish floats, milkshakes, and malts that no one could turn down
• Create specialty coffee toppings and creamy, hot after-dinner drinks to enjoy as a treat for yourself, or with guests at your next dinner party

But wait – iSi Whippers are more than just fresh whipped cream- they are:
• More sanitary than consistently pressing your finger on the tip of an aerosol can
• Hygienic, with a controlled, air-tight system
• High-yield: 5 times what you put in (higher yield = lower cost per serving!)
• Long-lasting: Cream stays fresh for up to 10 days when using fresh ingredients and storing in the refrigerator
• Refillable and environmentally-friendly
• Under Warranty for 2 Years
• Easy to use

Plus, professional, stainless steel iSi Whippers are:
• Dishwasher safe
• NSF certified; HACCP compliant (for restaurant/foodservice use, too!)

Versatility Matters
Replacing pre-made or canned whipped toppings with fresh whipped cream made in an iSi Whipper allows you to use ingredients you may already have on hand—not just heavy cream, but a whole pantryful of flavors—to create delicious desserts and much, much more, including:
• Light & fluffy whipped cream to top off coffee drinks
• An extra-special treat for indulgent tiramisu or chocolate mousse
• The most important ingredient in strawberry shortcake!
• A filling for donut holes (using iSi Injector tips)
• A topping for freshly made waffles with fruit compote

The versatility of whipped cream is another reason why we love it so much. You can also make it lowfat if you like, and cream is a great base for many sweet & tasty flavorings – you can flavor it in so many ways (sugars, syrups, powders). For us, it just doesn’t get any better than that. Whatever you decide, it’s sure to be delicious and fresh every single time.

The Sweet Stuff
To sweeten your fresh whipped cream, you can use either powdered sugar or regular granulated sugar (powdered sugar dissolves a bit faster). Honey, maple syrup, agave nectar or flavored syrups all work well too. If you’re looking for a lower-calorie alternative, you can use Splenda, Equal or any number of the many Stevia-based sweeteners available.
Monin, maker of gourmet flavors from France since 1912, offers natural syrups including many fun seasonal flavors.
Extracts offer you the ability to add flavor while controlling the amount and type of sweetener used. You can’t go wrong with pure vanilla extract – but other commonly available extracts on your supermarket shelves include almond, lemon, coffee, and rum- just to name a few.

Or, spice it up a bit! Try a savory whipped cream with smoked salt, chili powder, wasabi, or even horseradish to serve with savory dishes like braised short ribs or smoked salmon.

Making Whipped Cream in an iSi Whipper

All iSi Whippers make fresh whipped cream (makes sense – right?). To choose the best iSi Whipper for your needs, visit the products section of our website: http://www.isi.com/us/culinary/

Choose either “Home Use” or “Professional Use” to get started, and you’re on your way to exploring the many varieties of iSi Whippers that you can add to your kitchen, based on the recipes you want to make.

So – let’s get started with making your own fresh whipped cream with an iSi Whipper:

1) First the cream. You can use any kind of heavy whipping cream. We like heavy whipping cream, and use it in most of our iSi recipes because of its lovely taste and texture.

2) Then add any sweeteners and flavorings. Again, use whatever you want: cane sugar, Stevia, honey, agave, maple syrup, or flavored syrups. Just make sure any sweetener is completely dissolved, or particles will clog the release valve of your iSi Whipper. If you prefer, you can also avoid any sweetener because you may find find the taste of cream sweet enough, especially when topping a rich drink or dessert.

3) Make sure to fill your iSi Whipper up no further than the maximum fill line etched on the outside of the bottle. You can also use a measuring cup, like our iSi Basics Flex~it ® flexible silicone measuring cups to pre-measure your ingredients for a half-pint, pint, or quart-sized iSi Whipper. This is an especially good idea when adding flavored syrups as you don’t want to pour in more liquid than the capacity stated on the iSi Whipper’s fill line.

4) Screw on 1 iSi cream charger and shake vigorously until the desired consistency is achieved, typically 3 to 5 times.

Now – test the consistency. Hold the bottle with the tip pointed straight down and press the lever to dispense.

And… voila! Fresh whipped cream! Time to taste your fresh creation!

Storing Your Whipped Cream
You can store the rest of your whipped cream in the refrigerator with the bottle on its side. Remove the decorator tip and wash it by hand, using the cleaning brush included in the original packaging. Remember to recycle your empty iSi cream charger – it’s made of recyclable steel. Your whipped cream will keep fresh and fluffy up to 10 days when stored in the refrigerator!

For any questions on storing, cleaning, or using your iSi Whipper, visit the FAQ section of our website.

Other Recipes for Flavored Whipped Cream

Our online iSi recipe database offers complete access to the many inspiring recipes in our collection – including whipped cream and beyond! You can filter your search by ingredients needed, the type of iSi Whipper you are working with, or even level of difficulty & preparation time.

Signing up for free access to over 800 iSi Recipes is quick and easy –join our online community of iSi fans worldwide: http://www.isi.com/us/culinary/home-edition/recipes/

In the meantime, here is a recipe for something a little “beyond whipped cream” from our Database that you can get started on right away!

Chocolate Mousse
A light and fluffy dessert classic

iSi chocolate mousse photo

Ingredients for a 0.5 L (~17 fl. oz) iSi Whipper:
400 ml Cream
10 g Instant coffee
24 g Instant hot chocolate
90 ml Cognac
48 g Powdered sugar

Preparation:
Stir all ingredients until well combined and the powder is completely dissolved, then put into a 0.5 L (~17 fl. oz.) iSi Whipper. Screw on 1 iSi cream charger and shake vigorously. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
Double the ingredients for a 1 L (~34 fl. oz.) iSi Whipper. Screw on 2 iSi cream chargers one after the other. Shake vigorously after attaching each charger. Halve the ingredients if using a 0.25 L (~8.5 fl. oz.) iSi Whipper.

 

Our Gourmet Curry: Give it a Thai

Have you had your first spring pea dish yet?  What about young asparagus? Spring is most definitely here, and while you may think this season is for delicate flavors alone, think again.  It’s rather simple to achieve a dish full of robust flavors without the heaviness that winter dishes can provide.  Which brings us to one of our favorites: Thai curry.

Curry is a bold flavor.  Even better?  It’s fast and extremely versatile.  So often we believe we can only get curries for $7.95 at our local Thai restaurant.  But why bother when it is achieved in only a few simple steps at home?  In our recipe below, we’ve also added some gelatine powder and xanthan gum for added texture and thicker consistency, as sometimes a curry sauce can look and taste more like a soup.  You may feel like you’re cooking with the molecular gastronomists at New York’s WD-50 or Chicago’s Alinea, but fear not!   This dish pairs wonderfully with just about everything: proteins (chicken, fish, tofu) and vegetables alike.   With the added benefit of the iSi whipper, you achieve a beautiful  foam that makes the dish even more fun to eat.  It’s almost like biting into edible bubble wrap, bursting with the sweet, spicy and sour flavors of your favorite curry.

Red Thai Curry
Ingredients for 1 pint Whipper
2 tablespoons red curry paste
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon lemongrass, minced
1 teaspoon ginger, minced
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon gelatine powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon lime zest

Procedure:
Combine the lemongrass, ginger and garlic in a pan and brown for about one minute on medium-high heat.  Add the red curry paste and cook for another minute until all the spices become very aromatic.  Add the chicken broth (you can also substitute with water or another stock depending on your chosen protein), coconut milk and lime juice.  Stir well to make sure the curry paste dissolves.  Let simmer for at least 10 minutes.

Add the gelatin powder and xanthan gum (which can be found at most health food stores or even Whole Foods) and stir constantly until combined.  Strain the sauce through the iSi funnel and let cool before pouring into a 0.5 L iSi whipper.  Screw on two iSi cream chargers and shake vigorously after each one.   Pair with your favorite protein and/or vegetables and garnish with lime zest.

Note: You can use the Gourmet Whip Plus, Cream Profi Whip Plus or Creative Whip for this application.

Post and photo by Bao Ong

 

The Great Eggnog Battle

There are certain flavors that find their way into the kitchen during the holidays. We utter the words “pumpkin and cranberry” quite often, “fruit cake” and probably “eggnog” less often. Rich, creamy and custard-like, it’s a real shame that eggnog is rarely consumed outside of the holidays.

So it’s only natural that we got to thinking about “egg-and-grog” or “nog” (Old English word for strong beer or “noggin”) and its various forms. So much so that we recently took the iSi Creative Whip for a spin to see what we could do to make it even more memorable. The only question: homemade or store-bought? We wondered which gave us better results? Let the battle begin!

The skinny (we love irony!): homemade eggnog trumps store-bought. Why?

  • – The taste is absolutely superior: the richness of the cream and warmth of the bourbon are traits the store-bought versions lacked by a mile.
  • – The texture is pure velvet.
  • – The volume, when whipped, surpassed that of the store-bought versions. While the store-bought eggnog had a lighter texture initially than the homemade version, it did not maintain its volume.

As for the downsides regarding the homemade version, time and labor are the obvious factors. The homemade eggnog involves a bunch (separating the eggs, mixing and measuring, just to name a few) and unfortunately the shelf life is shorter thanks to no preservatives. At least by using the whipper, you save yourself some time and effort by whipping the egg whites right in the base unlike the traditional approach that calls for whipping the whites separately only to be folded back in later just before serving.

But while you could debate the time versus money spent, just think about how often you tipple with eggnog. Why not give it a whirl and whip some up?

CREAMY DELICIOUS HOMEMADE EGGNOG*
Ingredients for 1 pint Creative Whip
6 large eggs, separated**
1 cup superfine sugar
2 cups whole milk
3 cups heavy cream
½ cup bourbon, such as Maker’s Mark
Freshly whipped cream (optional)
Freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish

Procedure:
In large mixing bowl, beat egg yolks until thick in consistency and pale in color. Slowly beat in sugar. Whisk in egg whites, then milk. Stir in two cups heavy cream, then bourbon. Pour 2 cups of the mixture, reserving the rest, into a 1 pint iSi Creative Whip and screw on 1 iSi cream charger and shake vigorously. Chill for at least 30 minutes. To serve, dispense into cups or mugs and top with whipped cream if desired with a sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg. If mixture seems a bit thick, add a little more cream to reach desired consistency, utilizing that third cup of cream.

Note: You can refrigerate unwhipped egg yolk mixture up to one day in a sealed container or up to 5 days charged in the whipper.
**Since the egg yolks and whites are raw in this recipe, be careful about serving this recipe to pregnant women, small children, the elderly, and anyone with health issues.

* recipe adapted from December 2008 issue of Martha Stewart Living

Post and photo of eggnog by Bao Ong

Additional photo adapted from Christmas Vacation

 

Fall Breezes In…

How do we know it’s fall? You can smell it for sure: the scent of just-fallen leaves, the smoky aroma from a nearby chimney… Then there’s the deep aroma of rich fall foods you’ve secretly been waiting to eat since summer, like short ribs braising in red wine, a roast chicken. Maybe there’s a pecan pie in there. The list truly is endless.

While you may be craving some of the more serious comfort foods for dinner & dessert, let’s consider breakfast for a moment. How about a hot bowl of steel-cut oatmeal? Bland maybe, boring never, especially if you consider it a blank canvas for any sort of accoutrement you may wish. Our team here at iSi suggests adding another delectable touch with a dollop of cinnamon cream. Not only does this cinnamon cream recipe below pair well with the nutty flavor of the oats, there’s a touch of sweetness that’s perfect with any fruits you may wish to add. Plus it adds a dose of decadence that provides additional texture and a richer mouthfeel. Go ahead, those colder mornings give you the perfect excuse.

CINNAMON CREAM
Ingredients for 1 pint Creative Whip
2 cups chilled heavy cream
1/4 cup Monin cinnamon syrup

Procedure:
Pour heavy cream and syrup into a 1 pint iSi Creative Whip. Screw on one iSi cream charger and shake vigorously 3 to 5 times, depending on desired consistency. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 10 days until needed.

While we’ve paired this cream with a bowl of steel-cut oatmeal topped with fruit and nuts, it’s a very versatile recipe and pairs well with just about anything. Try it on your hot chocolate, your morning stack of pancakes, or on a slice of well-deserved pecan pie.

 

Shaking Up Grilling Season

Summer is tailor-made for grilling. It’s the time of year when you turn to burgers, slabs of marbled meat and ears of sweet corn. You fire up the grill because it’s easy and convenient – and who wants to heat up a kitchen? Unfortunately sometimes, it can mean you fall into a rut. After all, a nice, simple burger cooked just right is just that: nice and simple.

The iSi Creative Whip can help you shake things up a bit while keeping it easy. You don’t have to invest in fancy artisanal ingredients or stick with the old tried and true: ketchup or bottled barbecue sauce. In the recipe below, we spice up a traditional cream-based sauce with chipotle peppers.  It has a kick to it that keeps the flavor interesting with a bit of heat, and adds a creamy texture to boot. The sauce is quite versatile as well, and you can use it as a vegetable dip at parties.

Summer grilling is meant to be fun and easy. Just remember, with a little creativity, your dinner can taste better than just good (and expected)!

WHIPPED CHIPOTLE SAUCE
Ingredients for 1 pint Creative Whip

½ cup of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, diced
1 cup cream cheese
½ cup heavy cream
Juice of one lime

Procedure:
In a blender or food processor, puree chipotle peppers with cream cheese until smooth. Pass through a fine sieve and stir in heavy cream and lime juice. The mixture should have a creamy consistency. Pour into a 1 pint iSi Creative Whip. Screw on one iSi cream charger and shake vigorously. Chill for at least one 30 minutes before serving.

This sauce will go well with burgers.

Post by Bao Ong. Photo by Gregor Halenda Photography.

 

Springing for Asparagus

A Tasty Recipe for Creamy Asparagus Soup

If you’re a locavore-minded cook, you’re probably sick of root vegetables and heavy meals.  But now that spring is here, the choices can become overwhelming.  Enter the asparagus.

Even though it’s sold throughout the season, asparagus is at its best in the later stages of spring.  From pencil thin to tube-shape varieties, they offer a refreshing hint of the warmer weather to come.  An added bonus?  Late spring also means the stems aren’t as tough AND you can score the best deals at grocery stores.

While there are plenty of ways to cook up asparagus, the iSi Creative Whip gives you endless options.  We’ve tested an asparagus foam soap that’s easy to make but full of flavor and simple to execute.  Using the cream charger gives this soup a light consistency (something you’ll crave as the weather warms up) while maintaining some of that comforting, velvety texture we associate with soul-soothing soups.  Take advantage of these spring days!

ASPARAGUS FOAM SOUP
Ingredients for soup

1 pound asparagus
1 ½ cups vegetable stock
½ cup heavy cream
1 small shallot, diced
1 tablespoon clarified butter
1 clove garlic, minced

Salt
Pepper

Procedure:
Cut all asparagus spears into 1/2-inch pieces and cook in a pot of salted boiling water until tender, about 6 minutes. Transfer cooked asparagus with a slotted spoon to a food processor and purée with 1 cup cooking liquid.

In a wide saucepan, sauté the shallots and garlic in clarified butter. Add the asparagus puree and vegetable stock. Mix well before blending in food processor. Pass through a sieve and season with salt and pepper.  Refrigerate.

Pour the heavy cream and then the soup into the 1 pint iSi Creative Whip. Screw in 2 cream charges and shake vigorously after each charge. Dispense into soup cups or bowls and serve chilled.

Post and photo by Bao Ong.

 

Giving Easter a Spicy Boost…

Horseradish Sauce Recipe Helps You Turn Easter into a Gourmet Feast

Easter was all about the candy and sweets when you were a child. Now it’s become more about the food. You can just picture (and taste) the perfectly roasted racks of lamb and toasty hot cross buns. How could you not turn Easter into a gourmet feast?

The iSi Creative Whip can help make it even better. One of the most traditional ingredients in Easter dishes, especially in Poland and other eastern European countries, is horseradish. And because you’ll undoubtedly want to serve some lamb or some variation of lamb, it’s one ingredient you won’t want to overlook.

We’ve tested out a horseradish sauce that pairs well with your main dish. Not only is it easy to make, it also doesn’t take much time and you can make it in advance. The horseradish gives it a kick but it’s not too spicy by any means. The milk and cheese give it a silky quality, and you’ll want to lap it up.  Enjoy!

CREAMY HORSERADISH SAUCE
Ingredients for sauce:
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup double cream cheese
1/2 cup creamy horseradish
1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Salt
Black pepper

Procedure:
Bring milk to a boil. Lower heat to a nice simmer and add all the remaining ingredients. Stir well and season to taste. Pass through a fine sieve and let cool to room temperature or chill to serve cold. Transfer sauce a 1 pint iSi Creative Whip. Screw in 2 iSi cream chargers, shaking vigorously after each one.

Note:
The sauce goes also goes well with smoked meat or ham.

Post by Bao Ong. Photo courtesy of Michelle Tay.