Monday, May 28, 2012

angry series

oftentimes, when i want to work through something....and i don't have the words to write, i'll work things out in my kitchen. sometimes, it isn't until later...when i'm tasting something that i've made that i realize "oh yeah, that is what that was about." this is pretty much what happened over the holiday weekend.

i've had the humphry slocombe cookbook for a while now. ever since humphry slocombe announced that they intended to write a book, i knew that i intended to buy it. i'm an advocate of their ice cream and duck fat pecan pies which has been extremely well documented in this blog. i wanted to buy the book to read about the stories and the behind the scenes activities associated with opening their place. it is a very good read. i had no intention of making their ice creams because i'd rather buy it from them when they appear at the ferry building farmers market or at their place in the mission.

yet, i bought a large amount of strawberries from dirty girl produce that i wanted to make into sorbets and found myself using two of humphry slocombe's recipes as guidelines for my sorbets....the cantaloupe cayenne as well as the thai chili lime sorbet. i say using them as "guidelines" the ingredients i used for the strawberry sorbets are different....yet, i used the recipe ratios as extremely helpful guidelines. i really like the texture and viscosity of their sorbets and wanted to replicate that. also, it seems that i was in the mood for extremely assertive flavors and humphry slocombe does assertive very well.

it seems obvious now where that stems from, but at the time, i just went with what seemed good to me.

when i was in my kitchen, for one of the sorbets....i worked out using strawberries, sugar, a homemade chichuacles bitter, champagne vinegar, and yuzu juice. tasting along the way....making changes here and there....until it was where i wanted it to be. i also decided not to strain it. then i chilled it for a couple of days before churning it.

once i churned it, i was quite happy with it.

strawberry. tartness. sweetness. bite.

there is nothing subtle about this flavor profile.

i call this flavor, "bitter strawberry chichuacles"

it isn't bitter....of is reference to the homemade bitters. this is one reason why it is good to be home cook....because naming a sorbet "bitter" would not likely go over very well when selling something to the public.

the second flavor was a result of me testing out various flavor combinations in many different glasses before making it into a base. it took a while.

then i found that there was something about strawberry, black pepper, coconut milk, and rangpur lime leaf syrup that really spoke to me.

it was like having puzzle pieces that just fit. i also decided upon honey as the binding agent. i made the strawberry black pepper yuzu puree and then strained it. then i added the seedless "clean" mixture to the coconut milk base.

i didn't waste the puree...i would use that later for cocktails as well as an impromptu "swirl".

i was a wee bit worried after it chilled for a couple of days that maybe i made it too thin...and it wouldn't churn. yet, it did....

when it was ready, i felt like this was something that fit my mood perfectly.

strawberry. coconut. building heat. a bite. cool creaminess. lingering warmth.

again, not subtle, extremely assertive. lovely really.

i call this flavor "berry angry".

then, because i was in the mood to see what happened. i added some of the strawberry black pepper puree as a "swirl" when putting this into containers for the freezer.

when i tasted it, i went "holy sh*t!"

it works. it really does. it really ups the ante though and pushes it right to the edge.

i call this flavor "apocalyptic strawberry".

it wasn't until i was done with all of the churning....more chilling in the freezer time....and plating that i realized  what i had made. i made some pretty angry sorbets. i suppose i should call them my angry series. there was nothing polite, subtle, or "nice" about them. they are spicy and spiced. they are passionately assertive and very in your face. these flavor profiles are not for everybody. they also push against what is typically acceptable for strawberry ice creams...or sorbets...but are still tasty. they are also appropriate for me at this moment in time. this is one of the things i love about cooking at home.

a friend tried the apocalyptic strawberry and said that it reminded them of something they would try from the case at the humprhy slocombe. i had to grin at that. then i told them that i used their cookbook for inspiration.  the flavor profiles that i did are different....yet, i'd like to hope that i paid a proper homage to the subversive spirit.

it seems appropriate. there have been many o' many times that i've sought out quiet moments with humphry slocombe ice cream at their place in the mission or at a bench around the ferry building. now, using the book as a guide...i was able to make something of my own that provides that same level of comfort.

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