Getting to know ingredients is exciting. Utilizing their synergy is enlightening. Blending the knowledge of ingredients and their synergistic qualities is what cooking is all about. Cooking with apricots and chanterelle mushrooms is a great way to begin to understand the pleasures of combining seemingly disparate ingredients. The following recipes follow the path of cooking with both apricots and chanterelles, looking to pique the flavor of them both and creating a greater whole.
Dried Apricot Stock
310g dried un-sulfured apricots
110g peeled and sliced fresh ginger
65g chopped and bruised lemongrass
25g rose syrup
Place all the ingredients in a pressure cooker. Seal the lid, bring up to full pressure and cook for thirty minutes. After thirty minutes, turn off the heat and let the pressure dissipate. Remove the lid of the pressure cooker and strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer. Discard the solids and cool the stock.
Apricot Infused Chanterelle Mushrooms
280g chanterelle mushrooms
270g dried apricot stock
Use a pairing knife to peel the chanterelle mushrooms stems and cut off the ends. Once the mushrooms are peeled, rinse the mushrooms in warm water. Pull the mushrooms out of the water and repeat the rinsing two more times in warm water. After the third rinsing, pull the mushrooms out and pat them dry on paper towels.
Place the cleaned mushrooms in the pressure cooker and add the apricot stock and the salt. Place the lid on the pressure cooker and cook the mushrooms for five minutes. Let the pressure dissipate, remove the lid and cool the mushrooms. Cool the mushrooms and reserve them in the refrigerator.
Apricot Poached Apricots
200g Apricot stock
Cut the apricots in half and remove the pits. Place the apricots, the apricot stock and the salt in a vacuum bag and seal. Place the bag in an 83 degree Celsius water bath and cook for fifteen minutes. Remove the bag and cool in an ice bath.
590g poached apricots and poaching liquid
1.18g high acyl gellan (0.2%)
1.18g low acyl gellan (0.2%)
Put the apricots and their poaching liquid in a blender. Puree the apricots until they are smooth. When the mixture is smooth, sprinkle in both types of gellan. Shear the mixture to disperse the gellan. Put the mixture in a pot and slowly heat, stirring frequently until the mixture reaches 90 degrees Celsius. As the mixture is heated, skim any impurities that rise to the surface. The apricot puree will darken in color as the foam is removed from the surface. When the mixture reaches 90 degrees Celsius, remove any last foam on the surface of the mixture, then pour the mixture into a 20 by 20 centimeter glass dish. The mixture will gel quickly so pour the mixture into the dish quickly.
Place the dish in the refrigerator to cool.
Apricot Puree and Crisp
250g apricot gel
8 acetate sheets cut into 10 cm rounds
Put the 250g of apricot gel into the blender and puree until silky and smooth. Press the apricot puree through a fine meshed strainer. Spray the acetate sheets with the pan release and then wipe clean. The fine film remaining on the sheet will prevent the crisp from sticking to the acetate. Spread a uniform thin layer of the apricot puree on each acetate sheet. Place the apricot covered acetate sheets in a dehydrator. Reserve the apricot puree. Dry the crisps for one hour. The apricot should be dry to the touch. Remove from the dehydrator and peel the apricot off the acetate. Place the apricot back in the dehydrator to finish drying. Remove the crisps from the dehydrator and lay on a clean countertop to cool. When the crisps are cool, place them in an air tight container with a silica gel pack to keep the crisps brittle and crunchy.