I was smitten with the simplicity and dynamic flavors of the rye bread porridge dish by Jeremiah Stone and Fabian Von Hauske of Wildair and Contra. We have explored the idea of "off the beaten path" porridges before, from pretzel to potato to parsnip to cucumber. What we have not done is look to use the porridge as both the star of and the foundation for a dish. We have created porridges that were delicious, but still porridge. Their rye porridge was robust and enhanced with shallots, celery, lovage, and butter. It was complemented by tender shelling beans spiked with espelette and black pepper and then doused in olive oil. The dish is finished with raw tropea onions and Maine sea urchin. Jeremiah seasons the dish with banyuls vinegar, olive oil, sea salt and sharp nasturtium leaves. The rye porridge is the result of combining frugality, innovation, and a desire for delicious. It has kicked me into overdrive to look beyond an initial idea and find its variations and their place at the table.
November 6, 2010