In parts one and two of our interview with chef Jordan Kahn of Beverly HIlls' Red Medicine, we discussed the possibility of food as art and chef as artist. But we held something back. Missing from Kahn's theoretical musings and the commenters' subsequent uproar were the actual goods: his recipe. Turn the page.
Kahn was inspired by the textures that muscat grapes take on when frozen. What few realize, he pointed out, is that the texture of a sorbet is almost entirely decided by a recipe's water to sugar ratio. When Kahn freezes muscat grapes in his -30 degrees Fahrenheit medical freezer, their sugary flesh takes on the taste and texture of a rich, ready-made sorbet. Marcel Duchamp would be proud.
Admittedly, the beautiful pictures we provide are of the considerably more complicated version served at Red Medicine. There, chunks of green zucchini genoise rest alongside smaller chunks of the same genoise, dried and covered in milk chocolate. Herbs -- bronze fennel fronds, baby grape leaves, alfalfa flowers and baby marigold leaves among others -- blanket the plate.
But in the simplified version Kahn gave us, the main texture and flavor notes are all there. Muscat grape, almond and elderflower. Art direction not included.
Muscat Grape Dessert
From: Red Medicine chef Jordan Kahn
Note: Kahn uses a medical freezer to freeze his grapes. Though the texture will be slightly different, we use a normal freezer. Kelcogel F gellan gum can be bought from a specialty store such as Le Sanctuaire.
Makes: 4 servings
1 bunch Muscat grapes
250 grams raw Marcona almonds
1 liter filtered water
5 grams apricot pits
500 grams almond milk
2.3 grams Kelcogel F gellan gum
1 teaspoon sea salt
125 grams sugar
200 grams cream, whipped
3 sheets of gelatin, bloomed
500 grams verjus blanc
40 grams elderflower distillate (such as Alain Royer's Pages elderflower)
80 grams sugar
1. Put the Muscat grapes in the freezer.
2. Make the almond milk by soaking the almonds and apricot pits in the water for 24 hours. Blend on high in a high-powered blender.
3. Allow liquid to rest for another 24 hours. Decant the liquid from the solids and pass through a coffee filter. Reserve.
4. Make the bavarois by mixing the almond milk and gellan gum for 1 minute in a blender. Transfer to a pot and bring to a boil while whisking constantly. Pour into an ice bath and allow to set completely. Transfer the gel to a blender and blend on high until smooth.
5. Warm the almond milk gel in a small pot and add the sugar, salt and gelatin sheets to dissolve. Fold in the whipped cream and pipe the mixture into sphere molds. Place in the freezer.
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6. Make the elderflower syrup by combining verjus blanc, Pages elderflower and sugar in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, turn the heat off and allow to cool until at least room temperature.
7. When ready to plate, remove the bavarois from the freezer, separating the individual spheres from the mold. Allow the spheres to temper before serving. Remove the frozen grapes from the freezer and place on plate alongside the bavarois spheres. Pour the elderflower syrup. Serve while the grapes are still frozen.