Not long ago, we received a copy of the Eleven Madison Park cookbook in the mail and we haven't quite put it down since. Every single page is pristine, the design is clean and the book is filled with simple yet elegant food photography. We quickly joked that if we (Jared, I mean) were to ever write a cookbook, it would look much like this. However, since we are hardly equipped to write a cookbook of our own, this blog will have to do! The Eleven Madison Park cookbook has even inspired us to redesign and streamline our blog. Here are some sample sneak peeks into the gorgeous book.
Chef Daniel Humm's plating is consistently immaculate, balanced and simply beautiful. It really leaves us speechless and pushes Jared to work even harder at plating. Here are more sample dishes from the book.
Aside from the gorgeous plating and photography, the index of the book is extremely helpful, things like gel/puree/crumbles you see in high end restaurants are written in detail. Unfortunately, each recipe calls for only a spoonful on each plate, so you are left with a lot of extra quantities of each component. Luckily for us, baby duck loves his puree so hardly any of it goes to waste! However, there is the high price for several high end ingredients. Things like summer truffle, caviar and grade A foie are really expensive, so at times it is cheaper to actually dine at the restaurant. So unless you have a whole lot of time, endless funds, a whole kitchen staff on hand or you're crazy like Jared, these recipes are certainly not for the 30 minute meal home cook ;)
After spending many a night flipping through and pouring through several of these recipes we begin our 2012 blogging year with recreating Eleven Madison Park's Lobster, Fennel, Orange and Persimmon dish at home.
After our recent trip to LA, Jared's parents gave us 32 tree ripened fuyu persimmon from their last harvest of the season to bring back on the plane. These were some of the best persimmons I've ever had, so incredibly sweet and crunchy. With these perfect specimens of persimmon, Jared was excited to use them in this recipe.
Looking through the recipes, it turns out that the hardest part of the cookbook is not actually the recipes itself, but sourcing all the ingredients for the dish. Each dish on average is comprised of 10 different components and subcomponents. For instance, this lobster dish includes
- lobster tail
- lobster oil
- lobster roe powder
- orange beurre blanc
- compressed fennel
- braised fennel
- pickled persimmon wedges
- fennel potato puree
- fennel fronds
Since the persimmons from Jared's parents' backyard were super sweet, the sourness of the beurre blanc and pickled persimmon balanced out this dish as well as cut into the richness of the sauce. The velvety smooth puree adds depth to the dish, while the compressed fennel and persimmon slice gave it the crunch it needs. Although the braised fennel was a bit bitter from the braising liquid, it helped balance out the overall sweetness. (Also, Jared wanted to say "thanks" to Dan for getting Jared the super fine tamis for christmas. Without it the puree couldn't have gotten this smooth!) And finally, the star of the meal is of course the perfectly cooked tender and sweet lobster tail, bringing it all together.
Really, if this is just a small preview of things to taste at Eleven Madison Park, then can someone hurry up and buy us tickets to NYC so we can eat an entire meal there?