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7 Apr 2009

And the winner is…..

It’s already 1 week since when I got that email.
The story begins though some months ago, in September. After reading my first book written by Herve This “Molecular Gastronomy: Exploring the Science of Flavor”, I decided to look for more information about his academic activities and the possibilities to follow some of his lectures.
Through his web-page at the INRA I found information about his monthly seminar at the Ecole Supérieure de Cuisine Francaise. At that time, I had enough money to allow me a trip to Paris to follow the course of September.
Along with testing the effect of freezing on the growth of baked layer pastry (btw not many differences between the frozen and the fresh specimen were observed), madame Renaudin announced the 4th edition of the Rencontres Science Art et Cuisine. I decided to participate. My first gastronomical competition!
The theme of this year was: Modernize our Tradition, with a second module on innovation centred on the use of the Methylcellulose.
It took a couple of months to finally sketch the projects that I wanted to develop as submissions. Naturally I wanted to focus on my Italian origins but more precisely I wanted to research a bit of Sicilian cooking traditions.
I decided to submit two savoury dishes:

Rosemary Tiramisu with Pink Pepper and Caraway-Chocolate Rose Window shards

Rosemary Tiramisu

Meat and Ricotta Cassata cake with Almonds glaze, Candied Orange peels and Eggplant Cracklings.

Meat & Ricotta Cassata Gateau

Indian Kebab with Roasted Hazelnuts and Dried Apricots

The past week-end I was invited for a friendly dinner at friends place. Since they just came back from a trip to India, the theme of the night were: Indian Kebabs. I made a batch of meat mixture to bring along, here there is the recipe.

(make roughly 30 kebabs)

• 125g chickpeas flour
• 2 eggs
• 1 tsp salt
• 500g mixed minced meat
• 4 black cardamom
• 1 handful of green cardamom (ca 15 pods)
• 4 cloves
• 1 tsp caraway
• 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
• Ca 20 hazelnuts, roasted
• 5 dried apricots
• 1 carrot, grated
• 2 shallots, finely chopped
• 1 tsp red chilli flakes
• 50cl brandy
• 2 pinches of freshly grated black pepper

How to:
Using a spice grinder or a mortar, grind the spices together: the seeds from the cardamoms, the cloves, the caraway seeds and the cumin. Crush the hazelnuts in small pieces but not to flour.
In a bowl put all the ingredients together and mix well to combine. Let the mixture rest in the refrigerator for 1h.
When ready to grill your kebabs, oil a bit your hands and form elongated patties with the meat mixture. Grill till ready and the outside is nice and browned.