Thursday, 25 December 2014

Quinoa

These days, quinoa is very popular and has been put in the new category of 'superfoods'. However, an interesting discussion has erupted about how healthy quinoa actually is. 

Not a grain
Quinoa is not a grain, although it is used in the same way. Quinoa is actually the seeds of the quinoa plant. This plant is a member of the family that includes spinach and beet, and its panicles come in a variety of colours. Although now also grown in Europe, the plant originated in South America, where it was one of the staple foods eaten by the Incas, second in fact only to the potato.

Quinoa preparation
There are several different ways to cook quinoa: You can boil it, for example, or puff it. Oil and flour can also be derived from quinoa. There are several different varieties of quinoa, most of which have a bitter exterior layer that can easily be removed by washing the kernels briefly in cold water. White quinoa is the most common variety, but red and black varieties are also available.

How sustainable is it?
Most of the quinoa sold in Europe has been imported from Peru and Bolivia, where the indigenous population can barely afford to buy their staple food any more on account of the huge demand from the Western world and the subsequent rise in price. Looked at from this perspective, quinoa is not as sustainable a product as we would like to imagine. You can, however, buy European-grown quinoa.

Gastronomixs is happy to show you a wealth of different ways to prepare quinoa! Have a look at the components chart for quinoa!

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Composition archive

Anyone can view this month's compositions, but to view compositions from previous months you will need to access the archive.

Paying members of Gastronomixs have access to its ever growing archive of compositions. To access the archive, click on the 'View archives' button at the bottom right of the composition page. You'll find a list of all the compositions that have been added to Gastronomixs.com since the start. An inspiring overview filled with dishes you can start preparing straight away! When you click on a composition, you'll find several variations at the bottom so that you can give your own twist to the different dishes.

It's also possible to search for a specific composition using the search bar: not only by ingredient, but also, for example, by 'guest chef'. Just enter the name of a chef for a list of compositions shared by this guest chef. You can also search for an ingredient such as 'tomato' or for a particular course. 

Be inspired by our compositions and use the components chart to create variations more tailored to your personal style of cooking!

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Must-read: Eleven Madison Park

A recurring item on the Gastronomixs blog: the must-reads in culinary literature!

Books on culinary themes and cookery books are a source of inspiration, whether culinary literary classics or new books hot off the press. The recipes printed in cookery books can be used to master a technique, try out a flavour combination, or discover a new way to prepare a familiar ingredient. But above all, the most enjoyable aspect is coming up with new takes on existing recipes.

The Eleven Madison Park cookbook is packed full of elegant photography and creative dishes. Eleven Madison Park in New York is the well-known three-star restaurant of this month's guest chef: Daniel Humm. It is one of the world's 50 best restaurants, ranked at 24. All of Daniel's dishes are utterly stunning. As you can tell from his compositions, the style at Eleven Madison Park is very fresh and refined.

Together with Will Guidara, chef Daniel Humm has made the restaurant a great success. Rather than using an à la carte menu they instead use one menu printed with sixteen ingredients that refer to the dishes available. So although you roughly know what you can expect on your plate it will still always be a surprise! This philosophy, based on primary ingredients, is quite similar to that of Gastronomixs: forward with basics.

Be inspired by the book and his compositions. Take a good look at the way dishes are put together and at their colour combinations.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Tuna spine marrow

In the components chart for tuna, you'll find the waste2taste component tuna marrow. It's a component the German chef Joachim Wissler (Vendôme restaurant) has added to his menu, creating a dish that was born out of curiosity.

For this dish, Joachim Wissler was inspired by Japanese cuisine. He had read about the beneficial effect of tuna spine marrow on hair growth and nails. Having become intrigued, he asked his usual fishmonger whether he could also supply the tuna's large spinal column and he could! Joachim experimented with various flavour combinations and came up with this dish. The taste of tuna marrow is quite similar to that of oysters and it looks rather like jelly. When Joachim serves the dish in his restaurant, guests often think it's another molecular technique but this couldn't be further from the truth - it's completely natural! Below we show you the precise location of the marrow and how you can remove it from the spine.



In Japan the spine is cut so that the marrow remains in its 'cup'. It is then roasted whole and the marrow is seasoned to taste.


It's not easy to obtain tuna spine but you can of course start working with tuna. Just take a look at our components chart!