Thursday, 26 June 2014


Deep fried Reindeer Moss, Pine oil powder, Truffle oil powder, Truffle infused Dark chocolate branches, Porcini creme fraiche, Morels and Semi-dried Parsley leaves.

                  When plating this taste sample dish theres one ingredient that sparked the whole dish when I thought about it. A couple of weeks back the family went for a drive to the rainforest nearby and after we had some lunch we drove to a popular water hole. The 100m walk to the water whole from the car park was littered with native bush food plants from a rejuvenation program many years ago. Along the walk I came across a piece of reindeer moss growing suspended in the branch of a tree lining the path. I brought the sample home and started the research on its gastronomical ability. After a bit of research and a positive identification I found that the moss used to be served at one the worlds most famous restaurants in Denmark called ' Noma '. The danish restaurant served the lichen deep fried, seasoned with porcini mushroom powder on a saucer of live moss with a side dish of creme fraiche. So I decided to take the idea and serve the lichen with a few other european forest inspired ingredients to accompany, creating a scene from the winter forest floors of europe.                                                          
                   The methods for all the preparations are listed below and are not in order of execution.            
DEEP FRIED REINDEER MOSS- This was simply as it says deep fried and very quickly before being left to drain on a paper towel. The fried light brown fibres of the lichen dissolves, crumbling away on your tongue leaving a delicate taste of earthy truffle, with sweet grassy and vanilla notes.        
PINE OIL POWDER- To make this powder which is the one with greener tint, I made some pine oil by blending together chopped pine needles and olive oil until the oil turns green and the pine oil has infused with the olive oil. This was then strained and mixed at a 40/60 ratio with N-Zorbit which is a Tapioca Maltodextrin, which is a modified starch like corn flour but made from cassava root. N-Zorbit has the ability to turn fats into fluffy powders that melt back to their oils on your tongue with next to no spoiling to the flavour. The pine oil and n-Zorbit were mixed together using a fork until fluffy and powdery. The downfall to the starch is when it becomes in contact with any other fluid other than oils or fats, N-Zorbit turns to an instant sludge and not a delicate fluffy powder.                                                  
TRUFFLE OIL POWDER- Same as above except substituting the pine oil for white truffle oil.

TRUFFLE INFUSED CHOCOLATE BRANCHES- This were made by roasting parsley stems in the oven until brown and hard, these were then coated in melted dark chocolate mixed with a little truffle oil and placed in the fridge to set.
SEMI-DRIED PARSLEY LEAVES- I simply placed the leaves on a flat tray and dried them out in an 80 degree C. oven until they just turn light brown, before removing and setting aside to plate.
PORCINI CREME FRAICHE- To make the final prep I placed dried porcini mushrooms in a spice blender, blending to form a powder, I then mixed the powder with some creme fraiche until it was all incorporated. This was then placed in the fridge to chill and firm back up before serving.


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