One of the questions frequently asked of chefs playing on the fields of Modern Gastronomy is this: where do your ideas come from? Ferran Adria (El Bulli) and Grant Aschatz (Linea) have addressed this question very directly. Heston Blumenthal (The Fat Duck) has done so too, though perhaps in a rather more obscure, techie and non-intuitive manner.
Culinary deconstruction is one approach: taking a classic dish, breaking it apart into its constituent components and putting it back together on the plate in new and surprising ways. The chefs often find their inspiration in visual imagery, songs, poetic turns of phrase or the desire to tell a story. One approach is to take a classic food combination (ham & cheese, duck & orange or lamb & mint) and transform them using the toolset of Modern Gastronomy.
And it is with that later approach in mind that we offer Bacon and Eggs, a classic combination if there ever was one. Here, the “bacon” takes the form of the Bacon Snow already seen in this space ( http://sdfoodtravel.com/modern-gastronomy-spot-prawns-with-bacon-snow-tomato-prawn-gel-and-nuoc-cham/). While the “egg” is hardly “Modern” in its preparation (it is just hard boiled, grated and cemented to a bread stick using mayonnaise), its presentation – as a lollipop – captures the playfulness and the visual surprise element of Modern Gastronomy.
Perhaps the key to the dish is that it is fun to eat. The bacon snow acts as a dipping sauce for the egg lollipops with the grissini playing the role of a bacon and egg delivery system. And then there is this: it tastes good.
Bacon and Eggs (Egg Lolipop with Bacon Snow)
For the Mayonnaise:
- 2 eggs
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 1 ½ cups grapeseed oil
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
For the Egg Lollipops:
- 12 grissini
- 1 large egg
- 8 Middle-Eastern, Nicoise, Kalamata or other good non-green olives
- 10 basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
For the Bacon Snow:
- 20 grams freshly rendered bacon fat (rendered from approximately 2 pounds of bacon)
- 25 grams tapioca maltodextrin
Make the Mayonnaise.Separate the whites from the yolk from one egg, reserving the whites for the crab cakes. Place the yolk and the other egg in the bowl of a food processor, together with the juice of one lemon. Add the fish sauce and process until combined. With the food processor running, add the oil in a slow and steady stream. Add the remaining lemon juice and the Sriracha sauce and process to combine. Refrigerate until needed.
Boil the Egg. Bring a pot of water to a hard, rolling boil and carefully place the egg into the boiling water using a slotted spoon. Cook the egg for 10 minutes, then remove it and let it cool.
Prepare the Other Egg Lollipop Ingredients. While the egg is cooling, chop the olives finely and chiffonade the basil.
Make the Egg Lollipops. Shell the hard boiled egg and grate it using the large holes of a box grater. In a large mixing bowl, combine the grated egg with the chopped olives and the chiffonaded basil and mix thoroughly. Coat the top part of each grissini with the mayonnaise and roll each in the egg-olive-basil mixture.
Make the Bacon Snow. Place the maltodextrin in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the “S” blade. With the processor operating drizzle the rendered bacon fat into the feed tube, stopping every once in a while to scrape down the bottom. Continue drizzling the fat in until the resulting “snow” reaches the desired texture. It should still feel like a powder in your fingers but should melt nearly the instant it hits your tongue.
Plate the Dish. Make a “pool” of the bacon snow at the center of an appetizer plate (a colored – or at least non-white – plate will make for a dramatic presentation). Arrange one egg lollipop on either side of the line of bacon snow, with the lollipop sticks extending off the plate in different directions.