Monday, March 21, 2011

JAMES BEARD AWARD NOMINATION

I am thrilled to announce that "The Modern Cafe" has been nominated for a James Beard Award under the category of Cooking From a Professional Point of View. The awards are on May 6th in NYC. You bet I'm going to be there, with bells on!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tapioca Popcorn

Today I wanted to test the possibility of toasting tapioca pearls before cooking them to see if the flavor or texture would change once cooked. I am a big fan of tapioca in pearl form as well as its uses as a starch (and the many variations of this starch).
I will never find out, because as the pearls started to get hot, they did not toast. The popped. They did so in the exact same way as popcorn kernels would. I switched gears then and completely lost interest in toasting tapioca pearls. I mean, come on... tapioca popcorn! So then I treated it as such, and lightly oiled a pan, put a fresh amount of small pearls over high heat and the result was even better than the first round as you can see from the picture.
The flavor is practically non-existent, but the texture is crunchy and very similar to popcorn. A little salt and you're set.



Friday, March 11, 2011

New Line of Croissants

Is there really room for improvement with a croissant? Does a good croissant even need to be fussed with? I wouldn't necessarily say so, but there is room for expanding its variety and its versatility. A croissant on its own is pretty much all you need. Well, maybe a little jam or marmalade doesn't hurt. But with this new line we are starting next week at the APBC, you don't need the jam at all. The croissant is simply glazed with a combination of confectioner's sugar, buttermilk and citrus juice (we used Yuzu juice for these particular ones, but really any citrus juice will do). The croissants in the photo directly below are (from top to bottom): chocolate covered puffed rice, candied yuzu, coconut and toasted almond croissants. Pretty fantastic.