Anyone remember my rant about my inability to make the perfect pea mousse? Since that day I have made various purees, bought a food mill, I have milled carrot, kiwi and ginger soup (awesome taste, great texture, but not silky smooth alas), I have pureed peas (nice texture, silky smooth? Nope) – I have cast my mind back to meals eaten in restaurants and remembered a wonderful fennel + star aniseed puree served in Italy (for photos of the restaurant go here) with sashimi (and seaweed) see below And again, I tried to reproduce it, the flavour was good, the texture, just not so much. Below the restaurants rendition (and the link if you ever want to stop by there.
So when we had dinner at the castle near us recently and a carrot and ginger puree, seduced me with it’s velvet texture, I had had enough. What I wondered out aloud, with no expectation of getting resolution, is it that the chefs have in their kitchens, that I don’t have at home. What is that magic tool the magic ingredient? I admit I have become a little obsessed by this in weeks past.. I’ll admit I had started thinking about shock freezing and then using sound wave impulses to fragment the cells, aka sonication, sometimes all those years spent in a lab become apparent, but until I earn enough to buy a lab setup to use for cooking, I have to make do without cool stuff (although maybe not, read on). Anyway, back to the story, our lovely hostess happened to be standing nearby and she must have overheard my lament (as did the guests at the next table who were laughing in empathy as they started to come up with suggestions on the tools I could use. However, as I explained that I was haunted by perfect texture, but unable to reproduce it – our hostess took it upon herself to put me out of my misery, she confirmed that chefs don’t use food mills to reach texture nirvana, don’t have super-enzymes that break down cell walls (I have put so much thought into this) indeed they don’t predigest the food, no none of the above gentle readers. No, she said, the chefs secret weapon is the Pacojet (a Swiss made tool – yes I am very proud) – because from what I have learned since hearing its name – the Pacojet is to the world’s chefs what sex-appeal is to James Bond – you cannot imagine the one without the other. I am bringing a virtual Pacojet to the Fiesta Friday gathering, sadly my blog following is not so large that I can negotiate the company into giving me one to test for home use, but as Fiesta Friday is all virtual, I am bringing it with me, along with different icecream and sorbet bases, and I will show you the wonder of the tool! By the way – the Pacojet is really quite small, if you have an American sized kitchen you can fit one in easy. It makes ice-creams and sorbets, vegetarian and vegan foods, sausage fillings (I’m looking at you Mr Fitz) – oh I just have to have one. But where do I put it?