Luxe Beat Magazine MAY 2015 - Page 69

Epicure Sakuramaki the restaurant to us. I’m the cook, the waiter, dishwasher and usually the entertainment. Also, the main reason I enjoy cooking at home is that I know I am creating lasting memories with my family. Maralyn: Would you share a recipe with us? Chef Keller: This technique of “solidifying” a liquid has become a trademark component in many of my dishes.I made this recipe in reference to the spring celebrations in Japan. Sakura translates to cherry blossom, and this is my take on a maki roll. I use agar agar, which is very popular in Asia, and fuse it with French chevre. The flavor is delicate, light, bright and rich all together, balanced like sushi and perfect for spring entertaining. Sakuramaki Cherry Blossom and chevre For the candied blossoms ½ teaspoon granulated sugar ½ teaspoon whipped egg white 1 tablespoon granulated sugar For the maki 3½ ounces chevre or similar goat cheese 1 cup tart cherry juice 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 1 teaspoon agar agar 25 cherry blossoms (reserve 3 for candy) For the candied blossoms, preheat oven at 100 Fahrenheit or a prepared dehydrator. Mix the egg white and sugar to create a sugar “paint”. Carefully remove the petals from the blossoms. Have a dehydrating pan, a set of tweezers and a paintbrush for assembly. Using a very small amount of paint, paint each blossom petal, front and back. Drop into the tablespoon sugar, remove with tweezers and place on dehydrating pan. Candy all the petals and dehydrate, using manufacturer settings. Dehydrate in a convection oven set at 100 Fahrenheit for 1 day. Line a small sheet pan with acetate film. This preparation can work on any flat cool surface, but the acetate is a bit easier to work with and creates a beautiful shine to the film. Portion the goat cheese into ¼ ounce cubes, cover and refrigerate. Place the cherry juice, sugar and agar agar into a small saucepot. Whisk well and bring liquid to a boil. Turn the heat off immediately and pour onto the acetate sheet. Refrigerate until firm. Remove the petals from 15 blossoms and adhere to the cubes of chevre. Cut the cherry film the width of cheese and 6-7 inches in length. Place the chevre on one end of the strip and firmly roll up, allowing the seam to be hidden on the bottom. Plating Plate the sakuramaki on a platter, garnish with one candied petal and one fresh blossom per maki. serve with chopsticks. Yields 4 small servings. Chef Keller also shared one of his recipes for focaccia crackers that go especially well with this dish. Focaccia Crackers 3 cups warm water 3 tablespoons active dry yeast 3 tablespoons honey 3 tablespoons salt ⅔ cup olive oil 4 cups bread flour 4 cups all-purpose wheat flour Additional 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (reserved for final baking) Place the water, yeast and honey in a small mixer with a hook attachment, and mix on low for one minute. Add the salt and oil and mix for an additional one minute. Add the flour, mix and knead on low for ten minutes. Place dough in oiled bowl and rise until doubled in size. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Add one tablespoon of the reserved olive oil to a half sheet pan, gently turn the bowl with dough upside down over the pan and release the dough from the bowl. It should pop right out on its own, then roll dough to fit pan. Use a fork and put holes into the dough, roughly ¼” deep. Brush the remaining olive oil across the dough and let stand for 20 minutes. Place dough in oven and bake f