Relish Your Chef is just coming off of a successful run at the Rumson Education Foundation’s Kitchen Tour, which is an event that benefits the local Rumson Public Schools. Eight homes in all were on the tour and yours truly was featured in a very unique and special home of the McCarren Family.
Every detail in this gorgeous, modern, yet warm space was extremely well thought out to create an inviting home.
With such an interesting and inspiring home serving as my backdrop, I knew I had to create something special for the guests to eat as they walked through the kitchen. I wanted to create a one bite dish that really had an impact and expressed what I do for my clients; creating memorable and delicious tastes that they want week after week. I used accessible ingredients but cooked with them in an unexpected way to convey how I like to play with flavors, textures and have a pleasing visual impact. What I came up with was a cornmeal cracker with an avocado mousse topped with a shrimp crumble that was imbued with Vietnamese flavors. Perfecting the cornmeal cracker became a slight obsession, I wanted to make sure that it was crunchy and had enough cornmeal in it to qualify, to me, as a cornmeal cracker. After playing around with a few recipes and understanding that the dough needed to be rolled very thin in order to achieve maximum crunchiness, I had my recipe. The avocado mousse recipe was an old school recipe from my French Culinary Institute days. I remembered that I had made that a long time ago when I was a student there and they gracefully sent me the recipe. The shrimp “crumble” took a little work, but I was finally able to achieve the right moist yet “crumbly” accent texture I was looking for with Red Boat fish sauce, butter and garlic.
My one-bite dish was a success!
It goes to show you that a lot of planning, making careful lists
and believing in your vision can really help you get things done!