For the next few weeks I will try to blog two times a week. One will be about my trip and the other will keep you up to date about whats going on at the Grass.
I have returned from my trip refreshed and ready to get back in the kitchen. Before I went to Thailand I was experimenting with some new dishes. The first is a deconstructed spin on a classic Thai-Muslim dish called Kanum Jean Num Prig. I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before its been on the drawing board for eight weeks now. It is a Tamarind curry with half a kiffer lime simmered in the sauce served over rice noodles, fresh vegetables and tempura greens.
We have faced several challenges with this dish.
- New materials, this is the fun part, what works? what doesn't? We decided to substitute shredded cabbage for the banana florets. It brought a nicer texture and more color to the dish.
- The technique is tough. It has more components than many of the other dishes and with our extensive menu will we be able to keep the flavor and presentation consistent? Will we be able to rotate the sauce and materials to keep its freshness?
- Timing and fabrication, some of the components are prepared at different stations. Will everything come together correctly?
I had a lot of fun with this dish. After all, now I can extend variations of this basic sauce to create other new dishes.
Here is a glimpse of the creation process...
This is our first experiment. Its too close to the original, the sauce is too thick and there was too much going on in the dish.
Our second attempt a week or so later. It was too wimpy and the sauce was still too thick.
And the final product. Its an old classic with a new twist!
The other dish we have been working on is an Indian-Muslim vegetarian dish called Barh Yearh. Its an appetizer of mung bean fritters with fresh herbs and spices. We put our Thai twist on it by serving it with our chili tamarind dipping sauce. We wanted to spice up our vegetarian options and these fritters pack a little heat without over shadowing their great flavor.
Both of these new dishes will be offered on our lunch menu starting next week. So far everyone we have tasted them on seems to really enjoy them. Now it is time to put them to the true test... their very own spot on the menu. So come in, check them out and let us know what you think!