Try This at Home
Richard Blais' new book is called Try This at Home. He demoed one of the recipes at Sur La Table this weekend.
James Beard Foundation's executive vice president, Mitchell Davis, was on hand to introduce Richard Blais.
French Apron, Anybody?
Chef Blais came out cracking jokes about wearing lingerie-style aprons in the kitchen. He cracked a lot of jokes. Maybe not quite as many as yours truly, but he was pretty funny.
Sous Chef Brad
Chef Blais' trustworthy companion, sous chef Brad, was behind the scenes preparing all the food for the demo attendees. He was pretty busy behind that island.
Hoisin Pork Shoulder
This hoisin flavored pork shoulder was actually cooked by Andrew Zimmerman at Chicago's own Sepia restaurant for the purpose of the demo.
Chef Blais informed us that we can use most kinds of white fish for this recipe. This is sole, but lots of fish can be substituted into the recipe.
Carbonated Tempura Batter
Sous chef Brad demonstrates how to use a seltzer maker for tempura batter. The freshly carbonated batter ensures the fish stays crispy and light after it is fried.
Uni Tartar Sauce
While sous chef Brad fried the fish, Chef Blais showed us how to make an uni (sea urchin) tartar sauce for the surf and turf taco. It was rich with a slight taste of the sea, and it was sweetened with fresh chunks of pineapple. The tartar sauce was the dressing for a kale slaw for the taco.
The freshly fried fish comes out of the oil.
To add an entertaining and flavorful element to the dish, Chef Blais used a smoking gun to flavor the final product.
Liquid Nitrogen Margarita
What would a cooking demonstration be without some liquid nitrogen? It's always fun to watch as the vapor cascades everywhere. It does have a purpose—the liquid nitrogen gives the frozen margarita a unique sorbet-like texture with more silkiness.
Plus, you can see our man Huge Galdones (on the right) was also there to document the fun. He's a busy man.
The Finished Taco
This is the finished taco, garnished with foraged greens, like nasturtium. The margarita is in the shot glass.