The Brassicas dish was one of the first things I developed for the lab dinner tasting menus. Max had already had a concept in mind. That’s often how it happens. Max will come in and describe something that he’s thinking about. He’ll give a number of components to build the dish with, and Max is great about giving a lot of suggestions. So it’s very organic in that sense. We’ll develop a dish and taste it; see what it needs quite a few times before Nathan gets his hands on it.
So we started off with the idea of brassicas–the family of cabbages–and we constructed many of the elements for the dish. We then wanted a cheese sauce. One of the first things I wanted to try was to centrifuge the cheese sauce that is in MC, which we already use for a number of other applications. I centrifuged that, and it separated into a fat layer, a water layer, and also a bunch of solids that pretty much tasted like nothing. I then reintroduced the fat, which still had a lot of flavor, back into the liquid. We essentially separated it and put it back together without all the undesirable stuff. We presented this first iteration to Nathan, and he loved it! That was my first real tasting with him, and there were about eight or so different things that he was tasting as potential dishes to incorporate into our dinner menu. The Brassicas recipe was his favorite dish that day, so it was a great moment for me.
Something Max has been working on, too, is a cabbage-juice dish. For the recipe below, it was a great idea to change up the cheese sauce because the whole broth-stew aspect plays more into St. Patrick’s Day, which is what we were going for this time. In terms of classical or Irish dishes, it brings the elements together well.
–Aaron Verzosa, The Cooking Lab