Micheline Star chefs are well known for more than just their cooking prowess - they are masters of ingredients. This stems from their respect for the ingredients used and their ability to make each one shine in its way. With that in mind, their ability to showcase an ingredient and make it shine against all odds is unparalleled. Here's how you can make a Michelin Star Chef's dinner in your own home with a hearty glug of Texas olive oil from Texas Hill Country Olive Co.
An essential part of cooking is understanding what you want to create with that meal. Whether it is a hearty meal to enjoy with friends, a weeknight dinner with family, or a long and luscious Sunday lunch that leaves everyone satiated and complete - you will need to understand the purpose of the meal. With this information, you can begin mapping it out.
Fusion is a buzzword in the kitchen - most dishes are a fusion, whether through culture or ingredients. However, when using the term to describe a dish in this sense, it stems from a Michelin star chef's ability to marry ingredients in a way that ultimately works. Like ice cream made from Texas olive oil with slices of candied sourdough bread and candied maple bacon bits or smoked coconut shavings candied in a sweet demerara sugar with a crack of sea salt.
Fusions, such as marrying Japanese sushi and Texas beef, don't need to be complex. Instead, they can be as simple as seabass pan-seared in a sharp and peppery EVOO that offers a hearty mouth feel and an aftertaste of freshly picked green olives, pepper, and grass.
Crafting Cohesion With Texas Olive Oil
Choosing the right bottle of Texas olive oil is not as straightforward as grabbing just any bottle off the store shelf. It requires a little thought and a little foresight. What would you like to accomplish with the EVOO? If you are creating a multi-faceted meal with many components - you might want to choose more than one EVOO.
Here's how you can choose the right one for your dinner:
- Dressing - If you are dressing a dish such as pasta or a salad, choose a complimentary oil. Salad dressings benefit from infused oils that can add a little extra flavor. While conversely, dressing a pasta dish with a robust and peppery EVOO is a great idea! Another aspect to consider is if you are dipping bread into olive oil - will you create a flavorsome dip, or is it a simple side dish? Choose a soft buttery flavored EVOO, which can help refresh the pallet between dishes.
- Cooking - Before using EVOO, consider whether you want to create a flavor profile that is shared across your dish and remains in the background or if you want a more neutral flavor. A robust EVOO is great for meals that need a solid herbaceous flavor - meaty and hearty dishes such as roasts and stews are also ideally suited to the more robust peppery notes.
The idea is to complement the flavor of each ingredient. Building a dish with too many flavors can create a confusing mouthful with a scattered flavor profile that doesn't match your goals.
Planning The Meal with Texas Olive Oil
To begin mapping your meal out, choose a protein you are familiar with. Whether you enjoy meat or seafood - perhaps opt for a bit of surf and turf - make sure you first choose the protein to work with. Once you have this part done, you can plan the rest.
As the perfect example of how a Michelin star chef creates showcase ingredients - Jeremy Chan from Ikoyi in London has mastered the art of using simple and easy ingredients to create stellar one-of-a-kind meals. His Spaghetti Aglio e olio with shrimp is simple, effective, and delicious in every sense of the word. He showcases four main ingredients: pasta, shrimp, garlic, and EVOO.
Spaghetti Aglio e Olio With Shrimp
When recreating this dish, remember to use a robust and flavorful EVOO - this will match up to any of the rich seafood flavors from the shrimp while giving the garlic a solid foundation to continue its earthy notes.
Marinating shrimp in lemon juice until ceviche is also another method to ensure you create flavor. You can let them stand in lemon juice for about 30 minutes, tossed with red pepper flakes and freshly chopped garlic. As this is a highly new flavor profile, it can withstand robust and intense flavors from the EVOO as you pan fry each shrimp before adding it to the cooked pasta.
One of the number one tricks any Michelin-star chef will teach you is understanding your ingredients and how they interact. As you cook your meal in EVOO, the flavor will change as aromatics such as the pepper flakes and garlic infuse into it. Coupled with the acid from the lemon and the fresh salty taste of the ocean in the shrimp, you might need to refresh the flavor of the EVOO. Drizzling Texas olive oil over your pasta dish can help rejuvenate the flavor of the oil used in its cooking.
When crafting a meal to remember, working with your ingredients to create a personal connection is vital. You should respect the raw ingredient and understand what you are trying to create with each dish - the side dishes should complement the main course. By using one variety of EVOO throughout your meal in each course or each side, you can create a cohesive undertone that translates in each bite. Most importantly, you need to understand how your ingredients work with each other and have no fear when using them in both a cooked and raw state in the same dish!