Waste

Wasted 4 – Fashionably Rejected

SWISS CHARD

Further to the last conversation around the wasted skin and flesh, is it really waste that we are talking about? It is destined for the bin due to laziness, lack of interest, poor skills or cheap food and because it is destined for the bin, it is waste or perhaps we could call it the unwanted, shunned or fashionably rejected. It is still disrespectful and this introspect is needed.

Currently we are busy working on a number of projects and re writing a bunch of recipes. One idea we discussed is that we should not cut up anything new for creating an atchar or jam, but instead use the items left to waste. So some of these projects include kimchi with shaved cauliflower stalks, cauliflower atchar made with stalks, lime atchar, orange skin preserve, melon skin preserve, celery salt, tomato salt and marmalade made with all the oranges left over from juicing. The more we dig the more we find, the more we find the more guilt we are surrounded with, as we have forgotten how to really respect ingredients.

One of our success stories has been the complete utilisation of Swiss chard and writing the recipe around the use. It took a long time, four years probably before all the staff bought into the system that we use all. The only way was to write the recipe specific. But we had to be smart and include other bits, like the outer leaves from the baby gem leaves. Over the months we tweaked the recipe adding a little onion, chili, carrot and feta. Eventually we made the whole thing gluten free with the no crust adding some quinoa.

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WASTED 3, FROM THE BONE, TROUT TARTARE

TROUT TARTARE

We have a tendency to discard skin and bones very quickly after filleting, but there is a fair amount of flesh that remain after filleting. The easiest is the use a spoon and scrape off the excess. Then we have done two items one was a croquette with quinoa and some lemon zest and the other was a tartare. With these two examples we have opened a whole lot of other possibilitie

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WASTED 2, TROUT BELLY, SMOKED

Hot Smoked Trout

Trout Belly

Whenever we clean trout the normal rule is an approximate waste of 50%. Considering the cost is one thing, my problem is the amount that is left, the amount that is flogged most of the time to the bin. We want perfect pieces of fish with no bones with no belly.
The belly is the best part, fatty and with so much taste. So as part of this little discovery on our journey we decided to hot smoke the belly. From there we have endless possibilities from salad, pate, rillette, terrine and kedgeree.
For this part of wasted we have cured the belly with sugar and salt in equal quantities for two hours. Then hot smoked the bellies for 20 minutes. We have also put away some of the smoked belly to access what it does after being frozen.
For the salad we pulled the belly pieces in large chunks added some red onion, samphire, carrot tops and lettuce.

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To Waste or not to Waste!

IMG_6364

Cauliflower and Broccoli Stalks

As a kitchen we have moved away from hiding the unwanted and keeping all waste above table. This has not always gone down as a popular decision. Chefs are damn stubborn when it comes to change.
We are only focusing on one specific part of waste, the unwanted!
Perhaps calling unwanted parts as waste is incorrect as it still has a negative connotation associated with the part, the part needs to gain popularity in order to move up the chain and be wanted.
Recipes generally are created keeping in mind all the prime, good and sexy parts. Celery leaves are left garnishing the bin, green parts of leeks frowned at and the stalks from cauliflower and broccoli destined for either the bin or badly made soup. What we starting doing in our kitchen is writing recipes with waste in mind. Recipe books are to blame for poor cooking decisions like cross seasonal ingredients being used or no reference anywhere in what must happen with stalks and those unwanted pieces.
Food has become cheap, as it is too easy to bin something, instead of maximising each ingredient and using it to its full potential. We continuously consume without really looking at what we are consuming, wanting more and more and more. It is all just so convenient and so easy. If we felt it in our pocket we might think twice. We are so far removed from what reality is. We have no respect for ingredients, we have no respect for farmers who have taken months in growing beautiful vegetables just for us to show contempt for vegetables.
Part of this journey of ours is rediscovering ways of not wasting, maximising products in ways that guest can appreciate and staff can respect processes. We have started encouraging the lesser to be used before the popular in order to stimulate the use.
There has been numerous online publications, books as well as movies that have been written & created in order to expose and highlight the problem we face in kitchens all over from our modest homes to professional outfits with egos and attitudes.
There are off course limitations in that in some cases certain items cannot be used and for these we have a worm farm. Our objective is not to feed the worms, but instead use everything first and then feed the worms.
A good example is the quiche recipe used on our afternoon tea. It has specifically been formulated to use stalks from Swiss-chard as well a baby gem lettuce as part of the mix. This allows us to be responsible in our choices. In no part has the end product suffered.
This is a journey of discovery and learning how to cook!

Every Week a new picture will be published looking at our new favourite parts.

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