Thursday, October 9, 2014

I Have Zombie Meatloaf In Mind!

    Veal Meat Loaf in Saffron Chaud Froid Zombie Brain with Vin Rouge Glacé Blood and Salsa Verde Crema Macaroni Intestines!

     My First Zombie Brain
     A few years ago, I made a really nice Zombie Brain for viewers that are Halloween food fans.  That brain is still popular, mostly because it looks realistic.  In fact, it looks really gross when it comes right down to it.  The Thai Silk Worms really added a nice touch.  Zombie Brain Gelatin Molds like the one in the picture below can be purchased at the Amazon internet store.
     Here is a link to the first Zombie Brain recipe:   

     Chaud Froid, Collee, Aspic And Gelatin
     Chaud Froid is a French culinary term that literally means "hot-cold."  Originally this Chaud Froid referred to a plate of undisturbed hot saucy fancy food that cooled down, while it sat on a table in a chilly dining room.  The sauce gelled and became firm.  The ingredients of the meal were locked in place, like a solid mass.  The person that was sidetracked from the dining event returned to find the hot food turned cold.  This person liked what he saw and the Chaud Froid culinary idea was borne.  

     The Basic Terms Of Chaud Froid:
     Defining the terms will help to make Chaud Froid easier to accomplish!

     Gelatin:  Gelatin is clear in color and it has no flavor.  It is used to clear coat chilled food, gelled white Collee or gelled Chaud Froid presentations.  There are several types of gelatin and each has its own formula for the proportion of water added.  Powdered gelatin is best for clear coating.  Powdered or Sheet Gelatin can be used for Aspic and Chaud Froid.

     Aspic:  Aspic is a chilled gelatinous substance that has flavor, color or both.  A fruit flavored gelatin is an aspic.  A rich consommé broth that is chilled will gel and it is then called an aspic.  Aspic is usually translucent or semi translucent.  Aspic is usually gelled in a mold or used to make terrines.

     Collee:  Collee is a light aspic or clear gelatin that has a whitish opaque color.  Diluted mayonnaise, bechamel, milk, yogurt, or just about any white liquid can be used to make collee.  
     The liquid should be thickened with roux or corn starch slurry, so it is stabilized.  Especially if an oily medium is used, like mayonnaise.  Collee that is made with Mayonnaise, Yogurt or Cream is most often is used to coat chilled fish or to make seafood terrines.
     If color is added to Collee, it is no longer called Collee, because it is no longer white.  Collee that has color is just referred to as Creamy Aspic, Crème Aspic or a Chaud Froid Component.    

     Chaud Froid:  Chaud Froid is what a chilled gelled "hot/cold" food presentation is called.  Gelatin, Aspic and Collee can all be components of a Chaud Froid presentation.  Every item on the platter has to be coated with Gelatin, Aspic or Collee.  Even the platter can have a fancy gelled Chaud Fraud design.      
     Chaud Froid evolved into some of the world's fanciest food presentations.  The sky is the limit, when designing a Chaud Froid food presentation.  The best way to explain what Chaud Froid is all about is to just show a few examples.  
     Here are a few examples of Gelatin (clear coating), Aspic (flavored or translucent color), Collee (white) and Chaud Froid (the platter and/or presentation).

     Petite Veal Meatloaf:
     This recipe yields 2 portions or 1 petite meatloaf for two!  
     Heat a sauté pan over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
     Add 2 tablespoons of finely chopped smoked bacon.
     Add 3 tablespoons of small diced carrot.
     Add 1 tablespoon of small diced peeled celery.
     Add 2 tablespoon of small diced onion.
     Add 2 tablespoons of chopped portobello mushroom.
     Add 2 minced garlic cloves.
     Gently sauté the vegetables for 2 to 3 minutes, till they just start to become tender.  Do not brown the bacon!  Ground veal is very lean and the bacon fat will keep the meatloaf moist.
     Place the vegetables, bacon and butter from the pan into a mixing bowl.
     Add 10 ounces of ground veal.  
     Add 1/3 cup of plain French bread crumbs.
     Add 1 tablespoon of whisked egg.
     Add 2 pinches of nutmeg.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of ground fenugreek.
     Add 1 pinch of allspice.
     Add 1 pinch of ground sage.
     Add 1 pinch of thyme.
     Add 1 small pinch of cayenne pepper.
     Add sea salt and white pepper.
     Thoroughly mix the ingredients together.
     Brush a roasting pan with vegetable oil.
     Shape the veal mixture into a petite bread loaf shape that is no larger than three fourths of the volume of the Zombie Brain Gelatin Mold. 
     Place the shaped meatloaf on the roasting pan.
     Brush the meatloaf with melted unsalted butter.
     Slowly roast the meatloaf in a 300º oven.  
     Roast the meatloaf, till it becomes fully cooked and it becomes a light golden brown color.  (A probe thermometer should read 160º to 165º in the center.)
     Allow the meatloaf to cool to room temperature.
     Place the meatloaf in a refrigerator and chill to less than 40º.

     Salsa Verde Puree:
     This recipe yields about 3 cups!
     Place these vegetables on a roasting pan:
     - 3 large tomatillos.
     - 1 large chile poblano.
     - 2 large jalapeños.
     - 2 large serrano peppers
     - 3 cloves of garlic
     - 1/2 of a medium size onion
     Lightly brush the vegetables with vegetable oil.
     Roast in a 300º oven, till the vegetables are roasted and fully cooked.  Try not to brown the vegetables.
     Allow the vegetables to cool.
     Remove the seeds and stems from the peppers.
     Place the vegetables in a sauce pot over medium heat.
     Add 1 cup of chicken broth.
     Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of cider vinegar.
     Add 2 cups of water.
     Add sea salt and white pepper.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of cumin.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of coriander.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of minced epazote.
     Bring the liquid to a gentle boil.
     Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Simmer till the vegetables become very tender.
     Add 2 teaspoons of lime juice.
     Use a blending wand, blender or food processor to puree the ingredients.
     Chill the sauce till it is needed.
     Reheat the sauce before serving.
     Add a generous amount of chopped cilantro before serving.

     Red Wine Glacé:
     This recipe yields about 1 1/2 ounces!  This is enough to garnish the Zombie Brain.
     Place 1 cup of dry red wine in a sauce pot over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 2 tablespoons of sugar.
     Simmer and reduce, till the sauce becomes a thin glacé syrup consistency.
     Place the sauce in a small ramekin and keep it warm on a stove top.
     Layered "Aspic/Creamy Aspic" Technique  
     This is easier than it sounds and this technique was used to create the weird looking layered effect in the "I Have Zombie Meatloaf In Mind!" presentation pictured above.   

     "Layered Aspic/Creamy Aspic" describes a technique that is based on two simple principles.  A heavy liquid will float on a lighter liquid and this will create a layered effect.  The second principle is, oil floats on water! 
     When mayonnaise is combined with diluted saffron water and heated in a pot, the liquified mayonnaise will eventually separate from the water and float on top of the water.  This is because no binding agent, like roux or corn starch slurry was used to thicken or stabilize the liquified mayonnaise mixture.  
     If a small amount of milk is added, it will adhere to the mayonnaise and float with the mayonnaise.   
     Layered Aspic/Creamy Aspic For "I Have Zombie Meatloaf In Mind!" Chaud Froid:
     The gelling power of gelatin depends on the type that is used.  This recipe is written for standard powdered gelatin.  
     The finished chilled edible Chaud Froid coating should have a texture that is firmer than "Jello," yet not too firm.   
     No binding agent like roux or corn starch is used in this recipe!   
     The Zombie Brain Mold should have a total volume of about 4 1/2 cups.  (The size of a human zombie brain!)  For today's demented recipe, only three quarters of the total volume of the brain mold is used. 
     It is best to have a little too much creamy aspic than too little.  Any leftover creamy aspic can be poured into fancy shape gelatin molds and served as an appetizer.
     The meatloaf has to be exposed on the surface of the brain mold, after the second portion of creamy aspic is poured into the mold.  This will enable easy slicing of the completed Chaud Froid Meatloaf.  If there is creamy aspic under the meatloaf, there will be a squashed creamy aspic mess, when the meatloaf is sliced.  The surface of the meatloaf has to touch the platter.   
     • Place 1/2 cup of Mayonnaise in a stainless steel sauce pot.
     Add 1/4 cup of milk. 
     Add 1/4 cup of sour cream.
     Add 2 1/2 cups of water.
     Add enough Saffron Water to create a pale yellowish white color.  2 to 3 teaspoons is plenty.  (Saffron Water is available at Mediterranean Food) Markets.) 
     Add enough Red Food Color to create a pale pinkish orange white color.  1 or 2 drops is plenty. 

     • Rain 24 grams of Standard Powdered Gelatin over the surface of the liquid.   (About 3 tablespoons)
     Allow the gelatin to bloom.

     • Place the pot over low heat.
     Heat the liquid till the gelatin dissolves.  Stir occasionally.  (This takes a while, so do not be tempted to turn the heat up.  Overheated gelatin loses its gelling power!)
     Heat the liquid to 140º, so most pathogen threats are eliminated.  Heating to 165º (standard pathogen elimination temperature) will break the mayonnaise, so this cannot be done. 
     Remove to pot from the heat and keep it warm on a stove top.

     • Pour enough of the warm Creamy Aspic mixture into the Zombie Brain Mold to create a platform for the meatloaf.  The platform should be a little wider than the meatloaf and it should be about 1" thick in the center of the Zombie Brain Mold.  (Refer to the photo at the top of this page.)
     Chill the Zombie Brain Mold, till the Creamy Aspic completely gels.  The translucent Saffron Aspic will separate from the Creamy Aspic and two layers of color will form as the mixture cools!

     • Trim the bottom of the chilled Veal Meatloaf, so it is sits flat.  
     Trim the top of the meatloaf flat, so it can sit square on the gelled Creamy Aspic, without toppling over.
     Place the trimmed meatloaf on the gelled Creamy Aspic, so it is evenly centered in the Zombie Brain Mold. 
     • Stir the remaining creamy aspic in the pot.
     Pour enough of the Creamy Aspic into the Zombie Brain Mold, to surround the meatloaf.  Leave the surface of the meatloaf bare.  (Refer to the photo at the top of this page.) 
     Chill the Zombie Brain Mold, till the Creamy Aspic completely gels.  After chilling, the four layers of translucent color and opaque color will be formed!
     • Carefully warm the Zombie Brain Mold, by dipping the outside of the mold in a pot of simmering warm water, so the gelled Zombie Brain an be easily popped out of the mold.
     Place a large Halloween Serving Platter on top of the Zombie Brain Mold.
     Use two hands to press the platter tightly against the rim of the mold.
     Invert the mold and platter together as one.  
     Remove the Zombie Brain Mold.      
     Voila!  The Veal Meatloaf is completely covered with gelled layers of Saffron Aspic and Creamy Saffron Aspic.  
     Chill the "I Have Zombie Meatloaf In Mind!" Chaud Froid, till the garnishes are ready.  

     Salsa Verde Macaroni Intestines:
     This recipe yields 2 large servings!  
     This pasta can be served hot, at room temperature or chilled.  When served hot, it is more aromatic.
     Gently reheat 2 cups of the Salsa Verde Puree in a wide sauté pan over low heat.
     Cook 2 large portions of Elbow Macaroni in boiling water, till the pasta is cooked al dente.
     Drain the water off of the pasta.
     Add the pasta to the sauce.
     Add 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro.
     Toss the ingredients together. 
     Keep the pasta warm on a stove top.
     I Have Zombie Meatloaf In Mind!:
     Of course, there is a French name for a chilled veal meatloaf terrine.  This recipe can be translated to French, if surprising the guests is what is up the sleeve!  
     Eating chilled leftover meatloaf is an American tradition.  This entree for two will actually appeal to leftover meatloaf loving Zombie Meatheads!
     Place the chilled "I Have Zombie Meatloaf In Mind!" Halloween Platter on a countertop.
     Allow the platter surface to reach room temperature.
     Spoon a generous amount of the Salsa Verde Macaroni Intestines around the Zombie Brain.
     Use a plastic squirt bottle of Mexican Style Crema to paint and garnish the macaroni. 
     Garnish the platter with:
     - Cilantro Sprigs
     - 1 thick slice of lime
     - 1/2 of a boiled egg
     Spoon the Red Wine Glacé Blood over the Zombie Brain.

     Hubby:  "What's for Halloween Dinner tonight, Honey?"
     Wifey:  "I have Zombie Meatloaf in mind!  How does that sound?!!!"
     Hubby:  "Grrrrrrrr ... Mwahahaha!!!!" 
     Today's "I Have Zombie Meatloaf In Mind!" Chaud Froid entree is a maniacally horrific looking creation.  It is also a very tasty meal that combines German, French and Mexican flavors.  
     "I Have Zombie Meatloaf In Mind!" will certainly please any Zombie Gourmand!  Mwahahaha!

     Beer Pairing:  
     It has to be a beer suitable for Halloween.  Brouwerij "De Block" Satan Red is definitely the best beer to pair with today's "I Have Zombie Meatloaf In Mind!"  Brouwerij "De Block" has been brewing first rate beer for a very long time.  Brouwerij "De Block" is world renowned for producing high quality Belgian beer.  
     As everybody knows, the Belgian brewing style revolves around the Trappist Monk beer brewing heritage.  Only local airborne strains of yeast are used to make this kind of beer.  The result is a beer that is unlike any modern mass produced beer of any kind.  The name of the local yeast strain for Satan Red?  Brouwerij "De Block" actually calls the the yeast strain by the name Satan!   
     This Belgian Red Beer is made with dark noble malts, spices and Satan Yeast.  The flavor is semi sweet, rich and nuances of dark malty spice linger on after each sip.  There is no overbearing hops flavor.  In fact I would not be surprised if there were no hops in the beer at all.  The flavor of Satan Red is similar to classic sweet English Barleywine Ale.  
     Satan Red is heavily fermented in the brewing process and it ferments a second time in the corked tall wine bottle.  This beer has a complex malty classic Belgian Red Beer flavor and the alcohol content is about 8%.  
     Follow this link for more information about Brouwerij "De Block."
     Satan Red?  Highly recommended for Halloween and for for those times when the subconscious inner thoughts say something like, "I Have Zombie Meatloaf In Mind!"

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