After learning the simple recipe for making flavored “air” at Molecular Gastronomy Class, I thought long and hard about what I wanted to aerate first. Multiple visits to the the Bazaar by José Andrés had me familiar with Bar Centro’s “salt air” topped margaritas, and my favorite “new way” martini with spherified (Ferran Adria) olive is topped with a tangy brine “air”.
Peter and I love grilling flatiron steak, and I make homemade chimichurri sauce at least once a week. But in our house it’s not just for beef. We also add it to eggs, quesadillas, pastas, and even tuna salad.
To make the “air”, there are actually only two ingredients needed: some sort of liquid and the lecite (aka lecithin), a natural soy-based emulsifier (links below).
Traditional chimichurri is usually made with two liquids: olive oil and acids, usually limes or vinegar. To make my chimichurri air, I left OUT the olive oil and just drizzled the oil on the steak directly, BEFORE adding the “air” on top.
I like my chimichurri REALLY spicy and wasn’t sure the heat would remain after straining and aerating, but it did. The light (and well, airy) texture was a refreshing change from the standard sauce.
I certainly don’t plan on going crazy with the lecite (although I do think a Heinz 57 “air” would be an awesome return to my childhood). To me, it’s simply about learning yet another delicious (and fun!) cooking technique at home.
My Recipe for Chimichurri Air:
9 oz liquified chimichurri sauce (recipe follows)
1.5 g lecithin (aka lecite), food grade
Olive oil (to drizzle on steak)
To make the chimichurri sauce:
1 cup chopped parsley
1 cup chopped cilantro
2 medium jalapeno chilies (or more if you like it spicy)
8 oz of fresh lime juice or red wine vinegar
2 or 3 cloves of garlic
Fleur de sel (or sea salt)
Place all ingredients in a mini-chop or food processor and blend until liquified.
Measure 9 oz of liquid (add vinegar or water if needed).
Then pour the liquid through a fine strainer to remove any large pieces.
Make sure it’s 9 oz of liquid to 1.5 g lecithin (again, add vinegar or water if needed).
Place the chimichurri sauce and lecite into a large bowl and blend with a stick-blender until foaming. Note: I have a large, plastic container that I use for this. It can get pretty messy in a standard bowl, so wear an apron!
Prepare the steak:
Grill steak to desired doneness and let meat rest for at least ten minutes.
Cut and plate then drizzle olive oil directly on steak.
Add salt then scoop out whipped “air” from bowl and gently place on meat.
If the “air” becomes watery, simply blend again (not too long) until foamy. Serve immediately!
Bazaar’s Martini w/ Brine “Air”
Albert & Ferran Adria Textura site (spanish)
About Texturas – Lecite (airs)
Where to buy molecular ingredients
My ChimiTuna (tuna salad with chimchurri)
El Torito’s Deep-Fried Ice Cream photo
Adventures in Molecular Cooking 6 (Trisol)
Adventures in Molecular Cooking 5 (Class)
Why I call it “Molecular Cooking”