Harvard SEAS lecture 10/17/11, Nandu Jubany and Carles Gaig

(Nandu is on the right; Carles Gaig is on the left.)

It was a quiet evening for a SEAS lecture tonight. I think the room was only 2/3rds full. I suppose it’s because the guest speakers were Nandu Jubany and Carles Gaig, both Spanish chefs without the fame of Jose Andres or Grant Achatz. I say “if you didn’t make it to the lecture, your loss.”

I missed out on Nandu Jubany last year and regretted it. I heard whisperings of his delicious garlic aioli, and when I heard he was returning this year, I was determined to show up.

Recipe #1, from Jubany, milk mayonnaise
**Important – the temperature of your ingredients should be the same.** (since this is a mayo, room temp or slightly colder temps are fine)
300g milk
700g neutral flavored oil (Jubany used sunflower oil)
10g minced chives
10g minced parsley
15g wasabi powder
For hardware – immersion blender and a tall enough container

Throw everything together into your container. In short bursts on low, turn the immersion blender on and off. Gradually, let the immersion blender stay on. Then, you can set it on a higher speed, and slowly move the immersion blender up and down. You want to incorporate the un-blended ingredients sitting at the top at a controlled pace into the blended ingredients at the bottom. When everything is successfully blended, you are done.

Recipe #2, Jubany, Parmesan air
(if I heard correctly…)
5kg Parmesan cheese, grated
4.5 liters of water
31.5g soy lecithin (or 7g per liter)
Boil the water and add the parmesan. Kill the heat, and let the cheese flavor the water for 5 hours. Strain out the cheese solids. Heat the Parmesan water to 50C. Add the soy lecithin. let this bubble for 2 minutes. Kill the heat and blend. The foam can then be poured into a small loaf pan. Let the foam rest before freezing. After the foam has chilled, you can serve. (It might have been rest, pour into pan, and then chill. My notes are fuzzy and I can’t remember well enough.)

Recipe #3, from Gaig, avocado aioli
(measurements were not provided)

green chili peppers (probably jalapeño)
cumin powder
olive oil

Blend everything without oil first.  Then slowly add oil, in small increments and building up to a steady stream, all the while blending.  Aioli is done when the desired texture is achieved.  (Aioli should be a soft solid.  If you turn the container upside down, it should stick to the sides of the container and not fall.  Just think mayonnaise consistency, I guess.)

Recipe #4, Jubany, walnut oil Hollandaise sauce
**Important – the temperature of your ingredients should be the same.**
walnut oil (about 450g)
3 egg yolks
water or lemon juice
white pepper
minced chives

Whisk the egg yolks over a bain-marie.  The desired temperature of your ingredients is 35-40C.  This sauce is like the milk mayonnaise except that it is served warm, not cold.
Slowly add oil (warm), in small increments and building up to a steady stream, all the while whisking.  If the texture gets too thick, add a spoon of water or lemon juice.  Keep adding oil and water/lemon juice in turns, until desired texture is achieved.
(From what I understand, if you do not add water, the mixture gets too stiff.  You need the mixture to remain elastic so that you can continue to disperse the “bubbles of stuff” into “smaller-and-smaller, fairly even bubbles of stuff.”  At that point, the mixture has become stable and is a soft solid.  And don’t go beyond that point!  If you add in too much oil, the emulsion will break.)
Season with salt, white pepper, and chives.

Recipe #6, Gaig, Romesco Sauce
(yes, I skipped Recipe #5… this is intentional.  Again, no measurements were given)
dried Nyora pepper (rehydrated for two hours, then remove the pepper skin from the pulp.  Discard the pepper skin – it is too tough for consumption)
roasted tomatoes, peeled
roasted garlic
bread soaked in vinegar
good quality olive oil

Mix all the ingredients except the salt and oil.  Slowly incorporate the oil into the mixture.  Season with salt with done.

Recipe #7, Gaig, Pil-Pil sauce
(to be served with seafood)
salted cod bladders
olive oil

Rehydrate the cod bladders in boiling water.  Save the water for the sauce.
Cook garlic slices in the reserved water.  I guess he added back the cod.  I’m not sure.  Slowly blend in oil and then increase, until done.
My notes on this are confused because too much was happening in the room.

What specifically was happening?  Recipe #5.

Recipe #5, Jubany, garlic aioli
140g garlic per liter of olive oil
water, at the same temperature

Garlic should be finely pureed with salt to make a smooth mash.  Blend the garlic and olive oil by hand (literally by hand).  As with all the earlier emulsions, start slowly with the oil.  Alternate with small amounts of water.   You don’t want the mixture to be stiff as you blend the garlic and the oil together.

And here was the problem with Recipe #5.  It should have only taken Nandu about 20 minutes to make.  After about 45 minutes of serious mixing with his right hand and no equipment, the emulsion broke.  Nandu had a video clip of him making this aioli on his smartphone to prove he could make it, but alas the live demo didn’t work.  Dave, the host/professor, said on the side that Nandu made this same sauce last year with a mortar and pestle without any problems, but I missed it last year so I can’t confirm at this time (I will have to re-watch the video from last year’s lecture).  And unfortunately, you cannot use a blender for this recipe because you have to be able to feel the garlic mixing in properly.  We all felt so bad for Nandu!

On the bright side, I can tell you without any hesitation that I got to taste most of the sauces, and everything tasted amazing!  Samples of the romesco sauce were handed out, while at the end of the lecture the audience was invited to the demo table to taste the other sauces.  The romesco was lovely, and definitely needs excellent olive oil when being made.  The olive oil is the predominant flavor even after the seasonings.  I think the milk mayonnaise and the walnut oil Hollandaise were my favorites.  The wasabi powder in the milk mayonnaise really made the flavor totally different from the Hollandaise, even though the ingredients were very similar.  The Parmesan air was my least favorite, but that’s just personal preference – I’m not the biggest fan of cheese.  I will cook with Parmesan, but I favor the milder flavors of mozzarella, American cheese, ricotta and ricotta salata, and queso fresco.  I did not taste the Pil-Pil sauce or the broken garlic aioli.

Reference links:

4 thoughts on “Harvard SEAS lecture 10/17/11, Nandu Jubany and Carles Gaig

    • The milk mayo is pretty easy looking. Nandu was joking that even kids could make it… as long as everything was at the same temp. It’s definitely the one I want to start with!

  1. These guys gave me so many good ideas for using my immersion blender! I made the milk mayonnaise already, but made the mistake of not adding any spices to it. Just the milk and oil alone is pretty bland.

    • Yeah, I really felt like the wasabi powder was the ‘make it or break it’ ingredients. But good job on making it. I haven’t had a chance yet!

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