Tuesday, June 8, 2010

amuse-bouches (& the fire of transformation)

.....an "amuse-bouche" is a whimsical appetizer offered before the meal, invented by the chefs to please, tease and invite the taste buds to a kind of ecstacy....

what new can we create from the seemingly useless? how can we utilize as much of our food sources as possible?  

in the Conscious Kitchen, we work with creativity, resourcefulness and awareness in many different ways.  this is a recipe for a once-in-a-lifetime “amuse bouche” called Jeanne D’Arc the idea was hatched as a result of the sheer wonder evoked by very naked, vulnerable oranges whose skin had been "zested" and whose juice had been squeezed for other recipes and dishes already...coupled with our desire to create as little waste as possible.  our "collective chefs" worked with sheer inspiration with the parts of the orange that are FULL of nutrients, yet often overlooked as a potential ingredient.  

we transformed a seemingly useless skin into a fiery taste sensation.

"Jeanne D'Arc gave her life for something new to be born. There will be a fire of flavor exploding in your mouth"

in giving our recipes and dishes a unique name that captures the experience of creating the dish, we create a kind of wholeness, an invitation to remember not only the taste of the food, but its personality.  it is a way of saying "i hear you!" since the name is inspired from the ingredients, the process, and the context in which we find ourselves cooking so consciously together. 

the power of naming also brings to life a story.  and this story is a way to introduce our eaters to the food that is offering itself to us, and the light of inspiration from which it was created.  and that all of this - the food, the ingredients, the process, the love and inspiration - will be nourishing their bodies and souls....

food ingredients

2 oranges, using leftover peel 
     ...naked, wounded, surrendering with unexpected shining beauty and softness...
zested orange and lemon peel, 
     ....mixed with bit of freshly squeezed orange-juice and the leftover pulp from squeezing the orange
       ...the soak water from dried Axladitsa dates creates a sweet water that can be used as a  sweetener...
greek honey
2 bananas, sliced
1 dark chocolate bar, cut into squares
wild fennel, freshly harvested from the walk on the wildside
       ....for extra-taste and decoration (a little Tree of Life on each island of fire)

mash the orange peel and zests together. add some date water and honey, as needed and then roll them into balls. to arrange each amuse bouche, take a square of chocolate, add a slice of banana, the ball of orange and add a dash of wild fennel.

magic ingredients
the conditions for creating such amuses for our bouches is really about the kind of space we create together in order to be fully responsive to that which wants to be created.  it certainly helps to have a beautiful, spacious, sunny, windy kitchen, with life blowing through, in all its forms…this kind of vitality and life shows up in the spirit of teamwork that evokes fun, joy, laughter, reciprocity and trust ~ in one's own creativity and giving trust to each other to create spontaneity and improvisation that surprises oneself and others; wonder, details and beauty as essential ingredients;  resourcefulness that leads to surprisingly new and refreshing things born out of what we think is rubbish/ left overs/ compost/the old skin.... 

....is really a kind of hosting Life in all its potential....

thank you to Katrin Kohlbecher for her generous harvest of this recipe and experience
and to Richard Moreham and Julie Arts for their gleeful photos 

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