Nowadays, chefs have been able to masterfully transform liquid oils into powders, and even reproduce the complexity of the flavor of an entire dish. The secret ingredient behind this culinary magic is tapioca maltodextrin. In a restaurant's cutting-edge kitchen, a high-flavor oil is mixed with tapioca maltodextrin to transform the oil from liquid to powder. Anchovies are another common ingredient found in professional kitchens.
These small silverfish add a savory touch (or umami) to numerous dishes, from soups to sauces and stews. They can be put whole on a lamb or veal joint (they melt in the oven) or the chefs will use a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce or Asian fish sauce, which contain anchovies. Balsamic vinegar is also frequently used by chefs to add a bittersweet essence to dishes. It can be used as a sticky glaze, in dressings and marinades, and adds flavor to steak sauces.
In restaurants, it's also often sprinkled on berries and ice cream or used in other dessert dishes. Laurel leaves are often considered an optional ingredient, so their value is not fully appreciated, especially since they are normally removed at the end of cooking. However, bay leaves give dishes a tasty sweetness and chefs add them to broths, soups, stews, or put them on fish and meat before roasting. Butter and other types of fat, such as pork, duck, or goose fat, may not seem appealing, but no self-respecting chef will skimp on them.
Fat provides flavor and richness to dishes and silkiness to sauces. According to the New York Times, typical restaurant food can contain eight tablespoons of butter, approximately double the recommended daily amount of fat, which partly explains why eating out tastes so good. Cardamom is primarily used in Indian cuisine but its aromatic and warm qualities extend beyond those of curry. Cardamom is great in sweet dishes and baked goods, and works especially well with chocolate, custard, and tea (think chai).
It is also used in rice and cocktails and goes well with many meats. Cinnamon is also a common savory ingredient in Mexican and Indian cuisine where its warm, spicy flavor and aroma add depth to dishes. You can also add an aromatic note to braised meats, ribs and meaty stews. Described by the Globe and Mail as the “chef's new weapon”, citric acid is a natural substance found in fruit that comes in the form of a white powder.
It has been used for a long time as a food additive where it acts as a preservative and adds an acidic note to dishes and drinks. Chefs use it in the cheesemaking process and in jams and butter creams. Lemon juice is also frequently used by chefs for its transformative qualities; it lifts and refreshes while acidity balances the dishes. Lemon juice also eliminates fat which is essential for chefs who cook meaty or heavy dishes; pastry chefs use it to make caramel to enhance flavor and prevent sugar from becoming granulated. So this is a simple technique that requires an ingredient called N-Zorbit M.
N-Zorbit M is a type of tapioca maltodextrin that comes in many different forms; most of them are used as sweeteners. But with N-Zorbit M and the proportions that I'm going to explain, they can be used to turn any fat into powder. This will not turn any liquid into powder; when water-based liquids are added to N-Zorbit M, a putty-like texture is created that is not pleasant to eat. But when you mix 60% fat with 40% N-Zorbit M you easily create a powder. If you use something like peanut butter or Nutella we suggest that you mix them in a food processor first before passing it through a fine-mesh sieve; this will give you a powder ready to use in any dish you choose. Olive oil in powder or snow is simply olive oil in powder form; it is made by applying a technique used in molecular gastronomy where a liquid rich in fat is combined with modified starches to produce a powder.
Once you put it in your mouth the powder is reconstituted and becomes liquid again. Maltodextrin is a powdered carbohydrate derived from starch that dissolves the moment it reaches the mouth; it melts without a gritty or powdery feeling so you can taste the oil.