Monday, April 30, 2012
Drunken Carbonated Grapes
I had a carbonated grape in a dish at Moto (amazing restaurant!) a couple of months ago and had no idea how they had done it. As I was preparing for a party, planning a truffle with a drunken grape garnish, I remembered how delightful that carbonated grape was, so I looked it up online. Dry ice is the answer!
Suddenly I was on a mission to get my hands on some, which involved arguing with Kyle about buying it (he was certain I would blow up the house), and driving to the South Side, since there are only two places in the city of Chicago where you can buy this stuff.
Once I brought it home, I saw what all the fuss is about. Without thinking, I unwrapped the block and set it in my sink, which immediately began to rattle and shake. It sounded as though a giant creature was rising from below. Lesson learned... I took it out of the sink and placed it on a plastic cutting board, which seemed fine.
Then I used a hammer to smash it into small chunks, while Kyle and the puppy hid downstairs. In retrospect, I should have had them do this for me at the ice supplier. Whoops.
Anyway, here is the "recipe"....
1 bottle red wine
Procure some dry ice (in spite of your loved one's concerns). Place pieces of it in a bowl. The dry ice is about -100 degrees in temperature, so only handle it while wearing gloves. Set the grapes on top of the dry ice. Allow time for the dry ice to sublime, which should take about 10 minutes. This is a chemical process in which the dry ice will turn into carbon dioxide gas.. and is one of the reasons why dry ice is dangerous. Do not seal the ice in a closed container, as that could cause an explosion. As the ice sublimes, the gas will push into the grapes. The fruit will freeze and become carbonated.
Once the fruit has had time to carbonate, take the grapes and place them in a bowl. If desired, slice them in half. You will see the bubbles erupting from the fruit, showing that it is carbonated. Pour the bottle of wine over the grapes. Allow to soak in the wine for about 30 minutes (any longer and you risk losing some of the carbonation) and serve! Cheers!