Monday, October 19, 2009
New Ingredient: Meat Glue
While working in Florida, I was introduced to Meat Glue (aka transglutamine activa rm). The "meat glue" is a powdered enzyme that binds proteins together allowing you to stick proteins together like bacon wrapped without a pick or casing-less sausage. After doing some research I found some techniques on changing the shape of meats, utilize leftover products, and merging hybrid fish like tuna and halibut. The "meat glue" cost me about $90 for 2.2lbs from a website called http://www.chefrubber.com/. Once it arrived, I set out to start playing around with new ideas for the kitchen. This is the first dish that was created with the meat glue Filets of Salmon with Pomegranate Butter. The procedure was fairly simple: lay out two filets of salmon and sprinkle with the meat glue, place on top of each other opposite directions to create an even filling (head to tail and tail to head), wrap into a perfect cylinder with plastic wrap and tie the ends, allow to rest in the cooler for at least 4 hours if not overnight. The next day, I came in and immediately ran to the cooler to cut the steaks. After slicing the salmon into individual steaks, they were perfectly round and consistent with each other. I made a simple butter sauce with pomegranate seeds and caramelized the fish in clarified butter. It's amazing what this means for future opportunities such as food cost savings and enhancing plate presentations. Meat glue has been in use since the mid 20Th century and was most commonly used in ingredients like chicken nuggets and imitation crab meat. I will be posting more in the future as I find other ways to use this ingredient. P.S. Meat glue needs to stay extremely cold to stay active, I broke down the 2.2lb package into smaller vacuum sealed bags and currently have it stored in the freezer.