Relationship Cuisine

Chef Ari Miller and I were introduced at a farmers market in Olde City. He looked at my products and asked for the story behind what I make from the linen fabrics and reclaimed textiles. I told him how I believed that fiber is a crop, just like food, and that textile choices are an important part of a sustainable lifestyle. I also shared how my source of inspiration sprang from urban vegetable farms that practice community sourced agriculture and how I seek to create a line of textiles that is as equally viable for the environment as organic, urban food production. Our  conversation seeded an idea for restaurant use of our napkins and aprons.

His Philadelphia Restaurant, Musi, became the very first to use Kitchen Garden Textiles on the table. Fast forward a few years and the Chefs at Musi are wearing KGT aprons, using KGT chefs towels, cleaning up messes with napkins too stained for use on the tables, drying hands with single use reusable linen hand towels and even wrapping meat in sauce soaked linen to cook over fire. As we emerge from the darkest days of the pandemic, Musi is beginning to quietly re-open, and you should definitely pay attention so you can enjoy Ari’s amazing relationship cuisine soon! In the meantime here is a recipe he has shared with the story of the relationships make it so delicious.

Here’s a recipe for malabi. But first, the story:

We opened Musi with this dish on the menu. We were using some of the best local milk and cream possible, unrefined sugar, and Burlap & Barrel Cloud Forest Cardamom, which was the best I had ever encountered. The result was beautiful, really an expression of the ingredients. The unctuous fat of the dairy, the artichokey sweetness of the raw sugar, and the platonic ideal of cardamom. We served it with a drizzle of local honey, though it’s presented here with cookie crumble because it’s too happy to resist. In any case, we had great response and were very proud of this dessert. Then one day a guest pulled me aside to say how much they enjoyed this malabi, it reminded them of Froot Loops. I was a bit horrified at first but then recalled how much I enjoyed that cereal as a kid, my mom would get it for my birthday as an annual treat. And from then on, I couldn’t taste anything but the cereal milk left behind in a bowl of that nostalgic  pleasure. And I was forever enamored that these impeccable ingredients should somehow combine to become a source of childhood nostalgia.

                                                                                                                                     –  Chef Ari Miller

Cardamom scented malabi with cookie crumbs.

Equipment:

  • 2Q sauce pot
  • Small mixing bowl
  • Measuring cups
  • Whisk
  • Citrus zester such as a microplane
  • Individual serve ramekins
  • Rubber spatula

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 ½ cup whole milk
  • 4 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 ½ tablespoon cornstarch
  • 8 cardamom pods, crushed
  • Kosher salt
  • ⅛-¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Cookies!
  • Plastic wrap

Instructions:

  1. Combine cream and cornstarch in a small bowl, whisk, set aside.
  2. Combine milk, sugar, cardamom, extract, and pinch of salt to the saucepan. Heat over medium heat till just before simmer. Reduce heat to low.
  3. Whisk in the cream and cornstarch slurry, stirring to incorporate. Return heat to medium.
  4. Continue to whisk constantly until mixture thickens to the consistency of pudding.
  5. Turn out the mixture into the ramekins, cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge.
  6. Take a couple cookies in hand and crush over a bowl or plate.
  7. Remove malabi from the fridge after at least 45 min. Garnish with cookie crumbs.

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