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Food is one of the few things on the planet which everyone has an opinion about (for example, we still can’t agree how to make perfect poached eggs!). Think about it. We all eat and drink and have been doing so from the moment we took our first breath. Our tastes and preferences have been shaped by what we know and what we have been conditioned to accept as ‘normal’. But when it comes to food, what is normal? What are your limits? Why do you have limits?

Our ethos here at HDYTI is to encourage you the consumers of our content to step outside your (self-imposed or other imposed) limits to ‘dip your toes in’. This is why we are VERY excited to bring you #EatDiverse, a creative food collaboration with IBM Chef Watson centred around three core themes namely: healthy eating, cultural diversity and fun.

“It isn’t all over; everything has not been invented; the human adventure is just beginning.” – Gene Roddenberry, August 19, 1921 to October 24, 1991, creator of the Original Star Trek series

IBM Chef Watson is one of the many innovations in cognitive computing from IBM, a technology giant with a proud history of innovations under their belt. Working with bon appétit, the Chef Watson team sourced structured and unstructured data from over 10,000 recipes, including ingredients, nutrients and eating cultures, creating the foundation for an alternative cooking concept called cognitive cooking. Taking account of your preferences, Chef Watson creates a suggested list of recipes including ingredients, proportions and instructions.

For our first cognitive cooking experience, we desired to create a recipe that drew inspiration from our dual West African and British cultural backgrounds. We wanted to reflect summer by creating something colourful and light. We also wanted to create a healthy dish, something that even the world’s greatest athletes would enjoy. PS: If anyone knows any Caribbean sprinters with a penchant for plantains, please tell them they’re welcome round our house for dinner anytime!

We played around with IBM Chef Watson’s intuitive interface, looking for suggestions for a recipe that would infuse Afro-Caribbean and European ingredients. We have our favourite ingredients, and naturally choose plantains as a starting point. However, we wanted to push the boundaries with our ingredient choices, so we tried several combinations of flavours.

After each ingredient we input, Chef Watson would populate a collection of recipes based on our ingredients of choice. Among other choices, Chef Watson suggested an African Plantain Poached Egg recipe. The ingredient list was quite diverse. Could we have plantain, avocado, mango, orange, and chickpeas all in one recipe without it tasting and looking like a complete fail?  

Chef Watson user interface | via @dipyourtoesin

IBM Chef Watson user interface

 

How HDYTI used Chef Watson to create Plantain Poached Egg | via @dipyourtoesin

 

Our initial scepticism with the results slowly gave way as we realised that we could tweak the ingredients and test Chef Watson’s theories. Since Watson was taught over 40,000 flavour combinations we figured it wouldn’t mind learning something new. As the recipe came to life we realised that we were unearthing our own inherent cultural bias and challenging our own in-built preconceptions about ingredient combinations, flavours and textures. We would never have thought avocado, chickpeas, and plantain would work with mango and orange, but it actually creates a (slightly) sweet earthy balance, when paired with the magic of red chillies. In the past, these would be ingredients that on their own would work fine. However fused together in one recipe? We were definitely pushing our taste biases (in a good way)!

We had so much fun creating this recipe; from sourcing fresh ingredients from our favourite market in Brixton, to tweaking Chef Watson’s instructions to arrive at our own interpretation.

We hope you try this out. Better still, we would love you to check out IBM Chef Watson and share your ideas for new recipes with us.

For more about IBM Chef Watson, see an example of how culinary experts are working with Chef Watson to develop innovative recipes.

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Plantain Poached Egg Inspired by Chef Watson | via @dipyourtoesin
Plantain Poached Egg Inspired By Chef Watson
Yum
Print Recipe
Although this recipe calls for over 16 ingredients, each one is quite accessible, and can be easily purchased at your local grocery store or farmer's market. Feel free to break up the time this recipe takes, and do your prep the night before. Cut/separate all vegetables (except avocadoes), and store in containers. The red chilli and Jalapeno is the only spice in this recipe, and it adds the perfect compliment to the steeped citrus flavours in the recipe. Poach your eggs in advance to starting the main part of the recipe. Store in cool water in the refrigerator.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 25 min
Cook Time
25 min
Servings Prep Time
4 people 25 min
Cook Time
25 min
Plantain Poached Egg Inspired by Chef Watson | via @dipyourtoesin
Plantain Poached Egg Inspired By Chef Watson
Yum
Print Recipe
Although this recipe calls for over 16 ingredients, each one is quite accessible, and can be easily purchased at your local grocery store or farmer's market. Feel free to break up the time this recipe takes, and do your prep the night before. Cut/separate all vegetables (except avocadoes), and store in containers. The red chilli and Jalapeno is the only spice in this recipe, and it adds the perfect compliment to the steeped citrus flavours in the recipe. Poach your eggs in advance to starting the main part of the recipe. Store in cool water in the refrigerator.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 25 min
Cook Time
25 min
Servings Prep Time
4 people 25 min
Cook Time
25 min
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil (medium heat). Add cubed plantain, orange slices & crushed garlic cloves. Let oil gently cook ingredients, while stirring periodically for 4 min.
  2. Add sliced jalapeno, 3/4 can of chickpeas, and a chopped handful of parsley. Stir, coat in oil/juices.
  3. Add cubed avocado, mango chunks, and 1 cup of water. Stir, cover, and let simmer for 4min.
    Mixture before adding water in Plantain Poached Egg Inspired by Chef Watson | via @dipyourtoesin
  4. Add chopped red chile, and 3 handfuls of chopped spinach. Stir gently.
  5. Add 1/2 can of coconut milk, a few pinches of thyme, sea salt to taste, and stir gently. Cover, and simmer for 5min.
    Main mixture in Plantain Poached Egg Inspired by Chef Watson | via @dipyourtoesin
  6. Poach eggs during prep, and store in cool water in the refrigerator until ready for use.
Fried Plantain
  1. While mixture is simmering, heat remaining olive oil in a frying pan (medium heat), and add plantain slices. Brown on one side, and flip over to repeat. Remove from pan, and dry on a kitchen/paper towel to remove the oil.
    Frying plantains in Plantain Poached Egg Inspired by Chef Watson | via @dipyourtoesin
Finish
  1. Reheat your poached eggs gently in semi-hot water in a bowl.
  2. Spoon the mixture into a bowl, and take a spoon and make an indentation in the mixture. Place poached egg in that indented area. Add a sliced plantain to cup the egg, sprinkle with coriander, and serve!
    Closeup of Plantain Poached Egg Inspired by Chef Watson | via @dipyourtoesin
Recipe Notes

Plantain-Poached-Egg-HDYTI-10

HDYTI Rating: We've awarded this recipe a silver, but of course we're going for gold on the next Chef Watson recipe!

Disclaimer: This post, and the #EatDiverse campaign is sponsored by IBM in partnership with HDYTI. However, all opinions are our own.

Have questions about cognitive cooking? Join the conversation by following #EatDiverse on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Want to be the first to hear about our HDYTI giveaway this week? Please sign up to our email list to have VIP updates!

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