Thursday, 24 October 2013

' marrow poached BLACK FOOT ABALONE '

Marrow poached Black foot Abalone, confit potato, bone marrow and porcini mushroom sauce, snow fungus, nameko, puffed wild rice and freshwater cress. 

           Originally I'd purchased the abalone ( paua ) to make fritters and I still can as I haven't used all of it to make this dish. A little display of some of the wild harvested foods on offer. Sounds a little odd the combination of seafood with mushrooms but surprisingly they paired quite well after the abalone had been poached it tasted sweet (a little bit like scallops with a more rigid texture) and not salty or sea like but delicate. When I was cooking in kitchens I was once taught to finish sauces off with a little bone marrow adding depth, complexity, richness and sheen to dark sauces that have derived from lamb beef or veal especially.  The abalone is wild caught from NZ. and comes already mince in tubs of brine frozen. The nameko mushroom is most popular of cultivated mushrooms in Japan and these ones have come jarred in a brine. The snow fungus is common throughout the northern forest floors growing on recently falling logs, it has a vey gelatinous mouth feel  and can take on flavours readily.The wild rice comes from the fresh water river systems of Canada and is harvested from the wild using long boats.
           To construct this dish I first roasted off grass-fed beef marrow bones that had been split in a roasting pan until it began melting the marrow from the bones. I then collected all the marrow placing it into a saucepan on low-med. heat until the marrow dissolved while continuing to roast the bones. Dividing the liquid marrow in two with one I rinsed and drained some abalone and slow poached it in the bone marrow for about 5-6 minutes before taking it off the heat, draining, reserving the marrow and placing on paper towel and seasoning.  With the the other half of the marrow I cooked different shapes and sizes of potato confit style before draining and setting aside for serving. To make the sauce I deglazed the roasting dish with a little dry sherry on the stovetop. In a small pot I made a roux adding gradually while stirring the de-glazings forming a thick gravy I added some of the reserved marrow and ground dried porcini mushrooms. The nameko came out of the jar drained and plated as is and the snow fungus came dried so I simple re-constituded them in a water and rice wine vinegar mix, in parting a subtle pickle flavour in them. The rice was puffed using the same popcorn technique mentioned in previous posts.                                               
           To present this I first spooned some sauce on to the plate,with the back of the spoon I made a swipe across the plate . Next I strategically placed in alternate drops along both banks of the sauce, the confit potato shapes and spoonfuls of the poached abalone. I then garnished the dish with the nameko,
snow fungus and freshwater cress before finishing with scattered puffed wild rice. 


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