Friday, 17 January 2014


Entremet of Tomato & Saffron Custard , Blue swimmer crab salad , Faux caviar of squid ink , Fresh water hyssop and edible micro orchid .

                This is indulgence at its best with the use of fresh and exotic ingredients in one mouthful of taste bud ecstasy. For this summery between course dish I've paired the combination of tomato and saffron with a sweet, zesty crab salad topped with a faux caviar made of squid ink and garnished with vibrant exotic delicate cucumber flavoured micro orchid. The saffron used for the custard is of very high quality and 100% natural. The Gohar branded saffron is imported from Iran and this particular grade is all red stigmas. The orchids and the water hyssop both grow in abundance on our property and its only recently I found out that these tiny orchids are edible and for sale on the net for restaurants. The caviar was made using Tinta de calamar (squid ink) imported from a spanish company Nortindal.              
           I made the tomato saffron custards the night before on this plate by lightly simmering in a small pot some milk and about 4-5 threads of Iranian saffron. In a bowl I whisked together egg yolks, and tomato paste with some seasoning to this I added the hot milk whisking to mix. I then poured the custard back into the pot adding 1% agar and simmered whisking until the agar had dissolved. This was then poured into various sized plastic greased tubes with stoppers on the ends and allowed to set in the fridge overnight before being un-moulded and sliced for presentation. To make the faux caviar I used the cold oil spherification technique placing a tall glass of oil in the freezer for about 30-40 minutes, while this is chilling I placed water mixed with to 4g satchels of squid ink and 1. 5 % agar into a saucepan whisking to a simmer and then removed from the heat to cool. Once the squid ink solution was about 60 deg. c , using a pipette I drop balls of the squid ink into the tall glass of oil. The pearls fall slowly in the chilled oil allowing them to set before reaching the bottom of the glass. Once I had piped enough I strained them and rinsed the squid ink caviar under cold water to remove the oil off them. The crab salad was a mix of blue swimmer crab meat, chopped chives, white shallot, lemon and lime zest, seasoned with salt and pepper and spooned on top of the tomato and saffron custard.                                  
            To plate these were then arranged in a diagonal line in the centre of the plate from biggest to smallest at the front, in proportion to weight they are almost all the same. These were then topped with a spoon of faux caviar and garnished with a sprig of water hyssop and an exotic edible micro orchid.          

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