Monday, 31 March 2014


64 degree C. Sous vide cooked Egg yolk croquettes with Pecorino cheese sauce , Micro greens and truffle salt.

                         This little dish is a take on those creamy spanish croquettes that are served at the many tapas bars. I remember vividly as a child, mum would make beautiful creamy corn croquettes and they were to die for and always a welcomed item at the dinner table. The idea to use egg yolks as the filling came from the molecular recipe website, where they used the method of cooking the yolks sous vide to achieve a gelled structure that can't be achieved by boiling or soft boiling the egg. This dish looks very simple but requires great dexterity and technique when handling these delicate egg yolks. By cooking the eggs sous vide gives us the control and guarantees the perfect temperature of 64 degrees the temperature at which the protein livetin denatures and causes the egg yolk to gel and form a creamy custard like consistency as apposed to boiling where the outside of the egg cooks quicker than the yolk leaving us to guess the condition of the yolk and depending on the size of the eggs an extra 30 seconds too long can turn a soft yolk to a hard boiled before your eyes. The recipe I went off called for the pairing of a nutty flavoured gruyere foam, instead I opted to accompany the croquettes with a cheese dipping sauce made from pecorino cheese, which I think is just as nice.                                                  
                          I first cooked the eggs in their shells in a 64 degree sous vide water bath for one hour. The recipe called to cook the yolks on their own floating in the bath for 45 minutes, turning them at 25 minutes. This method can get fiddly and messy if one ruptures during the cooking process. Once the eggs were cooked I de-shelled them rinsing the unset whites from the yolks carefully under running cold water, these were then placed into a bowl of room temp water until ready to be crumbed. As our pullets have just started laying over the last few weeks, I lost a few yolks to what they call blood spots or meat spots in the yolks, this will be less frequent as they get a little older. But at least I'm assured of fresh free ranged organic eggs at our disposal with vibrant yellow yolks from the supplemented leafy greens in their diets. In a bowl I whisked a whole egg with a pinch of salt, this was for the egg wash. I then seasoned some flour in another bowl and in the last bowl I placed some bread crumbs seasoned with salt and some Dorrego pepper leaf. Using my hands I carefully dusted the yolks with the flour, dipping them into the egg wash and then coating them with the bread crumb. In the mean time I heated some light olive oil, enough to cover the croquettes, in a saucepan to 190 degrees cooking the croquettes one at a time for about 2-3 minutes until they were nice and golden in colour. Bringing the oil back up to 190 degrees each time to assure a perfect shell of crumb around the yolk centres. To make the sauce I heated a little butter in a saucepan and sweated off some finely chopped onions. Once they were clear and translucent I removed them from the pot adding some more butter and a little flour I made a roux to which I added gradually milk to form a white sauce. This was seasoned with truffle salt and grated pecorino cheese was added to complete the cheese sauce.                                                      
                           To plate I smeared the cheese sauce on the plate arranging the croquettes on top and garnished with some micro greens. I seasoned the croquettes with a little truffle infused sea salt.

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