This was my first attempt at molecular gastronomy and I couldn’t have been more excited to tread in Ferran’s footsteps! I didn’t jump head first in mind you, but rather stuck my big toe in and created a garnish and flavor enhancer instead of an entire dish. If you attempt to make the pearls, have patience and try to get them as big as possible and use them immediately; they do not keep and solidify into goop after about 20 minutes…so you have that going for you!
Serves 4 – 6
1 batch Lobster Risotto (http://www.atlfoodsnob.com/?p=2066)
½ lb shrimp, peeled and de-veined
½ lb jumbo lump crab meat
2 carrots, peeled and chopped to 1 sq in
1 red bell pepper, roasted and peeled
4 cloves roasted garlic
½ cup tomato water (1/2 tomato juice and ½ water)
1 cup whole milk
½ cup sautéed onions
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp ground fennel seed
1 tbsp Calcium Chloride
2 tsp Sodium Citrate
2 tsp Sodium Alginate
1 liter of cold water
S&P to taste
Puree the red pepper, onions and garlic with the tomato water and mix with 1 tsp each of the Sodium Alginate and Sodium Citrate with a hand mixer/ emulsion blender and set aside.
Cut carrots into 1 inch pieces and place in a large Ziplock w/ one cup of the milk and the coriander and fennel seed. Seal tight and place into a large pot of simmering water to poach for about an hour; then drain and reserve the liquid in a bowl. After the carrots cool, puree them in a food processor with the reserved milk; mix in the remaining Sodium Alginate and Sodium Citrate with a hand mixer/ emulsion blender and set aside.
Combine the cold water and the Calcium Chloride and set aside to use for making the “pearls”. Place each of the mixtures in a large syringe and slowly drip the mixture into the Calcium bath; be sure to try and get uniform drops to enhance your presentation. This is probably the hardest part of the recipe and will probably take a lot of trial and error, but be patient…
Using a slotted spoon, remove the pearls and set aside in a bowl; use a paper towel to absorb any extra water, as this will add unwanted mush.
Boil the shrimp for 2 minutes and chop into ¼ inch pieces and combine with the crab. Use a small pastry brush to paint a stripe of the roasted red pepper onto a rectangular plate. Use a 4 inch diameter ring mold and spoon in 4 – 6 tbsp of the risotto into it and top with the shrimp and crab mixture; carefully press down using two fingers and remove the ring mold. Sprinkle a small handful of the veggie pearls onto the red pepper stripe and serve…presto!