Beluga Caviar with Lemongrass Cream (CaviaRomera)
This beautiful dish is filled with fresh tastes. Mounded in lemongrass-infused cream are leek puree, caviar, smoked salmon, and oyster tartare, all seasoned with lobster-infused oil. Lobster oil-toasted croutons add a bit of crunch. You may use raw or cooked lobster heads to make the infused oil; it is a wonderful use for shells and the like. Note that the chef uses a cold thickener called Micri to thicken the lemongrass cream. Micri is a neutral vegetable base and thickener based on casava. Web inquiry turned up only one site in Spain referring to this new product. Keeping in mind that this base is used only as a thickener and does not affect the flavor, we would suggest reducing the cream slightly; the finished cream should be just a little thicker than pancake syrup. By the way, Chef Romera splits his time between cooking and his career in neurology!
- Oysters - 4
- Lobster Oil
- Safflower Oil - 3/4 cup
- Lobster heads - 2 or 3
- Leek Puree
- Leek - 1, cleaned
- Water - 2 cups
- Chicken Breast - 1, bone in, skin on
- Lemongrass Cream
- Light Cream - 1-1/4 cups
- Lemongrass stalks - 4, trimmed and chopped
- Onion - 1, chopped
- Micri base (see note above) - 1 tablespoon
- Fried Breadcrumbs
- Croutons - 1/2 cup, 1/4-inch dice
- Lobster oil - scant 1/4 cup, (above)
- Beluga caviar
- Beluga caviar - 4 ounces
- Smoked Salmon Fillets - 4 ounces, cut in 1/4-inch dice
- Chives - 6, minced
Remove the oysters from the shells. Put the oysters in the freezer for 40 minutes, then roughly chop. Keep on ice in the refrigerator until ready to use.
To prepare the lobster oil: Crush the lobster heads. Put the oil and lobster heads in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes. Take off the heat and let stand until cooled to room temperature. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve, pressing down on the shells. Strain again through a fine-meshed sieve lined with two layers of cheesecloth. Store the oil in a sealable container in the refrigerator; bring to room temperature before using.
To prepare the leek puree: Trim off the roots and the green portion of the leek. Split the remaining leek and cut into 1-inch chunks. Put the leeks, water, and chicken breast in a large saucepan or pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook 40 minutes to 1 hour. Drain, reserving the liquid. Pull off the chicken skin; debone the breast. Roughly chop the meat. Put the leeks and chicken pieces in the bowl of a food processor with half the reserved liquid. Puree until smooth, adding more liquid as necessary. The puree should be firm enough to just hold its shape. Set aside.
To prepare the cream: Put the cream, lemongrass pieces, and onions in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer 10 minutes. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Strain the cream through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl. Stir the Micri into the cream to thicken. Alternatively, if not using Micri, continue simmering until desired consistency is reached, then cool and strain. The cream should be just slightly thicker than syrup. Cover the cream with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator.
To prepare the croutons: Spread the croutons and lobster oil in a large non-stick saute pan or skillet and place over medium-high heat. As the croutons toast and darken, turn them with a wooden spoon to toast all sides. Remove from heat.
To serve: Spoon a small mound of leek puree to one side in each of four shallow soup plates. Spoon lemongrass cream around the puree to cover the bottom of each soup plate, and pour one spoonful over each mound of puree. Press oyster tartare over the puree, then layer salmon dice over the tartare. Put the lobster oil into a squeeze bottle and dot or drizzle lobster oil around the perimeter of the cream. Spoon eight dots of caviar in the lobster oil around each plate. Sprinkle minced chives over all items on each plate; sprinkle toasted croutons over the mound of oyster tartare and salmon dice.