Shrimp Cake with Braised Leeks, Flounder Sauce, and Sevruga Caviar
Pretty pink shrimp spiral around the top of a mold of shrimp and braised leeks. The unusual sauce, made with flounder, accents the fresh-sea taste of the dish. Michele Sorrentino adds color with bright red cubes of tomato, spaced judiciously around the perimeter of the sauce.
- Braised Leek
- Olive Oil - 3 tablespoons
- Leek - 1, cleaned and julienned
- Garlic Clove - 1, crushed
- Flounder Sauce
- Unsalted Butter - 1 tablespoon
- Olive Oil - 1 tablespoon
- Garlic Clove - 1, sliced thin
- Flounder steak or fillet, boned - 1, skinned and cut in small pieces
- Flour - 2 tablespoons
- 1 tablespoon - Water
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- To Finish
- Water - 1/2 tablespoon
- Olive Oil - 1/2 tablespoon
- Tomato - 1, peeled, seeded, and cut in fine dice
- Flat Parsley Sprigs - 2, stemmed and chopped
- Sevruga caviar - 2 tablespoons
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil - 2 tablespoons
To prepare the leek: Warm 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium non-stick saute pan or skillet over medium heat and add the leek julienne and garlic. Toss to coat. Press a piece of foil over the leeks to cover them and cook 2 to 3 minutes, until the leeks begin to soften. Add water enough to cover the leeks, re-cover, and cook 12 to 15 minutes, until soft. Check periodically to make sure there is enough moisture remaining to keep the leeks from sticking; add more if necessary. When soft, remove from heat and remove the garlic clove. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Re-cover and keep warm.
To prepare the sauce: Melt the butter and olive oil in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until it softens; do not brown. Add the flounder pieces and cook for 30 seconds per side. Add the flour and water and stir together. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the mixture cook until everything has softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Blend with a stick blender; set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Coat two 7- to 8-ounce ramekins with olive oil and place them on a baking sheet. Put a layer of shrimp in the bottom, creating a spiral design. Season with salt and pepper. Put a layer of leeks over the shrimp and season again. Add another spiraled layer of shrimp and season. Bake 5 to 7 minutes.
To serve: Add a tablespoon of warm water to the flounder sauce and blend, then add 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and blend again. Strain the sauce and pool on the plates. Loosen the shrimp cakes by running a sharp knife around the sides of the ramekins, then turning out a cake in the center of each plate. Sprinkle the sauce with chopped parsley. Top each shrimp cake with a small quenelle of caviar. Drizzle the plates with a little bit of extra-virgin olive oil. Space tomato cubes in the sauce each shrimp cake.