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Sunday, April 8, 2012
Salmon and Jicama Ceviche in Avocado Molecular Ancho Fume Cup with Cayenne Egg Salad, Modena Balsamic Reduction and Cilantro Red Bell Pepper Supreme Brunoise
Las Vegas style health food with a modern composed presentation!
The inspiration for this recipe came from a billboard in Las Vegas that I saw while driving on I-15. The billboard was an advertisement for a modern trendy Mexican restaurant that is famous for nice presentations. An avocado cup filled with diced raw tuna was pictured on the billboard. I nearly forgot about avocado cup presentations, up till that point of time.
Face it! Raw diced tuna recipes are getting a little bit old, these days. Tuna is not the only fish that can be served raw or marinated raw. Many species of tuna are no longer a sustainable. Blue fin tuna is nearly extinct, thanks to the greed of some east coast fishermen, european fishermen and the Mitsubishi corporation of Japan. Yellowfin tuna is listed as threatened. Yellowfin tuna flounders back and forth into sustainable status, but that is a political game. Blackfin tuna is nearly extinct. Bigeye tuna is in the process of being overfished and it too is a threatened species. Albacore Tuna is a threatened species. Long tail tuna is way down in numbers. Bonito is less desirable, but its numbers are down too.
With all tuna being listed as critical concern, why do people keep demanding to eat tuna? Part of the reason is because pathetic chefs offer tuna as an easily recognizable marketable item that is popular for people who know very little about any other fish in the ocean. The main reason is corporate fishing company greed and their ability to push tuna to be purchased via all publicized media and marketing corporations.
With tuna being so far down in numbers, I rarely post a tuna recipe. I prefer to cook with a guilt free conscience! I estimate that I have eaten about 1 1/2 pounds of tuna in the last 3 years. That is far less than the average consumer. If more people did as I do, there would be more fish in the sea!
Chilean ceviche is usually made with scallops or Chilean sea bass. Chilean sea bass was nearly extinct from overfishing, but that fishery is struggling to slowly recover and the numbers are better than they were a few years ago. There are absolutely no Chilean sea bass recipes in this blog at this time!
A good alternative fish to tuna, that is easily recognizable, is salmon. Salmon marketed by US Alaskan fishery regulations is the very best source of good fresh wild caught sustainable salmon. I cannot say the same thing for the Canadian salmon fishery, due to pressure from foreign fishing fleets. The second best is northeast cold water farm raised salmon. Warm water farm raised salmon from the West Pacific is very poor in quality, due to parasites and disease.
The pickling effect of an acidic ceviche marinade makes good clean fresh raw fish safe to eat. The acids kill bacteria, virus and parasites. The acidic marinade also helps to "cook" the raw meat through chemical reactions.
I don't post molecular gastronomy recipes out of respect, because it is a very touchy subject. Molecular recipes are still closely guarded secrets that many chefs will not part with. Molecular gastronomy cookbooks are available at a high price. I own a few molecular gastronomy cookbooks. I simply will not publish a recipe for free, if that recipe is still selling at a high price, out of respect for the author chefs that went through the effort to create and write those molecular recipes. Their only reward is profits from cook book sales!
I will write a list of ingredients with no measurements, describe the goal and describe how to present the finished molecular ancho fume that is part of this recipe. The exact measurements and techniques are something that the readers should research on their own. Molecular agar gel sheet creations are among the easiest to make molecular recipes. Chefs that are familiar with thin sheet gelatin aspic garnishes of years gone by, will be familiar with the techniques. For the neophytes, my advice is to buy a molecular gastronomy cookbook and learn! Smart chefs will have no problem figuring out how to make the molecular ancho fume that is part of the avocado cup in this recipe!
Salmon and Jicama Ceviche Recipe:
Fatty spring salmon belly meat was used for this recipe. Salmon fat is very healthy to eat as ceviche and it has a soft gentle flavor. The belly meat is also very tender. Jicama adds a semi sweet apple kind of flavor to this ceviche!
Skin and debone 3 to 4 ounces of fatty salmon belly meat and leave the pieces whole.
Place the salmon in a ceramic container.
Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of small diced jicama.
Add 1 teaspoon of thin sliced green onion.
Add 2 teaspoons of small diced bermuda onion.
Add 1 teaspoon of finely diced red bell pepper.
Add 1 teaspoon of finely diced seeded green jalapeno pepper.
Add sea salt and black pepper.
Add 1 generous squeeze of lime juice.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of cider vinegar. (Optional)
Add 2 whole cilantro sprigs.
Toss the ingredients together.
Cover the container with a lid.
Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, but no more than 12 hours.
Medium dice the salmon pieces, before serving.
Place the diced salmon back in the ceviche mixture and toss the ingredients together.
Remove and discard the cilantro sprigs before serving.
Cayenne Egg Salad:
Hard boil 1 egg, till it is fully cooked.
Cool the egg under cold running water and peel off the shell.
Cut the egg in half. (Only half of 1 hard boiled eggs is needed for this recipe.)
Finely chop 1/2 of the egg.
Place the chopped egg in a bowl.
Add sea salt.
Add 1 pinch of cayenne pepper.
Add just enough mayonnaise to bind the ingredients together. (2 to 3 teaspoons is plenty.)
Set the cayenne egg salad garnish aside.
Cilantro Red Bell Pepper Supreme Brunoise:
This supreme brunoise is very aromatic smelling!
A supreme of red bell pepper has the seeds, ribs, membrane and skin removed with a razor sharp knife.
All that is needed for this recipe is about 2 tablespoons of red bell pepper supreme.
Brunoise cut the piece of red bell pepper supreme. (1/8"x1/8"x1/8" dice = brunoise)
Place the red pepper supreme brunoise into a small bowl.
Add 2 pinches of minced cilantro leaf.
Toss the ingredients together and set it aside.
Molecular Ancho Fume Sheet:
Make a small amount of whitefish fume that is flavored with ancho chile powder, sea salt and ground anatto.
Clarify the mixture with 1/2 of an egg white.
Pour the hot fume through a fine mesh strainer into a second sauce pot.
Thicken the fume with seaweed agar.
Pour the mixture on a non-stick pan so it is between 1/16" and 1/8" thick.
Quick freeze the ingredients, so the agar sets while the ingredients are in suspension.
Use a spatula to free the molecular fume agar sheet from the pan.
Cut four 1/4"x 6" strips.
Cut one 5" semicircle shape.
This is one of the easy molecular gastronomy recipe descriptions! Its not an easy style of cooking to learn. Be sure that the agar amount is enough to make the fume firm, but not chewy!
Set the decorations on a plate and out of the way of possible damage.
Modena Balsamic Reduction:
Buy the real thing! Balsamic vinegar from Modena Italy is the real thing!
Slowly reduce 4 tablespoons of Modena balsamic vinegar in a small sauce pot over medium low heat.
When the vinegar becomes a syrup consistency, remove the pan from the heat and set it aside.
Avocado Molecular Ancho Fume Cup:
Split a small avocado in half horizontally. Save the top half for another recipe.
Remove the seed and skin.
Trim the bottom of the avocado half, so it stands evenly.
Press a steel ring mold that is about 1/4" smaller than the diameter of the avocado where the seed was.
Press the ring mold in about 1/2" deep. Use a spoon the remove the excess avocado inside the ring mold, while the ring mold is in place.
Remove the ring mold.
Overlap the two ends of the molecular ancho fume semicircle.
Insert the overlapped semicircle into the pocket of the avocado cup, so the semicircle resembles a bishop's cap.
Salmon and Jicama Ceviche in Avocado Molecular Ancho Fume Cup with Cayenne Egg Salad, Modena Balsamic Reduction and Cilantro Red Bell Pepper Supreme Brunoise Presentation:
Crisscross the 4 molecular ancho fume strips on a plate in a tic-tac-toe game pattern.
Use a ring mold that is a little smaller diameter than the avocado cup to place the cayenne egg salad on the plate.
Remove the ring mold.
Place 4 small dabs of the red bell pepper supreme brunoise on the corners of the tic-tac-toe game! (Four corners! I won! Yay!)
Carefully spoon the salmon jicama ceviche into the avocado molecular ancho fume cup, so no avalanche occurs when it is set on the plate.
Set the avocado cup on top of the petite cayenne egg salad.
Garnish the ceviche with a cilantro sprig.
Drizzle the Modena balsamic reduction on the plate around the other ingredients on the plate.
The flavor combination of all the ingredients on this plate go extremely well together. This is a very nice tasting and nice looking composed ceviche platter that takes time to make, but it is well worth it! By making this appetizer at home, you save between $25 to $40 on the price of this appetizer at a fine restaurant. At a restaurant, this is a profitable item, because it does take a degree of skill and time to make. Yum! ... Shawna