14/08/2011

Romanescu Stalk Amuse Bouche

"Amuse bouche"? Amuse the mouth, tickle the mouth, get the taste buds going ...

The purpose of an amuse bouche is to get the taste sensation moving; often served as a pre-starter, an amuse bouche should be pack full of a single flavour, heavily enhanced - salt and lemon in perfect balance with a single ingredient is the key.

Romanescu? Yes, that curious vegetable that is both cauliflower and broccoli; a fractal plant with as curious a conflux of flavour.

Let's amuse our mouths ...

Trim off all the raggy green off the stalks and slice them very fine.

Gently fry the stalk slices in pastured butter, topping up with some bouillon and simmering for a few minutes until really soft.

Bouillon is a broth made from a simmering of mirepoix, bouquet garni and some bones. You can look up mirepoix and bouquet garni but here's a cheat - you can buy powered bouillion which only needs a generous tablespoon in a litre of water. If you wanted to make up your own, it's onion, celery and carrots (the mirepoix), thyme, bay and sage tied together (the bouquet garni), some bones and water - simmer for a few hours to extract all the flavour, freeze excess as appropriate.

Back to the amuse bouche ...

Pour the solids into a receptacle and blend to a fine paste, adding the liquid to soften things up and bring the total consistency to a thick soup. While blending, add a drizzle of avocado oil to emulsify into the soup giving a really creamy texture.

Pass the blended soup through a fine sieve and return to the heat.

Squeeze a splash of lemon into the hot liquor and serve in cappuccino cups.

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