Here’s a great appetizer for the summer menu: Lobster, Avocado and Mango Napoleon with Crème Fraiche and Citrus Caviars.
I used lobster claw and knuckle meat, diced and tossed lightly with citrus vinaigrette. The avocado is a diced with a little citric acid folded through to keep it from turning brown quickly, but without adding moisture. The mango is diced and tossed with just a touch of apple cider vinegar and dark brown sugar to give it a little bite.
To make the crème fraiche that we use, I start with one cup of heavy whipping cream and one tablespoon of buttermilk. In a small saucepan bring the heavy whipping cream up to 105 degrees Fahrenheit , then remove from the heat and stir in the buttermilk. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, cover loosely with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for twenty four to thirty six hours. Stir the mixture and taste it every six to eight hours. The crème fraiche is ready when it reaches a thick but pourable stage and the flavor should be slightly nutty and sour.
For the caviar I used Ferran Adria’s recipe:
Juice or Puree 250 grams
Sodium Alginate 2 grams
Water 500 grams
Calcic Chloride 2.5 grams
1. Mix the alginate with 1/3 of the juice or puree.
2. Process with a hand blender to a smooth, lump free mixture.
3. Mix with the remaining 2/3, strain and keep at room temperature for 30 minutes.
4. Dissolve the calic chloride in the water using a whisk and set aside.
5. Fill syringes with the melon caviar mixture.
6. Drop into the water and calcic chloride mixture. Cook for one minute.
7. Drain the melon caviar then wash in cold water. Drain the excess water off well.
I use a 96 bead dropper to drop the alginate-juice mixture into calcic chloride bath. A “spoodle” or small slotted spoon is perfect from transferring the spheres or “caviars” from the calcic chloride bath to the rinse bath.
For putting this beast together I used a sawed-off two inche diameter PVC pipe after thoroughly sanitizing it. Pack everything into the pipe, then the bottom of a Cholula bottle is the perfect tamping tool for the diameter. It just proves that Cholula works with almost everything….but that’s a future post.