Caviar with Corn

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Our favorite dish during our recent dinner at Inter Scaldes was the caviar with corn and oxtail. I liked the combination of corn and caviar so much, that I made something inspired by the dish at Inter Scaldes (certainly not intended to be a copy) for our Christmas dinner. It was a ‘cannolo’ of cornflour (very similar to tortilla chips) filled with a corn and oxtail mousse, and topped with real caviar. The combination of the sweetness of the corn with the depth of flavor added by the oxtail, the salty earthy caviar and the crispy corn shell turned out very nice. Although the caviar makes it special, this is in essence a simple dish with only a few ingredients. The only problem with this dish is that for the flavors to be in balance, you would really like there to be as much caviar as corn. The price of caviar makes that a costly endeavor.

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As an alternative you could also serve this as an amuse bouche in a Martini glass with the same amount of caviar, but only a small piece of ‘tortilla chip’ and less of the corn puree. Here’s what I did…

Ingredients

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For 6 servings as an appetizer or 12 servings as amuse bouche

4 ears of corn

1 kg (2.2 lbs) of oxtail

60 ml (1/4 cup) heavy cream

100 grams (3.5 oz) caviar

about 1/4 cup (40 grams) cornflour

1 egg

oil for deep frying

salt

Preparation

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Shave the corn kernels off the cobs. Reserve the cobs.

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Combine the cobs with the oxtail and a litre (quart) of water in a stock pot or pressure cooker. Bring to a boil and simmer for 4 hours, or bring to pressure and pressure cook for 2 hours.

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Meanwhile, prepare the corn cannoli. At first I thought I could simply make corn tortillas using masa (instant corn tortilla flour), but in the photo you can see what happens: the cannoli will break because the dough doesn’t have enough elasticity. So instead of water I used an egg, and then it worked.

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Beat the egg in a bowl, and add the cornflour (you will need about as much corn flour by weight as the egg, not counting the shell).

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Mix the cornflour and egg, first with a spoon and then with your hands, until well mixed.

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The dough should be rolled out thinly in order for the cannoli to become crispy. Therefore, I used a pasta machine. On my pasta machine with “1” the widest setting and “9” the narrowest, I rolled it out to setting “6”.

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Use a pastry cutter to cut circles of about 9 cm (3.5″) out of the dough.

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Fold the circles around cannoli shapes…

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…and deep fry them in hot oil (180ºC/350ºF) until they are golden. Repeat until you have used up all the dough. You may have dough for more than 6 pieces, but it is good to make a few spare ones in case they break.

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Drain on paper towels.

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Allow to cool off to room temperature, then store in an airtight container.

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After 2 hours in the pressure cooker or 4 hours in the stock pot, your corn and oxtail stock should be done.

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Filter it through a fine sieve into a wide shallow pan.

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Add the corn to the stock and bring to a boil.

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Reduce the heat and cook the corn, uncovered, for half an hour. This will cook the corn and reduce the stock at the same time. The stock should be reduced to about 250 ml (1 cup).

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After half an hour, transfer the contents of the pan to a blender…

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…and blend for a couple of minutes until completely smooth.

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Work the blended mixture through a fine sieve or food mill…

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…to make it completely smooth.

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Transfer the corn puree to a pan, add the cream, and bring to a boil.

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Simmer over low heat, stirring constantly, until the corn puree has thickened.

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It should become as thick as shown in the photo.

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Allow the corn puree to cool down to room temperature. Transfer it to a piping bag and refrigerate.

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Wait with filling the corn cannoli until it is time to serve them, as the cannoli would otherwise lose their crispness. Fill the cannoli with corn puree using the piping bag.

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Use a dot of corn puree to secure each cannolo on a plate. Then top with caviar.

Wine pairing

This works well with a good champagne or prosecco, preferably not too dry. If you can find it, “To” by Velich, and Austrian wine served with the dish that was the inspiration for this at Inter Scaldes, would be even better.

Flashback


This spaghetti with red wine and leeks (‘drunken’ spaghetti) is quite different from the caviar extravaganza above, and more of a weekday dish. That doesn’t mean it isn’t very tasty though!

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6 thoughts on “Caviar with Corn

  1. Even in Russia black caviar became very expensive. My Russian parents in law replace the black caviar with the red caviar. But be careful, there is a huge difference in quality between one and the other red caviar.

    Like

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