This appetizer is decadent and delicious, yet easy to prepare. It was inspired by an amuse bouche we had at Spectrum. There it was served as a small portion inside a whelk shell (a whelk is a sea snail). The amount I prepared could easily be served to 6 or 8 rather than 4 and the presentation could be improved upon, but the flavor was fabulous. You could also serve this on small crostini as canapés.
Kaffir limes have more aromatic zest than regular limes, so use them in you can. If you can’t find fresh lime leaves, frozen ones from an Asian store will do.
For 4-8 servings as an appetizer
300 grams (.66 lb) cauliflower florets
60 grams (2 oz) caviar
lime zest, preferably from kaffir lime
16 lime leaves
80 ml (1/3 cup) coconut milk
salt and freshly ground white pepper
freshly squeezed lime juice
Make cuts in the lime leaves so they will release more flavor, but keeping them whole so it will be easy to fish them out later.
Vacuum seal the cauliflower with lime leaves and coconut milk.
If you don’t own a chamber vacuum sealer, use a ziploc bag and the water displacement method.
Cook sous-vide for 2 hours at 85C/185F.
Put the cauliflower and coconut milk in a blender and discard the lime leaves.
Blend until smooth.
Allow the cauliflower mousse to cool. Season to taste with salt, freshly ground white pepper, and freshly squeezed lime juice. Use salt sparingly, as the caviar is already very salty.
Place the cauliflower mousse into serving vessels of your choice. Sprinkle with freshly grated lime zest.
Top with caviar, and serve. The caviar and mousse should be enjoyed together.
This is great with a good sparkling wine such as Champagne or a Cava Gran Reserva.
We love risotto and make it quite often. The nice thing about this recipe for bell pepper risotto is that no flavor is lost because the bell peppers are cooked in the stock that will be used for the risotto (and of course the trimmings are used for the stock, too). Another advantage of cooking the bell peppers like this, is that it allows you to peel the peppers quite easily. This risotto is perfect for summer, but as the quality of bell peppers is constant year-round in this part of the world (as they come from greenhouses), this can be made any time of the year.