Oysters with Caviar and Cucumber Mignonette

As I've mentioned before, I have recently developed a love for oysters after many years of avoiding them at all costs. It started with my father-in-law shoving one down my throat during my first family lunch back when I was dating the Gourmet Female. And then, gradually, I moved from simple lemon to different alternatives and now I've even been known to order a half dozen on my own when I'm travelling. These oysters really pop and have an incredibly clean flavour. Highly recommended.

Transient

I know this one is a bit over-the-top with the salmon caviar, but come on, you can splurge every now and then for good food, can't you?

You'll need:

  • 1 dozen Pacific oysters
  • 1 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 cucumber, deseeded and diced into small cubes
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • fresh black pepper
  • 50g salmon caviar

To cut the cucumbers, peel and cut into quarters. Lay the quarters on their sides and remove the seeds by cutting diagonally. Then cut the remaining flesh into thin strips and dice. Add the cucumbers to the vinegar, shallots, ginger, sugar, and pepper. Mix well and chill for an hour.

Add a little bit of the mixture to each oyster with a generous teaspoonful of the caviar. Serve and enjoy!

Prosciutto with Rockmelon Caviar and Basil Foam

To conclude molecular week here at GourmetMale I made a great little entree that you can make to impress your guests. It's a fair bit of work and you need to source some speciality ingredients but trust me, it's worth it!

Transient

As with our Oyster with Passionfruit Foam, you'll need to pick up a couple things you wouldn't have in your pantry (if you do, you should be guest blogging here!). So, look online or check out a speciality cooking retailer near you - and pick up some sodium alginate and calcium chloride. You'll also need some soy lecithin but if you made the oyster dish you'll have some handy. Don't worry, these aren't as strange as they sound.

For the dish you'll need:

  • 4 slices of prosciutto
  • 1 rockmelon
  • 1 bunch of basil
  • 100g skim milk
  • 100g water
  • 4 dollops of chevre

First, make some rockmelon juice (about 250g). This will require you to peel and chop up half the rockmelon and then blend to a paste. Strain the paste to get the required amount of juice and set aside.

Add 2.5g of calcium chloride to a bowl with 500g of water, dissolve and leave in the fridge. Then add 2g of sodium chloride to 1/3 of the juice and blend with a hand blender until completely dissolved. Then add the rest of the juice, blend and set aside.

In a pan, boil the basil, milk, and water for a couple minutes. Take off the heat and let cool. Add 1g of lecithin and blend with a hand blender until the foam develops and then let stand.

As you need to act quickly with the rockmelon caviar (they will harden after a few minutes and you will lose the explosive texture with the liquid) place the prosciutto on a serving platter and add a dollop of chevre to each one.

Remove the calcium water from the fridge. Fill another bowl with clean, cold water. Fill a dropper with the melon mixture and drop into the calcium bath. Let stand for one minute and then carefully remove with a slotted spoon and rinse in the clean water. Add to the middle of the prosciutto, spoon on some basil foam, and serve. Your guests will be impressed!