Bernard Touillon
San Remo Gamberoni, Delicate Aspic, Caviar served at Alain Ducasse's anniversary party in Monaco.
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San Remo Gamberoni, Delicate Aspic, Caviar

Alain Ducasse, Le Louis XV, Hôtel de Paris, Monte-Carlo, Monaco / January 2013

For 4 servings (requires advance preparation)

Fish soup:

  • 2 Tbsps. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 med. white onions, diced
  • 6 branches dried fennel
  • 4 to 6 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
  • 40 black peppercorns
  • 1 3/4 lbs. tomatoes, seeded and roughly diced
  • 5 lbs. whole, bone-in white-fleshed ocean fish, such as flounder or striped bass, gills and eyes removed, and cut into chunks
  • 1 gal. plus 1/4 cup white stock
  1. Heat oil in large rondeau set over medium heat; add onions, fennel, garlic, and peppercorns; sweat until softened (no color).

  2. Add tomatoes and fish; cook 5 to 10 minutes, taking care to keep ingredients from turning brown.

  3. Add stock; raise heat to high; bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium; skim; simmer 20 minutes; strain through fine chinois without pressing on ingredients (to prevent clouding the soup); reserve in refrigerator.

Aspic:

  • 1/3 lb. scorpion fish
  • 1/4 cup fresh fennel
  • 48 gamberoni (prawns), heads and tails separated, tails shelled and deveined, tails and heads reserved separately
  • 2 lg. egg whites
  • 2 Tbsps. tomato concentrate
  • 8 strips lemon zest
  • 12 threads saffron
  • 4 gelatine leaves, bloomed in tepid water
  1. Remove fat from the top of the soup; place 1 qt. soup in pot set over medium-high heat (reserve remaining soup for another use); bring to a simmer.

  2. Place scorpion fish, fennel, gamberoni heads, egg whites, and tomato concentrate in food processor; process until mixed; pour into warm soup; raise heat to high; bring to a boil, stirring constantly; reduce heat to medium-high; cook just below a boil 40 minutes.

  3. Carefully break the raft atop the soup; ladle the soup through a chinois; add lemon zest and saffron; infuse 10 minutes; strain.

  4. Place in a pot set over high heat; bring to a boil; remove from heat; stir in gelatine leaves; pour into shallow container set in ice water bath; let set; reserve in refrigerator.

Assembly:

  • 2 Tbsps. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 Tbsp. 1emon zest, grated
  • 1/4 tsp. piment d’Espelette
  • 1 sm. red onion, finely chopped
  • sea salt
  • black pepper, freshly ground
  • 12 g osetra
  • lemon zest, julienned (for garnish)
  • 16 threads saffron bloomed in 1/4 cup hot fish soup
  1. Blanch reserved gamberoni tails 5 seconds; remove with a spider; cut into uniform lengths; season with oil, lemon zest, piment d’Éspelette, red onion, salt, and pepper; reserve in refrigerator.

  2. Place 4 sheets plastic wrap on work surface; place 3 g osetra on each sheet; gather into a ball; reserve in refrigerator.

  3. To serve, arrange gamberoni in a crown, tail end down, in each bowl; garnish with lemon zest; set an osetra ball on top; place 5 quenelles aspic around bowl; top each with saffron threads.

What to drink: Moët & Chandon Brut Rosé Champagne Cuvée Dom Pérignon 1995