Sturgeon with Apple, Mustard Seeds & Horseradish
Pajo Bruich, Enotria Restaurant & Wine Bar, Sacramento, California / May 2013
For 16 servings (requires advance preparation)
Cold smoked sturgeon:
- 1 1/4 cups kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. TCM1 curing salt
- 6 Tbsps. granulated sugar
- 6 Tbsps. brown sugar
- 1/4 cup mustard seeds, ground
- 3 Tbsps. dried lavender
- 1 Tbsp. coriander seeds, ground
- 1 tsp. white pepper, freshly ground
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 2 grapefruits, zested
- 2 lemons, zested
- 2 mandarin oranges, zested
- 2 limes, zested
- 1 36-oz. sturgeon fillet, skin-on
Mix salts, sugars, mustard seeds, lavender, coriander seeds, and pepper in a bowl; add garlic and zests; mix well.
Scatter thin layer of cure along bottom of airtight plastic container just large enough to hold sturgeon; place sturgeon on top; top fish with remaining cure; cover; reserve in refrigerator 3 days.
Rinse fish under cold running water; pat dry; place on baking sheet skin-side down; top with another baking sheet; fill top baking sheet with ice; cold smoke 90 minutes, changing ice as needed to keep fish cold; remove from smoker; envelop fish in plastic wrap; reserve in refrigerator.
- 1 Tbsp. canola oil
- 1 cup fennel, chopped
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 1 head garlic, chopped
- 1 bunch tarragon
- 1/2 bunch thyme
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp. fennel seeds
- 1 tsp. white peppercorns
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 8 Tbsps. unsalted butter
- kosher salt
Heat oil in large saucepan set over medium-low heat; add fennel, onion, and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened; stir in herbs, wine, cream, Worcestershire sauce, fennel seeds, peppercorns, 1 cup smoked sturgeon, and 2 cups water; bring to a boil; cover with a lid; remove from heat; let stand 1 hour.
Bring sturgeon mixture to a boil; reduce by 50 percent; remove from heat; strain through fine chinois into clean saucepan; discard solids.
Reduce liquid to 1/2 cup; remove from heat; reserve.
Lightly whisk egg and egg yolk in a bowl; bring butter to a boil in small saucepan; bring sturgeon reduction to a simmer; gradually whisk sturgeon reduction into eggs; gradually whisk in butter until emulsified; season with salt; place in a whipper canister; charge with 2 NO2 cartridges; reserve (keep warm).
Pickled mustard seeds:
- 1/4 cup yellow mustard seeds
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup Champagne vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. black peppercorns, tied up in a sachet
- 1 bay leaf
Place mustard seeds in a container; bring sugar, vinegar, peppercorns, bay leaf, and 1 1/4 cups water to a boil in a saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar; pour over mustard seeds; cool; remove bay leaf; cover; reserve at least 1 day.
- 1/2 cup Granny Smith apple, cut into 1/4” dice
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 6 Tbsps. plus 2 tsps. apple cider vinegar
- 3 Tbsps. plus 1 tsp. Champagne vinegar
Place apples, juice, and 1/2 cup water in nonreactive bowl; reserve.
Bring sugar, vinegars, and 1 1/4 cups water to a boil in a saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar; remove from heat; place in a bowl set in ice water bath; cool; place in vacuum-sealable plastic food bag; drain apples; add to bag; vacuum seal; reserve (must use same day).
- lime juice
- olive oil
- kosher salt
- 7 oz. sturgeon
- 4 1/4 tsps. squid ink
- 1 cup tapioca flour
- canola oil (for frying)
- freshly shaved radish (for garnishing)
- micro mustard greens (for garnishing)
- American sturgeon caviar (for garnishing)
Cut remaining smoked sturgeon into 1/4” dice; place in large bowl; drain pickled mustard seeds and pickled apples; add to sturgeon; season with lime juice and olive oil; toss until well coated; season with salt; reserve.
Pulse fresh sturgeon, squid ink, and flour in a processor until a dough forms; place in vacuum-sealable plastic food bag; roll out dough in bag with rolling pin until thin; vacuum-seal; reserve.
Set a perforated hotel pan inside a hotel pan set over low heat (place over 2 burners); fill pan with water to reach just below perforated pan; cover with a lid; heat until water is at a low simmer (to create steam); remove lid; place bag inside perforated pan; cover; steam 15 minutes; flip bag; steam 15 minutes; remove bag from perforated pan; remove steamed dough from bag; cut out rounds with 1” cookie cutter; place on dehydrator trays; dehydrate 2 hours.
Heat canola oil in deep fryer to 400°F.
Fry dough rounds until brown and crispy (20 to 30 seconds); place on paper towels with a spider to drain; season; reserve (keep warm).
To serve, place small amount of warm sabayon in each serving bowl; top with small amount sturgeon tartare mix; garnish with broken sturgeon chips, radish, mustard greens, and caviar.
What to drink: F.X. Pichler Grüner Veltliner Smaragd Trocken Wachau Loibner Berg 2009 or H. Dönnhoff Riesling Estate Nahe 2011
Chef’s Note: At the restaurant, we cold smoke in turned off ovens: Fill a third baking sheet with very hot mesquite and top it with applewood and hickory wood chips and place on a rack underneath the fish.