Oyster with Carolina Rice Grits & Ramp Capers
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Oyster with Carolina Rice Grits & Ramp Capers

Jamie Young, Atera, New York City - March 17th, 2014

Read more about ramp capers in "Ramp Caper Caper" by Carolyn Jung.

Makes 5 tasting portions (requires advanced preparation)

Ramp capers:

  • 2 cups ramp seeds, cleaned under cold water
  • kosher salt

1) In a Mason jar, pack the capers until completely and evenly covered in salt; leave to cure 1 month.

2) Before use, remove from salt; rinse.

Rice grits:

  • 1 cup rice grits
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 Tbsps. Unsalted butter
  • cream
  • salt

Combine grits and water in medium saucepan; bring to a boil; reduce heat; simmer until rice is tender; add butter; mix to combine; add cream as needed or until grits become creamy like risotto; season.

Rice milk:

  • 4 cups rice grits
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 cup turnip juice
  • 4 dried oysters
  • 1 to 2 Tbsps. unsalted butter
  • salt

Combine all ingredients in Gastrovac machine; set temperature to 72°C (160°F); cook 1 hour; strain liquid from the pot into medium saucepan; bring to a boil to thicken (the milk will naturally thicken from its own starch); whisk in butter; season; reserve.

Salt–baked turnips:

  • 6 egg whites
  • 3 cups salt
  • dried greens from red cedar branch
  • 2 med. Hakueri turnips, washed and dried

1) Heat oven to 160°C (320°F).

2) Whip egg whites to medium peaks; add salt and cedar greens; mix to combine.

3) On half sheet tray lined with parchment paper, make 2 small piles of salt/egg mixture; nestle turnips atop each pile; completely cover each turnip with remaining mixture; bake 25 to 35 minutes, until the turnips are tender; remove turnips from crust; peel skin; cut into small dice; fold into rice grits at proportion of about 2:1 grits to turnips.

Assembly:

  • 5 briny East Coast oysters
  • dried red cedar branch
  • ice lettuce
  • minutin
  • 5 wedges rangpur lime or yuzu

1) Heat a grill.

2) Lightly warm and smoke the oysters on the grill with dried cedar branch.

3) Heat grits in small saucepot; adjust with salt and butter as needed; warm rice milk; adjust consistency with butter and salt.

4) Place the grits onto the bottom of each plate; place oyster atop of the grits; spoon sauce over top; arrange ice lettuce, minutina, and ramp capers over the oyster; serve with a wedge of citrus.