Meunière-Style Abalone with Seaweed Persillade

David Kinch, Manresa, Los Gatos, California - October 2010

For 4 servings (requires advance preparation)

Seaweed persillade

  • 6 Tbsps. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 sm. onion, cut into small dice
  • 1 sm. clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup laitue de mer seaweed, soaked in cold water, rinsed clean, and finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. capers, finely chopped
  • sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp. Champagne vinegar
  • 1 lemon, zested

Heat 2 Tbsps. oil in a skillet set over low heat; add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent; add garlic; cook, stirring, until softened; remove from heat; place onion and garlic in a bowl; cool; stir in seaweed and capers; season (if needed); add remaining 4 Tbsps. oil, vinegar, and zest; stir well to create loose paste; cover with plastic wrap; reserve.

Dashi:

• 4  4- to 5-oz. abalones in shell
* 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes
* 1/4 cup dried porcini
* sea salt
* leg meat from two chickens, boned, skinned, and cut into sm. pieces
* 2 tsps. rausu-kombu
* 2 tsps. dried bonito flakes
* soy sauce

  1. Shuck abalones from shells with large tablespoon by going behind abalone and forcing out foot from bottom of shell; slice off innards; reserve innards for dashi; place abalones on a plate; cover with plastic wrap; reserve in refrigerator overnight (this relaxes abalone and prevents it from splitting when pounded).

  2. Place all abalone innards and trimmings in pressure cooker; cook on high 15 minutes; release pressure; cool; strain abalone water through fine chinois; discard innards and trimmings.

  3. Divide liquid equally between 2 bowls; place tomatoes in 1 bowl; place dried porcini in other; cover each bowl tightly with plastic wrap; reserve in refrigerator overnight.

  4. Season chicken; let stand 1 hour; place chicken and rausu-kombu in a saucepan; add porcini and tomatoes with their liquids; set over medium heat; heat until an instant-read thermometer registers 158°F; cook, maintaining temperature below 158°F, until chicken cooks through; remove from heat; strain through fine chinois into clean saucepan; discard solids.

  5. Set saucepan over medium heat; heat liquid until an instant-read thermometer registers 176°F; add bonito flakes; remove from heat; cover with plastic wrap; let stand 10 minutes; strain through fine chinois into clean saucepan; season with soy sauce; reserve (keep warm).

Assembly:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 Tbsps. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • sea salt
  1. Place kitchen towel on butcher's block or sturdy table; make cross cut about 1/4" apart and 1/4" deep on bottom of foot of each abalone; place foot side down on edge of towel; fold other edge over abalone to completely cover; pound firmly with meat pounder 2 to 3 times to flatten; cover with plastic wrap; repeat with remaining abalones; reserve.

  2. To serve, place flour in shallow bowl; dredge abalones in flour, shaking off excess; heat butter in sauté pan set over medium-high heat until foaming; add abalones foot side up; cook, shaking pan constantly, allowing butter to turn brown and smell nutty; cook 2 minutes; flip abalones; cook 1 minute, until butter and abalones are brown; add juice; shake pan to coat abalones; season; remove from heat; place abalones in each shallow serving bowl; spread spoonful of seaweed persillade to cover entire surface; pour 1/4 cup dashi into each bowl to come up sides without submerging abalones.

What to drink: Meyer-Fonné Sylvaner "F" Alsace Vielles Vignes