Hors d'oeurve Soupe Poisson Viande Entre Salade Dessert Fromage

Jumbo Shrimp With Apple-Mint Quinoa, Lemon Gelee And Roasted Tomato

Serves 4

4 jumbo shrimp
69 mL olive oil
15 g cumin
7 g powdered ginger
3 g chili powder
15 g garlic puree
generous pinch salt
2 roasted plum tomatoes, 2 cm slices
1 yellow zucchini, sliced 3 mm thick lengthwise on mandoline

240 mL canola oil
10 g Dijon mustard
60 g shallot, ciseler
20 g apple-mint, chiffonade
30 g dill, chopped
10 mL orange flower water
4 g lightly toasted sesame seeds
120 mL rice wine vinegar
10 mL B.R. Cohn champagne vinegar
salt and pepper

177 mL pineapple juice
1 packet Knox gelatin
30 mL fresh-squeezed orange juice
pinch orange zest
2.5 mL white wine vinegar (mild acidity 7.5%)
2 point (˜1 pinch) ancho chili powder
2.5 mL Mirin or soy sauce
75 mL lemon juice

140 g quinoa
90 g small white onion, ciseler
33 g celery rib, tender yellow, peeled and ciseler
30 mL olive oil
20 g butter
700 mL water

pink peppercorns
carrot, spiral-sliced and flash fried in olive oil
apple-mint, finely chopped

Chinese, Japanese, Latin Americans, Filipinos, Italians and East Indians -- all of these ethnic groups have influenced Californian cuisine. Here, I've combined Asian sesame oil with South American quinoa. While some might consider Mirin an exotic ingredient, it is commonplace in Californian markets.

Mint is also prolific in California, and there are many different varieties. The subtle citrus flavor of the apple-mint adds depth and brightness to this dish. It also brings out the acid of the tomato and the citrus in the lemon-pineapple gelee.

I chose the neutral canola oil so it wouldn't mask the trace of sesame oil. Considered the first seasoning, sesame seeds date back to 3000 B.C. Assyria. Today the seed is cultivated in India and throughout the Orient. Sesame was brought to America by African slaves, who called it benné seed.

  1. Rinse quinoa in a bowl, rubbing the grains and letting them settle before pouring off the water. This should be repeated until the water runs clear. Drain in a chinois.
  2. Sweat onion and celery in half of the oil and butter. Add quinoa and the remaining oil and butter and sauté until lightly toasted, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add water and salt and pepper to taste, cover with a parchment paper lid and cook over moderately low heat, until quinoa is tender and liquid is absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, line a sheetpan with parchment paper or Silpat. Slice tomatoes, brush with olive oil and generously sprinkle with salt. Bake at 300 degrees for 30 - 45 minutes.
  5. Briefly cook zucchini a l'anglaise until tender. Shock in an ice bath and set aside to dry.
  6. Peel and devein shrimp. Combine olive oil, cumin, ginger, chili, garlic and salt. Brush shrimp with wet rub and set aside for 20 minutes.
  7. For vinaigrette, ciseler shallot and secure in a small piece of tied cheesecloth, so that shallot can be easily removed once vinegar is infused. Except for the oil, combine all ingredients with shallot and set aside. Allow shallot to infuse for ˜30 minutes. Then remove shallot-cheesecloth purse. Before service, gradually add oil, whisking vigorously until emulsified. Add a generous amount of the vinaigrette to quinoa, which is fairly bland.
  8. Quadrillage shrimp for 1-2 minutes each side. Flesh should be pink and spring to the touch. Be sure not to overcook.
  9. Lastly, add all ingredients for lemon-pineapple gelee and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to low simmer, add gelatin and stir until dissolved, ˜3 min. Plate immediately.

  1. Place ring mold in center of plate, line with zucchini strip and pour a layer of lemon gelee. Allow to set in refrigerator, approximately one hour. (Alternatively, use a timbale and, after gelee has set, remove and plate. Then top with remaining ingredients using a ring mold which is the same diameter as the top of the inverted gelee.)
  2. Top gelee with a layer of quinoa, packing tightly into the mold. Add overlapping tomatoes, in a concentric pattern.
  3. Top with shrimp. Garnish with finely chopped apple-mint and drizzle lightly with vinaigrette.
  4. On plate, drizzle more vinaigrette, add pink peppercorns and spiral-sliced carrot (flashed in hot olive oil for ˜45 seconds).


wine pairing

Chandon Brut

pear, vanilla, hazelnut, and a creamy finish

Friend (n.): someone who has suffered through my culinary experiments with good humor, and still seems to show up for my dinners.

I have learned through experience that you should always recipe test before you ask your friends to be guinea pigs at your dinner table. A pleasant exception to this rule was one dish that turned out perfect the first time. That particular recipe combined quinoa with tomatoes and scallions. The dish was served cold, roughly approximating a summer salad. Not only is the texture of this grain wonderful, but quinoa is full of nutrients and has more protein than any other grain. Here, I've created an appetizer, coupling the quinoa with grilled shrimp, roasted tomato, sesame, and citrus. When combined with the apple-mint and orange flower water, the citrus intensifies and adds a wonderful tang to the dish.

A version of this lemon-pineapple gelee is served with raw salmon at Union Pacific restaurant. I imagined that lemon juice was the predominant ingredient, but later discovered that the gelee also had pineapple. In this rendition, a few points of ancho chili powder add a bit of heat, so that the sugars aren't too overwhelming.

For the grilled shrimp, I stole the wet spice rub from Neil Joiner. Should I receive any royalties from this dish, I promise them to Neil, along with my autographed Emeril Lagasse turkey baster.