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Two weeks ago I was in Geneva, Switzerland for a business trip. In addition to the usual excess of Cheese Fondue I also had some really wonderful foamed dishes at a friend's house and in a nice restaurant.
So I decided to try this myself. I read up on the theory of culinary foams in On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen, bought a food and cream whipper and tried to use theory and device to create a recipe of Espuma of Chanterelles with Filet Mignon and Asparagus.
Surprisingly enough, the experiment worked out really well and resulted in a wonderfully light and very flavorful chanterelle sauce.
For this recipe you will need a cream whipper that can be used for hot sauces. I bought a iSi Stainless Steel Gourmet Non-Aerosol Whipper 1603-01 , Pint which seems to work really well.
Here the recipe for the chanterelle foam:
- 7 oz / 200g chanterelles
- 2 tbsp shallots, chopped
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/8 tsp saffron strands
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- pinch of dried tarragon
- ¼ tsp salt (or to taste)
- ½ cup / 120ml dry white wine
- ½ cup / 120ml chicken stock
- ¼ cup and 2 tbsp / 90ml water
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1 egg yolk
- 4 oz / 120g unsalted butter, melted
- 4 steaks - filet mignon
- green asparagus
- Clean the chanterelles, cut into large pieces of equal size
- In a heavy pan heat up olive oil over medium heat, add whole garlic clove and cook until golden brown.
- Reduce heat, add shallots, cook until softened, do not brown.
- Add chanterelles, cook until soft. Add spices, white wine, chicken stock and water. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Puree with a stick blender, strain.
- Temper the egg yolk by whisking in small amounts of chanterelle puree, then whisk egg yolk into the puree.
- Use the stick blender to slowly blend in the melted butter. The sauce should be a smooth emulsion.
- Fill into cream whipper, charge (per instructions, I used two chargers). Keep warm in a water bath while you cook the steaks and the asparagus.
- Heat oil in heavy pan. Cook the steaks to the desired degree of doneness (6 minutes per side for medium-rare and the typical steak thickness here). Let rest for a few minutes before serving. Season with salt and pepper.
- Spray a thick layer of sauce on warm plates. Add the meat and the asparagus. Serve immediately.
- The foam also tastes really good cold. Instead of keeping it warm, place the cream whipper in the fridge for a few hours. The cold foam will be lighter and more stable.
Yields 4 servings
Preparation time ca. 60-90 minutes
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