Seafood and root veg purées

Just playing around with some seafood and root veg.

Scallops, cauliflower purée, Sherry-butter foam

Scallops: pan fried Tasmanian.
Purée: Cauliflower florets poached in milk and cream, then puréed and seasoned (white pepper, sea salt).
Sherry-butter foam: PX and Manzanilla Sherries, chicken stock, butter, a little thyme and lecithin.

It’s hard to beat the classics: scallops and cauliflower. When it comes to haute cuisine prep for cauliflower, a milk-cream purée has got to be amongst the best, if not the best. The foam adds some contrast in flavour, and works surprisingly well (though I have always been a fan of the scallop-Sherry fusion, and I think chicken is the best meat for scallop too).

Sea perch, parsnip purée, leek, parsley-lemon-butter sauce

Sea perch: pan fried Tasmanian. There are so many “sea perch” species on the Australian eastern seaboard that the term is a bit meaningless (like so many other common fish names), but essentially all the commercial species (of the genus Lutjanus) are delicate flavoured firm and flaky, white fleshed saltwater (estuarine) fish with low oil content.
Purée: as above, with parsnip in place of cauliflower.
Leek: blanched.
Sauce: sweated shallot, deglazed with Chardonnay and reduced; butter, parsley and lemon juice.

A combination on a hunch and whim, but it works very well (better than the scallop dish). The sweetness of the parnsip works well with the sauce, the leek flavours blend seamlessly, the lemon gives a little acidity to contrast the purée’s creaminess and sweetness, and all these flavours work with the sea perch. I will have to return to these flavour combos.

A Claude Cazals Champagne Cuvée Vive Grand Cru NV had a very fine bead, gentle aromas of flowers (heather) and chalk, and a lovely, well balanced, silky-textured palate with good progression. It did not clash with the above dishes, but niether the dishes nor the wine raised the sensations of each other. Then again, this Champagne was not so friendly with oysters either, so perhaps something altogether different would be best with it.

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