Yes, apple is present everywhere in this dish!
I always try to take the theme of these challenges to some place different … some place unexpected. I knew immediately it would be featured in a savory dish: (1) for the obvious reason that I’m not a dessert-maker and (2) I love the yin and yang of sweet and savory.
You might think at first glance that this is complicated or fancy, but it’s really very simple.
Apple (either peeled, unpeeled, raw, cooked and/or liquefied) is in each part of this dish.
I was planning to use Fuji Apple. It seemed like the right choice for the Asian flavor profile. But, in the end, I chose to go with the Granny Smith variety. It’s crisper, slightly tart and its bright color plays better with (against?) the other ingredients in the dish.
I may not be a perfect cook, but this is a perfectly balanced dish.
A little sweet, a little heat,
some acid and a dash of saltiness play with your palate.
The aromatics of ginger, sesame oil and cilantro tickle the nose.
Nutty and chewy rice as well as
raw and cooked components provide the textural counterpoints.
Apple Salmon Tartar
• Finely chop partially frozen wild organic Scottish salmon; refrigerate.
• Juice fresh lime, add a splash of fish sauce, soy sauce, mirin and rice vinegar; set aside.
• Finely mince apple and mix with a little jalapeno, chives, grated ginger and cilantro; toss with prepared lime juice.
• Add salmon to the mix; season with a little sea salt and a dash of sesame oil.
• Serve immediately.
Forbidden Black Rice with Apple
Black rice is available in some supermarkets, specialty stores and/or online.
• Finely chop apple, green pepper, scallion, and garlic.
• Saute a few minutes to slightly soften.
• Remove from heat and add a splash of rice vinegar, a dash of mirin, a little soy sauce, a drizzle of sesame oil; set aside.
• Cook black rice with standard 2-1 method; set aside to cool and dry completely.
• When cooled down, toss with reserved apple mix.
The raw apple in the tartar was much more evident than the cooked apple in the rice, but the gastrique brought it all together. It was made by pureeing a few slices of skinless apple with apple cider vinegar, anise seed, brown sugar and a little oil.
Use a metal mold to assemble first the rice, then the salmon.
Finishing Touch: Drizzle gastrique, add sriracha dot for a little extra heat (and color).
It paired well with a Spanish blend of Albariño and Chardonnay … not too acidic, not too heavy … again, a perfect balance.
I love doing these monthly challenges. In fact, I’d happily do them twice a month! Thanks, once again, to Natasha and Lazaro for coming up with fun themes and all the work that goes into the behind-the-scenes organization. A round-up of everyone’s dishes will be published Friday. Can’t wait!