Cauliflower Purée Topped with Caviar and Blue Potato Chips

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    6

Appears in

Culinary Artistry

By Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page

Published 1996

  • About

For New Year’s Eve every year, we prepare dishes that our customers have never seen before. Caviar and cauliflower is a combination that has existed before—it’s just not that common. So we brought it back and made it festive with the blue chips. It makes for a visually stunning plate. Plus, the caviar and the crisp chips are a nice contrast to the puréed cauliflower.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt (for blue potatoes)
  • 2 medium blue potatoes
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 large cauliflower
  • 4 tablespoons cream
  • 1 small bunch watercress
  • 1 tablespoon shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoons caviar (golden, salmon, or sturgeon)
  • 1 tablespoon chives, finely chopped
  • 1 hard-boiled and chopped egg yolk
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Method

Blue Potato Chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a saucepan, combine 1 quart of water with 2/3 cup of white wine vinegar and 1 1/2 tablespoons salt. Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and cover.
  2. Meanwhile, slice the unpeeled blue potatoes paper thin with a mandoline. Drop the potato slices into the hot water one by one and cover. Let sit for 1/2 hour.
  3. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush the paper lightly with olive oil. Drain the potatoes in a strainer. Lay the potato slices side by side on the paper. (Keep a little space between the potatoes so that they do not touch each other—otherwise, they will stick together.)
  4. Brush a second sheet of parchment paper with olive oil and place on top of the potato slices. Bake them in the oven for 15 to 18 minutes. The potato chips will turn into a beautiful dark-blue color and be almost translucent. Remove from the heat and set aside in a dry spot.

Cauliflower Purée

Take off the outside leaves of the cauliflower, separate it into florets, and wash it. Cook the cauliflower in a pot of lightly salted boiling water. When it is absolutely soft, drain it. Place the cauliflower in a medium-size saucepot. Add 3 tablespoons of cream and, using a whisk, mash it into a purée over medium heat. Go on stirring for 4 to 5 minutes to eliminate any excess of moisture—otherwise when blended, the purée will be too runny. Transfer the mixture to a blender and purée until you obtain a very smooth texture. Season to taste. Transfer the purée to a small pot and keep hot.

Watercress Sauce

  1. Wash the watercress and trim off the leaves. Discard the stems. Cook the leaves in a pot of boiling salted water just until tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Drain in a strainer. Save 1/2 cup of cooking liquid. Refresh the leaves under cold running water. In a small saucepot, heat one teaspoon olive oil.
  2. Add the chopped shallots and cook to a light golden color. Deglaze with white wine and reduce to almost dry. Add 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid and one tablespoon cream; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer for 2 minutes, then add the cooked watercress leaves. Transfer to a blender, blend the mixture for one minute, and you will obtain a light and very tasty watercress sauce. Check the seasoning.

Finishing and Presentation

Carefully divide the cauliflower purée in the center of four plates. Top the purée with the caviar. Spoon the watercress sauce all around the cauliflower. Decorate with the potato chips by sticking them around the cauliflower purée. Sprinkle with chives and chopped egg yolk.

Note: The blue potato chips definitely add a dramatic look to this delicious dish. As an option, but a less dramatic one, red potatoes can be used for chips; so can blanched asparagus tips. About blue potatoes or purple potatoes: they have a deep blue skin. The flesh is bright blue and the flavor and texture are similiar to russets. They originate and are very popular in the South American Andes.