I figured that to get an accurate take, I should go to my mom. I thought she'd give me something I could work with. A dish that I could elevate beyond what I'd had as a kid into something much better. I hoped she say Stroganoff. I never liked stroganoff as a kid, but I think I'd probably like it now. I've been wanting to try my hand at the strog for a while, but Jamie is more resistant. She also disliked stroganoff as a kid. This would be a perfect opportunity because she couldn't turn it down if it was a formal challenge. But I didn't get stroganoff back from mom. Instead, I got prunes.
I don't really remember not liking prunes. Of course, I don't really remember liking prunes either. They were sort of a non entity in my young life. However, I'm always telling my kids they have to listen to their parents, so, I accepted the challenge from mom. Prunes aren't really a dish though. They pretty much are what they are. I thought may I could buy some plums and make a better prune, but the prospects of getting a decent plum in Wisconsin in February were slim to none. So instead I thought about what I could do to incorporate prunes into another dish.
I thought about shrimp with plum sauce and hot mustard. I thought I could do something there. I came up with this idea to treat the prune as though I was making shiokombu but the prune was the kombu. I packed 100g of prunes, 25g mirin, 40g rice vinegar, 70g sake, 30g soy, and 25g sugar into a bag and let it cook sous vide for an hour at 87C. This kept the liquid from reducing, and allowed the prunes to hydrate somewhat. After cooking, I removed the prunes from the liquid, and blended, adding a combination of the cooking broth and EVOO until it reached a consistency somewhat like a marmelade. I plated with sous vide shrimp and some dollops of chinese mustard. This is Shioprune Shrimp with Chinese Mustard:
|Shioprune Shrimp with Chinese Mustard|
The sauce was really quite good, and paired well with the hot mustard. Next time, I'd probably tempura the shrimp to give it a little crunch rather than the more delicate sous vide shrimp texture.
But I wasn't done yet. I had guests coming for dinner, and one prune dish surely wouldn't suffice. I took some inspiration from Michael_Natkin's Romesco entry from the challenge a couple weeks ago. If you've never had it, do yourself a favor and whip up some romesco sauce. It is delicious. I made the romesco sauce, but included 10 prunes in the sauce. I cooked potatoes, carrots, leeks, asparagus and cod sous vide. I made a stock from the shrimp shells and cod trimmings, and reduced that with some previously made vegetable stock and carrot juice into a broth. I took a blowtorch to some scallions I'd trimmed and plated the dish: Prunesco Sauce with Cod and Vegetables.
|Prunesco Sauce with Cod, Potatoes, Carrots, Asparagus, Leeks and Green Onion|
|My upgraded torch - with holster|