By Dan Olson, Chef/Owner, Railtown Café and Catering
A light spring dish layered with sweet pea puree, shellfish gelée, chowder garnish and potato cream, topped with caviar and a crisp rye crouton. Made with Littleneck clams, Dungeness crab, Side Stripe shrimp, Salt Spring Island mussels, and Northern Divine caviar.
Serves 8 appetizer portions
Spring Pea Purée
Freshly-shucked English peas (2 cups)
1 spring onion (white only), julienned
1 clove garlic
1 sprig tarragon
heavy cream (1/2 cup)
butter (1 tsp)
salt and pepper
1 fresh Dungeness crab
Live littleneck clams (3oz)
Live mussels (3oz)
Side striped shrimp, peeled and cleaned (3oz)
Chopped garlic (2 cloves)
White wine (1/4 cup)
Butter (1 tsp)
Cracked black pepper
1 celery stalk
Double-shucked peas (2 tbsp)
1/4 fennel and fennel frond
2 sheets gelatin (bloomed in ice water)
1 small Yukon gold potato, peeled, diced and boiled until soft
1 spring onion julienne
Butter (1 tbsp)
Heavy cream (1/2 cup)
Whipped cream (1 tbsp)
Lemon juice to taste
1 tin Northern Divine Caviar
Chive tips for garnish
Spring Pea Purée
- In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, sauté the onions and garlic lightly in butter until soft.
- Add the peas and chopped tarragon, fill with 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook until peas are soft but still green.
- Add cream, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and add lemon to taste.
- Using a hand-blender, mix until smooth. Divide the thick, bright green purée into 8 glass verrines (small thick-glass containers) and chill in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours, or overnight.
- Cook the crab in simmering water for 10 minutes and ice down to chill.
- Poach the shrimp in court-bouillon until tender (about 90 seconds).
- Simmer the clams and mussels in butter, white wine, shallots and garlic until the shells open up.
- Chill down and reserve the cooking juices.
- Separate the meat from the shells.
- Clean the crab meat out of the shell and make a stock with the crab carcass.
- Strain the stock and mix with the clam and mussel broth, heat and add the bloomed gelatin sheets to 400ml of stock. Strain and chill.
- Brunoise the carrot, celery and fennel. Blanch in salted water till soft.
- Add the parsley chiffonade and chive tips, mix together with the shellfish meat, the brunoise vegetables, the double-shucked peas and the warm gelée.
- Divide the gelée over top of the pea purée inside your the glass verrines. Refrigerate.
- In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, sweat off the spring onion in butter until soft.
- Add cooked potato and cream, reduce by half.
- Purée quickly in the blender until smooth.
- Allow to cool and fold in 1 Tbsp whipped cream.
- Add salt and lemon juice to taste.
Take the verrines out of the fridge, top with a thin layer of the potato vichyssoise, a spoon of caviar and garnish with a chive tip. You should see 3 perfect layers of spring pea purée, shellfish gelée and potato vichyssoise.
Serve immediately and enjoy!