by Karlos Ponte
on June 28, 2016

Karlos Ponte does Cassava 3 ways: Yare and Langoustines

Yare (also called "tucupi" in Brazil) is an umami-rich flavor enhancer that is a byproduct made from the processing of the bitter Amazonian cassava root. In its raw state, cassava contains a high concentration of poisonous cyanide compounds, however, it can be detoxified and turned into a tasty sauce after several hours of boiling. At Restaurant Taller in Copenhagen, Venezuelan Chef Karlos Ponte infuses the flavors of the Amazonas with the Nordic approach in this recipe for Yare and Langoustines.

Aroma Analysis: Yare

A Foodpairing® analysis of yare reveals a wonderfully complex spectrum of floral, spicy, fruity, vegetal and cheesy aromatic notes for this sour sauce, which explains why it pairs so well as a flavor enhancer for many other ingredients. The yare, langoustines, fava beans and yellow bell pepper all share vegetal, potato-like scents in common, in addition to some roasted popcorn-like notes with the quinoa. The yellow bell pepper also provides further floral and citrus links to this tasty sauce.

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Yare and Langoustines

Yare gel

preparation

Combine all of the ingredients together in a large sauce pan and bring to a boil. Pour the hot liquid into a metal tray (1 to 2 millimeters thick) and allow to cool and set.

Using a cookie cutter, cut small 10 centimeter rounds and transfer to wax paper. Set aside until ready to serve.

Grilled Yellow Bell Pepper cream

preparation

  • 8 yellow bell peppers
  • olive oil, for brushing

Brush the bell peppers with olive oil. Grill the peppers on a very hot grill until they char on all sides. Once charred, transfer them immediately to a container with a lid and sweat them for 5 minutes. Next, peel the charred skin off of the bell peppers and discard, then slit them open and remove the seeds.

Blend the grilled bell pepper flesh using a Thermomix or other blender until it reaches a thick, even consistency. Strain the pulp through a fine sieve to achieve a smooth purée-like texture. Then transfer to a squeeze bottle.

Fava Beans

preparation

  • 10 fava beans
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • a pinch of salt

Vacuum seal the fava bean pods with one teaspoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Next, steam vacuum the bags at 100ºC/212ºF (at 100% humidity) for about 5 to 10 minutes, depending upon their size.

Stop the coaction by placing the vacuum bag in an ice cold water bath. Open the pods and remove the fava beans.

Puffed Quinoa

preparation

  • 50 g white quinoa
  • 1 L vegetable oil
  • fine salt, to taste

Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh sieve to remove excess starch. Cook the quinoa in a pot of boiling water for 22 minutes. Strain and transfer to a dehydrator set to 60ºC/284ºF. Leave overnight.

Next, heat oil for deep-frying to 190ºC/374ºF. Fry the quinoa in small batches for just a few seconds until it puffs. Use a fine mesh skimmer to remove the puffed quinoa from the oil and transfer to paper towels. Season with fine salt, to taste.

Langoustines

preparation

  • 5 langoustines

Carefully remove the langoustine tail meat from the shells, reserving the head and shells for sauce (recipe follows below). Transfer the langoustines to your freezer.

Remove the langoustine tail meat from freezer and cut them into 3 millimeter slices. Transfer the sliced langoustines to squares of parchment paper, arranging the slices of each langoustine tail into a circular shape of no more than 9 centimeters in diameter. Reserve in refrigerator.

Langoustine sauce

  • 5 langoustines, heads and shells only
  • 100 g red bell pepper
  • 100 g leek
  • 100 g shallots
  • 50 g tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 30 g white wine
  • 30 g red wine
  • 3 L water
  • xantana (xanthan gum)

Using a wok over high heat, brown the vegetables separately and set aside. Repeat with the langoustine heads and shells. Then, transfer everything to a stock pot and add both wines and the water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.

Next, sieve the stock into another pot and continue simmering until the liquid has reduced to a quarter of the original volume. Season with salt and sugar.

Once done, thicken the sauce using about 4 grams of xantana per each liter of remaining stock.

Fresh Herbs powder

preparation

  • 200 g fresh parsley leaves
  • 200 g fresh coriander leaves
  • 30 g fresh tarragon
  • 100 g lime peel
  • liquid nitrogen

Use liquid nitrogen to freeze all of the ingredients, then transfer them to a Thermomix and blend them into a fine powder. Pass the powder mixture through a frozen sieve and into a container. Store in the freezer until ready to use.

Yare and Langoustine (plating)

preparation

  • fava beans
  • grilled yellow bell pepper cream (optional: piping bag)
  • langoustines
  • puffed quinoa
  • langoustine sauce
  • yare gel
  • fresh herbs powder
  • Maldon salt, to taste

In the middle of each plate, place a 9-centimeter plating ring. Start by putting down a first (single layer of fava beans and season with Maldon salt, to taste.

Next, squeeze 8 dots of the grilled yellow bell pepper cream between the fava beans, followed by 6 dots of the langoustine sauce. Cover by arranging the sliced meat of one langoustine tail and season with more Maldon salt, to taste.

Sprinkle the puffed quinoa over the langoustine meat and then remove the plating ring without disturbing the stacked layers. Now carefully place a circle of the yare gel on top of the stacked langoustine and puffed quinoa layer.

To serve, garnish the yare gel surface with a generous spoonful of the frozen fresh herbs powder.

Meet Karlos Ponte and his other cassava creations

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