We enjoy viewing food television shows and have ardently kept up with the Master Chef (US Season 3) series this past season which completed the finale on September 10, 2012 with Christine Ha The Blind Cook winning with her unbridled passion for cooking.
On episode 17 which aired on Tuesday, August 21, 2012, the Elimination Challenge 8 dish was selected by contestant Josh who won the advantage from the previous Mystery Box Challenge on the same segment, Josh chose Obama’s Sashimi, one of Chef Graham Elliot’s famous dishes. This dish looked wonderful on television, and both Monique and I got excited to try out this exquisitely plated dish.
I found the “Obama’s Sashimi” recipe on the Master Chef web site, the full recipe was available at the time I searched several weeks ago, but now I find they are only offering the first ingredient and first preparation step, trying to get you to purchase their book, “Master Chef: The Ultimate Cookbook”. This is Fox’s polite marketing ploy to get you to spend more of your money for all the recipes from the show. Amazon has a better price for the print or Kindle edition.
A little research…
For those who wish to recreate the dish, I have found several variations on the Internet, some with a passion fruit sorbet, some with cilantro sprouts, and some that call the avocado preparation a puree, whip, or mousse as in the original recipe from the Fox recipe web site.
Here are a few of the search results that intrigued my interest:
RECIPES: Graham Elliot’s Chef Bowles – Escolar with Whipped Avocado, Crispy Plantain and Passion Fruit Sorbet – You will note that this recipe is listed as “Escolar”, and lists sashimi grade Escolar as its main ingredient. Upon further research there seems to be a mislabeling dilemma and controversy with many restaurants and fish purveyors as Medellitin – A food blog dedicated to modernist cuisine (molecular gastronomy), sous vide, and the food industry. Less cooking and more thinking, has explained in this post White Tuna Explained (Escolar vs. Albacore).
WATCH: Blind MasterChef-testant Perfectly Replicates A Graham Elliot Dish – The Braiser provides a review of the segment along with an embedded video of Christine presenting her recreation of Chef Graham Elliot’s dish. Gordon Ramsey to Christine, “Am I being punked?”
Christine’s plate as shown on the show:
I’ve embedded the same video here:
Ingredient: Passion Fruit
|24||Slices||Sushi grade tuna, cut 2- x 1 1/2- x 1/4-inches (1 ½ pounds)|
|24||Slices||Cucumber, cut thin into semi-circles|
|4||Sprigs||Garlic chives, bias cut into ¼-inch pieces|
|2||Each||Passion fruits, ripe (wrinkled)|
|2||Tbsp||Cocoa Nibs, organic raw|
|For the avocado mousse|
|1||Medium||Avocado peeled, pitted, and cut into chunks|
|2||Tbsp||Fresh squeezed lime juice (1 medium lime)|
|½||Tsp||Kosher Salt or sea salt|
|1||Tbsp||Extra virgin olive oil|
|For the fried plaintain chips|
|1||Medium||Plantain, peeled and cut thinly on a bias|
|To make avocado mousse|
|1.||Combine the avocado, lime juice, and 1/2 teaspoon of the kosher salt in a small food processor and blend until smooth.|
|2.||With the machine running, blend in the oil. Season to taste with more salt if needed.|
|3.||Transfer the mousse to a pastry bag fitted with a small, star tip, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold.|
|To make plaintain chips|
|1.||Heat ½ inch of oil in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat to 375 degrees F.|
|2.||Peel the plantain then cut it lengthwise in half.|
|3.||Cut one half of the plantain on a sharp bias into 24 paper-thin slices.|
|4.||Working in batches, fry the plantains until they are golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the plantain chips to paper towels to drain the excess oil. Season the hot chips with kosher salt.|
|To assemble the plates|
|1.||Place six cucumber slices on the plate into a semi-circle shape in one corner.|
|2.||Pipe a small mound of the avocado mousse overlapping half of the cucumber slices. Garnish the avocado mousse and cucumbers with the garlic chives.|
|3.||Place four of the fried plantain chips on the corner of the plate opposite the cucumber slices.|
|4.||Lay six tuna slices on the center of each plate, forming a semi-circle.|
|5.||Cut the passion fruits in half and mix up the pulp, juice, and seeds with a spoon then pour it evenly over the tuna.|
|6.||Sprinkle the tuna with the cocoa nibs and some kosher salt and serve immediately.|