abalone beans nasturtium vinegar

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abalone beans nasturtium vinegarThe earthenware bowl used here is always referred to in the kitchen as the “abalone bowl,” as its glaze and shape seem to work perfectly with whatever abalone dish we are making at the time. The rustic patterns of ash on glaze, the hand-wrought shape—hints of “Japanese caveman”—are trademarks of Lynn Mahon’s style (see this page). In this recipe, we serve the shaved abalone with beans from Rancho Gordo, a Napa-based purveyor of, among other things, the world’s best dried beans.

  • Yield: 4 Servings


  • 500 grams | about two 8-ounce red abalone in the shell
  • sel gris
  • 50 grams | 1.8 ounces dried kombu
  • 160 grams | ¾ cup Santa Maria pinquito beans
  • 160 grams | ¾ cup Good Mother Stallard beans
  • 160 grams | ¾ cup Rio Zape beans
  • 5 grams | 2 ¼ teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted in a dry
  • pan until fragrant
  • 20 grams | 1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 30 grams | 1 ounce peeled carrot, cut into three equal
  • pieces
  • 30 grams | 1 ounce celery stalk, cut into three equal
  • pieces
  • 30 grams | 1 ounce yellow onion, cut into three equal
  • wedges
abalone trim
  • 1 kilogram | about 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 kilogram | about 4 cups water
  • 5 grams | 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons thyme leaves
  • 5 grams | 1 ½ tablespoons epazote leaves
  • 5 grams | 1 ½ tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • kosher salt
  • Twin Sisters olive oil
How to Make It
  1. FOR THE RED ABALONE: To remove each abalone from its shell, wedge an offset spatula between the shell and flesh of the abalone and pry gently to release the foot from the shell. Cut off the intestines and the foot from each abalone and reserve them on ice in a metal container in the refrigerator. Rinse the abalone under cool running water, then place between two kitchen towels. Using a butchery mallet, lightly pound each abalone 20 times on each side. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours. Remove the abalone from the refrigerator and again pound 20 times on each side. Season them lightly with sel gris and place in a vacuum bag. Arrange the kombu in the bag and seal on high. Cook the abalone in a hot-water bath at 138°F (59°C) for 40 minutes. Remove the abalone from the bag and pat dry on paper towels. Coat one side of 2 sheets of parchment paper with nonstick cooking spray. Lay the abalone on the coated side of 1 sheet and top with the second sheet, coated side down. Freeze for 4 hours. Line a small sheet pan with fresh parchment paper and spray the parchment with nonstick cooking spray. Using an electric slicer, very thinly slice the frozen abalone and arrange the slices on the parchment. Cover the tray in plastic wrap and store on ice in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  2. FOR THE RANCHO GORDO BEAN PUREE: Place each type of bean in a separate bowl and add water to each bowl to cover the beans. Let soak for 12 hours. Divide the toasted cumin evenly among 3 small pieces of cheesecloth and tie each into a bundle with kitchen string. Place 3 saucepans over medium heat and divide the extra virgin olive oil, carrot, celery, and onion evenly among the pans. Sweat the vegetables until they have softened but not browned. Drain the beans, keeping them separate and discarding the soaking water. Add each type of bean to a saucepan, then distribute the cumin sachets, abalone trim, stock, and water evenly among the pans. Bring the contents of each pan to a simmer over medium heat and cook at 180°F (82°C) for about 2 hours, until the beans are tender (the timing will depend on the type of bean). Divide the thyme, epazote, and parsley among the pans, then season with kosher salt and remove from the heat. Let the beans cool in their cooking liquid in the refrigerator.
  3. Prepare an ice bath. Remove the cumin sachets, carrot, celery, onion, abalone trim, and herbs from the cooking liquid and discard. Drain each pan of beans, reserving the broth. Cover the broth and refrigerate for making the bean broth. Place half of all of the beans in a blender. Reserve the remaining half, keeping the types of beans separate. Mix on high speed for 3 minutes, until a smooth puree forms, then add a small amount of Twin Sisters olive oil and continue to mix to emulsify the puree. Strain the puree through a chinois placed over a bowl, then nest the bowl in the ice bath to cool the puree. Taste and adjust the seasoning with kosher salt. Transfer the puree to a squeeze bottle and refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. FOR THE RANCHO GORDO BEAN BROTH: Combine the chicken, carrot, celery, onion, and egg whites in a food processor mix for 3 minutes, until completely incorporated. Put the chilled bean broth into a rondeau and add the mixture from the food processor. Whisk together until fully incorporated, then place the pan over high heat and bring the mixture to a boil as quickly as possible, stirring for the first 5 to 6 minutes to avoid scorching. When the broth begins to boil, turn down the heat to a simmer and cook for 10 to 20 minutes, until the solids come together on the surface of the liquid, forming a raft. Lower the heat slightly and continue to simmer gently for 1 hour, until the clarification is complete. Prepare an ice bath. Ladle the broth through a very fine cloth filter into a metal bowl, then nest the bowl in the ice bath to cool the broth.
  5. FOR THE NASTURTIUM VINAIGRETTE: Prepare an ice bath. Place the lime juice, oil, and nasturtium leaves in a blender and mix on high speed for 20 seconds. Slowly add the Ultra-Tex 3 and continue to mix until thickened. Strain through a chinois into a bowl, then nest the bowl in the ice bath to cool the vinaigrette. Season with salt, then transfer the vinaigrette to a squeeze bottle and refrigerate until ready to use.

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