We’re going to make a delicious kale amuse or bite. It’s a kale meringue with confit shallot, kale flan, a bacon cream and crispy bacon.
The kale coulis or puree
kale (800 grams cleaned leaves)
This will be the base for the meringue and the flan. Start by picking the leaves from one big kale. Then cut along the vein to remove it. In total you’ll need around 800 grams of cleaned leaves. Once that’s done bring a big pot of water to a boil and season it with a generous amount of salt. Then blanch all the kale for around 2 to 3 minutes. This might seem short, but like I said this is a base and otherwise the coulis will turn brown. Now cool the kale down in ice water. I only have one big pot, so I just added a big amount of ice cubes to cool it down. Works great as well. Then transfer the blanched kale on a colander and let it drain for at least 15 minutes. You don’t want any blanching water. Meanwhile cut the shallots in half and clean them. Now chop them. Then add a drizzle of oil to a hot pan and glaze the shallots on a low heat. Add some salt for seasoning and to help softening the shallots. Once softened add the vegetable broth and turn off the heat. Then transfer the kale into a blender and also add the shallots & broth. Blend this till completely smooth. This can take a couple of minutes. After that pass it through a fine sieve. Using a ladle will make this a lot easier. Now this is the base coulis. It’s already delicious like this.
The kale meringue
egg white powder (albumina)
Pour the coulis into a measuring jar together with the dark ponzu, the egg white powder and the icing sugar. Now blend this till smooth. Make sure there are no more lumps because those will not dissolve later on. Then pour the mixture into a mixing bowl and start beating it till stiff peaks have formed. This really takes some time, so don’t be surprised if it needs to mix 5 to 10 minutes. Once it’s a stiff meringue transfer it into a piping bag that’s fitted with a small round nozzle. Then pipe small equal meringues on a silicon sheet. Now sprinkle some flaky salt on top and let the meringue dry at 70 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes. After that turn down the temperature to 50 degrees Celsius and let them dry for at least 5 hours. Then you only need to shave a little bit of the top off to make them stand level. Keep them dry and covered for later.
The kale flan
Mix the kale coulis with the egg yolk, the salt and the olive oil. Now mix this till it’s one even mixture. Then fill your desired mold all the way. I use the kale mold from Mold Brothers. Now cover the top of the mold with some foil and steam it at 85 degrees Celsius for 16 minutes. After that let it cool down for 5 minutes and then freeze the flan till solid. Once it’s frozen gently remove it from the mold and let it defrost on a tray that’s lined with some foil. Then cut it with a cutter that’s the same size as the meringue and keep them in your fridge for later.
The bacon & shallot tartare
Take the bacon and cut it in thick slices. Cut those slices in small cubes. Then add a drizzle of oil to a hot frying pan and pan fry the bacon on a medium heat till it’s golden crispy. Mix it every now and then to get an even color. Once it’s golden let the fat drain on a fine sieve. When it’s properly drained keep it dry and covered at room temperature for later. Then for the confit shallot. Take the shallots and cut them in half. Now clean them and then cut them in thin slices. Cut those slices in very thin cubes. Then pour the bacon fat into the frying pan together with the chopped shallots. Now confit the shallots on the lowest heat. It might take some time, but you’ll end up with a very delicious end result. Then let the shallots drain on a fine sieve. After, keep it in your fridge for later.
Mix the confit shallot with the crispy bacon and season it with lemon zest and salt. Then place a teaspoon of the tartare into the round cutter and press it down with a small stamp. You can prep this on the day, but don’t do this to soon otherwise the bacon will become soggy. Then lay the kale flan on top.
The bacon emulsion
bacon & shallot fat
First mix the bacon & shallot fat together with the egg white, the sushi vinegar, the ice cubes, the salt, 5 turns of black pepper and the sunflower oil. Now blend this till it’s a smooth emulsion. Let it set in your fridge for at least 30 minutes to let it firm up at bit.
The crispy kale
Lay a piece of kitchen paper between two sieves to protect yourself from any hot oil drops. Deep fry the kale in some frying oil that 170 degrees Celsius and directly place the sieve on top to protect yourself. When it stops bubbling take the kale out of the oil and lay it on some kitchen paper. Season with salt and keep it dry and covered for later.
How to finish the amuse
Lay the meringue on a plate and place the shallot & bacon tartare on top. Then pipe a dot of the bacon emulsion on top and finish it off with the crispy fried kale.