ABALONE, PAN-SEARED AND SERVED WITH SQUID-INK RISOTTO

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ABALONE, PAN-SEARED AND SERVED WITH SQUID-INK RISOTTO

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Ingredients

Risotto
25 grams Butter
1 small onion chopped
80 grams Arborio Rice risotto rice
1 sachet squid ink
100 millilitres White Wine
100 millilitres Fish Stock
150 millilitres Vegetable Stock
Salt
1 teaspoon fresh lemon thyme chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
40 grams Cold Butter
Abalone
4 fresh abalone cleaned and thinly sliced
1 lime zest and juice
25 millilitres Vermouth
30 grams Butter for frying
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
Foam
200 millilitres White Wine
50 millilitres dry vermouth
2 star anise
1 small leek white of only
1 Lime
60 grams Butter cut in small blocks
Features:
  • Gluten Free
Cuisine:
  • Medium

Ingredients

  • Risotto

  • Abalone

  • Foam

Directions

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  1. Marinate the abalone with lime zest and a drop of Vermouth.
  2. Mix the remaining with the lime juice and keep aside to flash of sautéed Abalone.
  3. The risotto should only be cooked about 15 minutes before serving you start frying the abalone so as to finish both at the same time.
  4. Heat butter in a deep saucepan and sweat the onion until soft.
  5. Add risotto rice and the squid ink, stir for one minute to heat up the rice and deglaze with the white wine.
  6. Reduce until dry, then add one-third of the hot vegetable stock, season and cook on fairly high heat while stirring continuously.
  7. Add more stock as the rice cooks just about dry. This process should take about 11–13 minutes.
  8. Add the herbs and butter and stir until integrated. Adjust with stock if necessary, to make sure the risotto stays moist while binding it with the butter.

To Serve

  1. Add butter to frying pan and sear the abalone for 30 seconds only.
  2. De-glaze with Vermouth and lemon juice to finish.
  3. Salt to taste.
  4. Remove from the heat and serve immediately with the risotto.
  5. Then add foam and garnish with shoots or small leaves.
  6. Important is to not overpower the delicate flavours of Abalone.

Harald Bresselschmidt

Harald Bresselschmidt has earned worldwide recognition as the owner and chef of Aubergine Restaurant, a gastronomic highlight of Cape Town. “When I was 11 years old, I cooked an elaborate Christmas feast for my family and it was then that I knew that I would be a Chef”. Harald began his culinary studies at 14 and achieved his Diploma by just 17 years old making him the youngest chef in the region. Growing up on the family farm in the pristine Eifel region of Germany instilled in him a love for nature and an appreciation for natural produce.

His early experiences in a small hotel near Esternach on the Luxembourg border taught him the basics of classical and impressed upon him the value of making everything from scratch. The following 11 years saw Harald working in kitchens in Germany, Holland, London and Switzerland before being awarded his Masters of Gastronomy and Kitchen Management from the Heidelberg Hotel School.

When the famed Grand Roche Hotel of Paarl came to Germany scouting for a new head chef, Harald jumped at the chance of a new adventure. He arrived in South Africa in 1992 on a 2-year contract, fell in love with the country and met his wife to be. Thereafter Harald spent a year cooking in France followed by a brief stint at Rhebokskloof Wine Farm while looking for premises to house his own restaurant.

In the historic Gardens area he found a charming old building. Once the home of the first Chief Justice of the Cape, the building has a rich epicurean legacy. Harald felt a resonance between the classic ambience and his personal style and opened Aubergine Restaurant in 1996. The name Aubergine stems from a love of the vegetable. He is inspired by the contrast between the dark skin and light flesh and has incorporated aubergines into a number of his signature dishes.

Initially many of the ingredients we take for granted today, were not available in South Africa. As new items such as Kalahari truffles, Asian vegetables and farmed abalone became available Harald introduced them into his dishes. His cuisine is constantly evolving, but a classic base underlies all the innovations and he places great importance on keeping foods in as natural a form as possible. He strives to maintain the texture and flavour of ingredients and enhance them through marination. In order to preserve the integrity of meat and fish he receives whole carcasses and whole fish. He has built up a network of trusted smaller suppliers thereby ensuring the origin and quality of his produce.

Harald places great emphasis on food and wine pairing to complete a full gastronomic experience. Over time he has developed relationships with many of the Cape winemakers and boasts an extensive winelist. A growing range of Aubergine label wines has revolutionised the concept of “house wines” as he has enlisted top winemakers, specialized in their respective cultivars, to create unique wines tailored to complement his food.

In 2009 Harald found another former Cape home close by where he could custom-build a wine cellar in which to store his impressive collection in optimum conditions. He meticulously renovated the building and transformed the main area of the house to include elegant receptions areas and a 40-seater dining room. Auslese, his function venue, was born. Delving deeper into wine and food pairing, Auslese caters for bespoke winemaker’s dinners, corporate functions and special eventcs of all kinds.

Harald has cooked all over the world as a guest Chef, from Sydney to Singapore to Sylt to Montreal. Many awards have been bestowed on the Aubergine Restaurant and he has garnered a loyal following both locally and abroad.

Awards

  • * San Pellegrino Top 100 in 2009
  • * Winner of Diners Club Wine List Awards annually since 1997
  • * Winner of Diners Club Wine List Awards ‘Best Wine list in SA’ 2016
  • * Rossouw’s Restaurant Guide top category award
  • * Platinum Award from the SA Tourism Council
  • * American Express Platinum Fine Dining Programme Member

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