Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Changing one´s tuna

Muxama with mandarin orange toasted almonds rocket and grated butarga
Things may come and things may go but the culinarian has to work hard to hold the attention of a captive audience.How we dress our plates is just as important as how we dress ourselves."Can you judge a man by the pattern on his tie?" and all that malarky.Us cooks as culinary artists are responsible for skilfully preparing meals that are as pleasing to the palate as to the eye.We are required to have a knowledge of the science of food and an understanding of diet and nutrition.As one responsible for preparing dishes for paying guests I constantly must keep abreast of what is happening in the world of fashionable food.Customers can like a certain ingredient and return for their next visit when it is up to me to wow them with a new interpretation.With the exception of Casa Rosada signature dishes, (even these get tweeked every once in a while) how I present a dish from one season to the next requires important consideration.Muxama is a perfect example.Over the last three years I have presented the dish in more than three guises.My latest twist combines it with another type of dry cured tuna Butarga.Butarga has a unique and strong flavour and therefore needs to be used sparingly,so using the muxama as the main part I supported it with the sweetness of mandarin orange and toasted almonds finishing the dish with a dusting of grated butarga.i think this could be a strong contender for an untraditional Christmas first course.It has certainly earned its place on the Casa Rosada tasting menu.

Muxama with mandarin orange toasted almonds rocket and grated Butarga
serves 4 as a starter
Finely sliced Muxama (allow four slices per portion)
4 mandarin oranges
toasted almonds
handful of rocket leaves
block of dry cured butarga for grating

Take each mandarin orange,peel and position on a serving plate.With a sharp knife cut an incision between every two segments being careful not to cut all the way through the orange.From your block of muxama cut wafer thin slices.Wedge these slices into the incisions, scatter some rocket leaves and toasted almonds around the plate and grate some Butarga over the top.Serve.

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