Baby Marron ''Natalie''

Ingredients

Marrons:

6 baby marrons (80g each)
2L water
Handful of fennel leaves
2 slices of lemon
34 g salt
1kg ice

Tomatoes:

4 medium tomatoes
6 basil leaves
2 sprigs of parsley
1/2 clove of garlic
3 Tbs fresh olive oil
Salt & pepper

Sauce:

100 ml light fish stock
A pinch of saffron
20 ml cream
10 g fresh butter

Garnish:

4 firm white mushrooms
40 g fresh black Manjimup truffles
60 g whipped cream
1 small shallot
4 crisp sugar peas
Salt and pepper

Method

For the marrons:

Boil the water with the salt, the fennel and the lemon for 5 mins with a lid on to infuse.

Add the marrons, and cook for 5 mins. Scoop them out of the water and plunge them in a bowl of ice cold water. Let them cool down for 10 minutes before shelling (to let the juices and flavors set).

Cut them in two, length ways, rinse and remove the cord, and put in a clean bowl. Keep a ladle of the cooking liquid to reheat the marrons before serving.

For the tomatoes:

Blanch, peel and quarter the tomatoes, remove the seeds and put the pieces on a small baking tray brushed with olive oil.

Blend basil, parsley, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper and brush this paste on the tomatoes. Put the tray in a fan forced oven for 1 hour at 160°C.

For the sauce:

Put the fish stock, the cream and the saffron in a small sauce pan and reduce by half. Transfer this liquid into a blender and whiz until frothy.

Add the butter and blend again. The sauce will be yellow, frothy and shiny. Leave it in the blender as you will have to whiz it again jut as you serve it.

For the garnish:

Chop the shallot as thin as possible, whip the cream, add the shallot, salt and pepper, keep it cold.

Wipe the mushrooms and with a sharp knife cut the white part of the mushroom in thin slices, turn the slices on the side and cut again to make thin strips (julienne).

Brush and wash the truffle and carefully peel it (make the peels as thin as possible remember it cost you around $2 per gram). Do not throw the peels away, crush them in a mortar and blend with fresh olive oil it is wonderful as a dressing on just about anything.

Julienne the truffle and the sugar peas.

Serving:

Put 3 tomato quarters on each plate in a clover leaf pattern.

Heat up the cooking liquid and pour it over the marrons.

Whiz the sauce and place a spoonful between the tomatoes. Position half marron on each tomato.

Put a spoon of the whipped cream above each marron.

Arrange the julienne of mushrooms, truffle and peas with harmony but keep it loose and free don't try to make it symmetric.

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