For those who don’t know, an amuse-bouche is a tiny, bite-sized hors d’œuvre meant to “amuse” your taste buds. I’ve only had a few… all at nicer restaurants and all at the beginning of the meal. I thought it would be fun to come up with one on my own!
I was working on a meal with Italian cuisine, so I wanted to make sure some classic Italian flavors were in the amuse. I also wanted it to be stylish, and a bit creative. After lots of thinking, list-making, sketch-drawing and so forth, I finally decided upon my components: tomato cream, basil gelée, shaved parmigiano-reggiano, and basil leaf. Here’s a photo of the end result:
Pretty swanky, no? Haha.. actually, coming up with what I wanted to do was a lot harder than making the actual dish. I took rich, red tomatoes and blended them with heavy whipping cream and a touch of seasoning for the tomato cream, which I poured carefully into a Chinese soup spoon. I made the basil gelée with blanched fresh basil and agar-agar jelly, with a touch of dry vermouth. Once it was set, I used a melon-baller to make the little globe and gently placed it on the cream (it was cool and smooth, and the texture resembled a grape!). I simply arranged a shaving of parmigiano-reggiano cheese and the smallest basil leaf on top of the gelée and my piece was complete!
Have you ever tried making an amuse-bouche? Or do you have a favorite that you’ve tried in a restaurant?