Introduction: Oysters With Spicy Lemon Pearls, Reverse Spherification

For this  dish I was  going for the oyster with pearls idea.  I wanted something that would look like a  pearl and still pack a punch of flavor.  The use of the reverse spherification  technique lends itself to this dish as the centers of the  pearls  stay liquid.  The  pearl is easily broken when eating the oyster causing the  sauce to enhance the  oyster.  Sauce and oyster go together in  one bite.  These can  be  made several hours ahead and  kept in  cold water  until needed.

Step 1: Items You Will Need

gram scale
1 liter measuring cup
sodium alginate
calcium  lactate
3 mixing bowls
distilled water
parchment or wax paper

sour cream
hot sauce
lemon powder

handy but not necessary
immersion blender

Step 2: Alginate Bath

first  let's make an alginate bath.

start  by placing  1/2liter of distilled water in a  large bowl
sprinkle the alginate over the water and  let it sit  for about 2 min.
stir with the whisk
add the remaining water and  whisk again.

place  bowl in  refrigerator for at least  1 hr.
this  part can  be done the  night before with no  ill effects, in fact  it helps

alginate takes  some time to dissolve so you  will have to  whisk several times.
as an option  you can  whip it with an immersion blender to speed things up.

the  first picture shows the alginate undissolved,  the second is what  it should look like when ready.
it will be slightly viscus.

Step 3: Making the Pearl Mix

here we will need

60 ml  distilled water
5 grams calcium lactate

400 ml sour cream
20 grams lemon powder( I got this on line through "Chef Rubber")
2 grams hot sauce
10 grams horseradish juice( squeeze the horseradish  through a strainer to  get just the juice)

start by  dissolving the calcium in the water
again  wait  about 2 min  then  whisk

add the  sour cream, hot sauce, lemon powder, and  horseradish juice and  whisk well together.

Step 4: Shaping the Pearls

Now it's time to start shaping the pearls.
if you were to  just  drop them into the alginate they will not  make a good sphere.

load the  syringe with some of the  sour cream mix.
if you  do not have a syringe  you could load a zip lock bag with the mix and cut a  small corner off.

squeeze of the mix onto parchment or wax paper or a non stick mat.
I made  mine about  1/4"-3/8" in diameter.  think bigger oyster/bigger pearl.

pop the  sheet of pearls in to the freezer for approx. 30 min

Step 5: Finishing the Pearls

now the pearls need to  gel or as some  call it "cook"

remove the alginate bath from the  refrigerator.
fill a separate bowl  with  distilled water. do need to measure it out but enough water so you can rinse the pearls.

remove the pearls from the  freezer and peel them off the paper.
drop them into the  alginate bath and stir very gently so they do not stick together.

let them sit and  "cook" for 2 min.
remove them from the bath  with a  perforated spoon and  drop them into the rinse  water bowl.

let them rinse for several minutes.

the pearls will still be frozen in the center  so they will they in the  rinse water.

When  you remove them  from the rinse they  should  have a slight gel skin and  be  liquid  in the center.

Step 6: Finishing the Dish

To finish the dish.
open the oysters  and loosen them from their shell
place them on a suitable plate and place one  pearl on each.
you could even tuck the pearls  into the oyster so they are half hidden such as you  would find a real pearl.

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