Monday, August 29, 2011

BLT: Bacon, Lettuce & Tomato Caviar

This my whimsical and playful rendition of a classic dish.  Seve this as a perfect starter to any meal and tantalize your dinner guest's imagination.

Here are the components of the dish...
  • Bacon - oven-roasted thick cut bacon.
  • Lettuce - crisp roamine lettuce complimented by a rich Maytag blue cheese dressing
  • Tomato - Cold oil spherified tomato caviar
Cold oil spherification is a technique perfected by Ferran and Albert Adria in Spain.  Basically, it is a controlled jellification.  Using agar agar and cold oil to contain the original liquid in a thin membrane.  For some more info on cold oil spherification check out my other post Bison Tartare with Shiraz Caviar.

For the Tomato Caviar:
  • 2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup tomato juice - strained
  • 1 tsp garlic puree
  • 2 drops Meyer lemon juice
  • 1 tsp agar agar
  1. In a glass container, I like to use a vase, add the canola oil. Place in the freezer for 20 minutes. Oil must be ice cold.
  2. In small saucepan, bring the tomato juice, garlic puree, lemon juice and agar to the boil. Boil for 3 minutes, until agar is dissolved. Remove from the heat.
  3. Prepare a container holding clean cold water. Prepare a plate lined with paper towel.
  4. Remove the oil from freezer.
  5. Using a syringe or dropper, carefully drip the tomato mixture into the cold oil.
  6. Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the tomato caviar from the oil. Drop into the clean water to rinse off. Then onto the paper towel to dry.
For the Maytag Blue Cheese Dressing
  • 4 oz Maytag blue cheese
  • 1/4 cup creme fraiche
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 1 tbs champagne vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ground black pepper
  1. In a food processor, add all ingredients except the black pepper.
  2. Process until smooth.
  3. Season with black pepper.
  4. Process again.
  5. Taste for salt level, add some if needed. I normally do not.
That's it for now...till we exchange a few words again...Peace!


  1. Loving the cold oil spherification; something very new to me. Thank you for introducing that to me in your other post Laz (forgot to mention earlier). This looks very refreshing. Beautiful presentation as always.

  2. Beautiful! And sounds like a lot of fun to prepare.

  3. I've seen cold oil spherification and really like it. You seriously make simple ingredients to fancy stuff!

  4. This is absolutely incredible! I've seen the tomato caviar made.....but only on TV shows like Iron Chef! I am amazed! BRAVO! I am definitely hitting the Stumble Upon button!!!

  5. Cold oil spherification is such a fantastic technique...beautiful appetizer and love, love this dressing! Another amazing creation!
    Wishing you a great week

  6. Why hello technique central!! Well done :) This looks amazing!

  7. This technique is so beyond the realm of my simple cooking and baking....You my friend are a true out Bobby Flay..I'll even say you are way more refined in your style of cooking than my heartthrob..Ooops, did I type that...I mean Mr. Flay..(cough)!

  8. Beautiful!!! I love the classic BLT turning into a fancy BLT. Really creative and now BLT can be a part of a course meal. ;-) I wish I can have a bite of this beautiful & delicious looking appetizer!

  9. Being all about history, I am new to this world of spherification... I had no idea one could just do it without a fancy machine of some sort. The result is really beautiful. You know, hundreds of years ago it was all the rage to make something look like something else... Heston borrowed the meat orange from that tradition. I personally love the humor and surprise of it... and of course the taste!

    Fun dish Laz!

  10. I watch a TV channel from Spain and I saw this done with yellow gazpacho. I have been meaning to try this technique. So glad you tried it and suceeded.

  11. Wow. I have to give this a try - looks fun to make and stunning on the eye (nothing ever less coming from you, Chef!)
    Need some new appetizers for French friends so this will need some practise. Merci !

  12. This is stunning, Laz...thanks for sharing the method with us, I would love to try my hand at making caviar. I love how you served this on a crisp piece of lettuce...with all the different flavors and textures, it doesn't need any bread to weigh it down!

  13. Your creations never cease to amaze me. You are such an inspiration!

  14. I'm seriously tempted to buy agar agar to test this out. It looks amazing! And, perfect for late summer.

  15. Like I've always said, u never fail to surprise me, Laz! Cold oil spherification is something new to me & I'd love to experiment some day.

    One question: how many droplets of tomato mixture to drip into the cold oil? Thks!

  16. This is the most unique AND beautiful dish I've seen in eons!! Truly remarkable!!!

  17. I can't believe that's all there is to make these adorable little tomato droplets. I've been reading books on Spherification for well over a year and have thought of purchasing the kit or taking a class. However, there are no classes in Missouri that I've found. This is such a fun concept. There was a great bio on TV about an up and coming restaurant chef, his name escapes me, but he shared some very cool demos of spherification - something I'd love to learn. I really like your adpatation of tomato caviar. I'm going to try this. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

  18. Am an "old stove" kind a guy: keep it simple; ie "why would anyone de-construct anything that works? There's a reason they are called "classic"..., but the "caviar" are cool and usable!
    Good job!


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