Elderflower Masa, Dandelion, Macadamia

Eddie  Shepherd

Eddie Shepherd

10th January 2020

Elderflower Masa, Dandelion, Macadamia

780 min

This dish was born out of nostalgia for Mexico. I wanted to take memories and techniques from my time cooking in Mexico City and combine those ideas with the flavours of local wild flowers. Dandelion and elderflower are two of my favourite ingredients to work with.

At the centre of the dish are balls of elderflower flavoured masa with a centre of liquid avocado purée.

The fried elderflower masa balls are served with two sauces.

First a dandelion sauce smoked with burning dried elderflower. It’s fresh, delicately floral and kissed with the light flavour of elderflower smoke and Serrano chilli. It delivers the acidity that might normally come from a Mexican citrus.

The second sauce is a macadamia nut salsa, based on a traditional Mexican Salsa Macha but made with macadamia nuts - it is rich, smoky and moreish.

Ingredients

Elderflower Infusion

  • 200g masa stock (see below)
  • 200g water
  • 20g dried elderflower
  • 20g white miso

Elderflower Masa

  • 250g dehydrated masa (see below)
  • 350g elderflower infusion
  • 20g elderflower olive oil (see below)
  • 10g salt

Avocado Purée

  • 500g ripe avocado flesh
  • 75g elderflower olive oil
  • 4g ascorbic acid (see below)
  • 8g salt

Elderflower Masa Dough (see above)

  • 450g elderflower masa
  • 200g feta
  • frozen avocado spheres

Apple Gel

  • 400g Cox apple juice
  • 6g agar

Elderflower Smoked Dandelion Purée

  • 150g apple gel
  • 450g dandelion cordial (see below)
  • 30g fresh lime juice
  • 10g Ultratex 3
  • 1.5g malic acid
  • 1 serrano chilli

Macadamia Salsa Macha

  • 200g macadamia nuts
  • 500g olive oil
  • 30g crushed garlic
  • 120g chipotle in adobo
  • 90g habanero vinegar
  • 30g muscovado sugar
  • 2g sunflower lecithin
  • 15g salt

Dandelion cordial

  • 75g freshly picked dandelion petals
  • 500g caster sugar
  • 1 kg water
  • 30g citric acid
  • juice & zest of four lemons

Elderflower Olive Oil

  • 50g dried elderflower
  • 500g mild olive oil

Masa

  • 1Kg dried corn
  • 5 kg water
  • 5g calcium hydroxide

Masa stock

  • 500g Fresh Masa
  • 1kg Water

Method

Elderflower Infusion

Bring the water and masa stock to a boil and pour them over the dried elderflower and miso in a bowl.
Allow the mixture to sit and infuse for ten minutes then strain off the liquid.

Elderflower Masa

Combine all the ingredients and knead for about a minute to bring the mix together into a dough.

Avocado Purée

Blend the ingredients together well to form a purée.
Pipe the avocado purée into a small silicone sphere mould and freeze the purée into small spheres.

Elderflower Masa Dough (see above)

Crumble the feta cheese into the elderflower masa and mix together to combine.
Take a frozen avocado sphere and form a ball of elderflower masa dough around it (these must be made and cooked the same day).

Apple Gel

Heat the apple juice and agar to a simmer whilst whisking.
Pour out and allow the liquid to set into a gel.

Elderflower Smoked Dandelion Purée

Combine the ingredients in a blender and blend well.
Divide the blended mix in half and use a smoking gun to smoke half the mix with burning dried elderflower.
Combine the two halves of the mix back together.

Macadamia Salsa Macha

Combine 250g of the olive oil, all the macadamia and the garlic and cook at 85°C for 15 minutes.
Remove this mix from the heat, and add the rest of the ingredients, including the remaining olive oil.
Blend the mixture at full power in a blender for ten minutes, then reduce the speed and blend on low for a further 5 minutes.
Reserve the salsa in the fridge.

Dandelion cordial

Pick the yellow petals from the dandelion heads and throw away the rest of the head (this is laborious but necessary). You want 75g of just petals.
Combine the sugar, citric acid, water, lemon zest and juice and bring to a simmer, then allow the liquid to cool to room temperature.
Add the dandelion petals to the cooled liquid and allow the mix to steep and infuse at room temperature for two days, then strain and bottle or freeze the cordial.

Elderflower Olive Oil

500g mild olive oil 50g dried elderflower.
Combine the olive oil and elderflower and cook in a waterbath at 60°C for 12 hours.
Cool the oil and strain it through a fine sieve then reserve until ready to use.

Masa

Combine the dried corn, water and calcium hydroxide in a large pan and bring to a boil. Simmer the corn for 50 minutes until the corn is just cooked ‘al dente’.
Remove the pan from the heat, cover it over and leave the pan to sit at room temperature for 12 hours.
Drain the cooked and rested corn and rinse well under cold water.
Finally grind the nixtamalized corn as finely as possible (a hand cranked grinder is probably the best option for this for most people).
Store the fresh masa in the fridge for up to two days.
Dehydrate some of the Masa in a dehydrator over night and grind to a powder to use when making the ‘elderflower masa’ (see above).

Masa stock

Blend together well then pass through a fine sieve.

To Serve

Lemon verbena oil.
Deep fry the elderflower masa balls for around a minute at 180°C until golden brown.
Squeeze a little macadamia salsa onto the plate.
Mix a little lemon verbena oil into the elderflower smoked dandelion sauce and spoon a little of this onto the plate.
Serve immediately.