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Georgia Farm-Raised Sturgeon Roe, Hay Baked Sunchoke, Meyer Lemon

Ingredients

2 medium sunchokes

2 ounces organic hay

1 cup kosher salt

1 teaspoon crème fraîche

1 teaspoon shallot, finely minced

1 teaspoon chives, finely sliced

6 Meyer lemons, rind peeled and pith removed

1 cup white granulated sugar

¼ cup Meyer lemon juice, reserved from peeled lemons

Salt and pepper to taste

1 ounce University of Georgia farm-raised sturgeon caviar

Directions

  1. For the sunchokes, preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Clean sunchokes thoroughly. Cover the bottom of a 10-inch black skillet with hay.On top of the hay, evenly disperse the kosher salt and then add another layer of hay. Place sunchokes 2 inches apart and cover with one last layer of hay.
  3. Place skillet over high heat until bottom layer of hay begins to smoke. Allow it to smoke for 1 minute, then remove from burner and place on center rack in oven. Bake for 30−35 minutes, or until sunchokes are extremely soft. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.
  4. Once cooled, remove sunchokes from skillet and cut length-wise. Remove flesh with a spoon and place into a mixing bowl,reserving skins.
  5. Add crème fraîche, shallots, chives, and salt and pepper to taste to the flesh. Reserve.
  6. Preheat a deep fryer to 350 degrees.
  7. Meanwhile, place Meyer lemon rinds in a saucepan and cover with water. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Strain water and discard, then place rinds back in saucepot and repeat this step 4 more times. On the fifth blanch, add 1 cup sugar to blanching water and bring to a boil. Strain sugar water, reserving 1 cup. Cool rinds and sugar water.
  8. In a high-speed blender add rinds, Meyer lemon juice, and sugar water. Blend on high until it is a bright yellow purée. Season with salt to taste and reserve.
  9. Place sunchoke skins in deep fryer. Fry until golden brown and crispy, about 2 minutes.Remove to paper towel-lined plate to drain and cool slightly.
  10. Stuff each sunchoke skin with an even layer of mixture. Top each with 1 teaspoon caviar and ½ teaspoon Meyer lemon purée. Serve warm.
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