The Chilean coast is home to many fish and shellfish found no where else on earth. The loco (Concholepas concholepas), also known as the the Chilean abalone, is a large edible sea snail that can be found in the north of the country and even into southern Peru. Here, Guzmán pairs locos with kolof (an algae) and other sea plants, the vegetation it lives among. – Editor’s Note
Adapted from Borago: Coming from the South by Rodolfo Guzmán courtesy of Phaidon. Click here to purchase your own copy.
For the Pajaritos Cream
- 1 kilogram organic (double) cream
- 200 grams pajaritos yogurt
For the mushroom oil
- 1 kilogram pine mushrooms
- 2 kilograms canola (rapeseed) oil
For the mushroom powder
- 1 lenga branch
- 100 grams pine mushrooms (suillus luteus)
For the roasted kolof powder
- 60 grams kolof (roasted on the day it is harvested)
For the mushroom and algae wafers
- 100 grams all-purpose flour
For the beurre monté
- 10 grams sea carrots
- 700 grams noisette butter, cold and cubed*
- 2 grams xanthan gum
For the black luga
- 200 grams black luga
- 10 grams lamb fat
- 10 grams olive oil
For the cured loco
- 100 grams fine sea salt
- 1 loco
For the luga salad
- 40 grams black luga
- 0.5 grams fine sea salt
For the charcoal-grilled beach asparagus
- 2 grams garum
- 10 grams olive oil
- 2 kilograms Chilean espino coal
- 40 grams beach asparagus
For the rock spinach salad
- 40 grams rock spinach
- 5 grams lemon juice
- 2 grams mushroom oil
- 15 grams olive oil
- 40 grams Pajaritos Cream**
For the noisette butter: Melt 500 grams butter in a pan over low heat for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally. When the butter has become dark brown, remove it from the heat and let stand until the burnt solids settle at the bottom of the pan, approximately 1 hour. Then gently pour the brown butter into a container, leaving the burnt solids behind. Store in the refrigerator for 1 week.
- For the pajaritos cream: Mix the cream and the pajaritos yogurt in a yogurt maker. Process at 104°F (40°C), with 60% moisture, for 7 hours. Then remove and stir vigorously.
- For the mushroom oil: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Roast the mushrooms in a baking pan for 15 minutes or until they are a deep golden brown. Let cool; then add the oil and cover with plastic wrap (clingfilm). Set aside for 24 hours. Strain, then store the oil in a dark place.
- For the mushroom powder: Light the lenga branch in a deep metal tray, set it over a small cooker over direct flame until it releases yellow smoke. Arrange the mushrooms in a perforated tray, place it on top of the deep metal tray to form a smoker, and cover with aluminum foil. Smoke for 10 minutes.
- Remove the mushrooms from the smoker and dehydrate at 175°F (80°C) for 12 hours. Let the mushrooms cool to room temperature; then grind at top speed in a food processor to a fine powder and sift into a bowl.
- For the roasted kolof powder: Preheat the oven to 485°F (250°C/Gas Mark 9). Roast the freshly harvested kolof in a roasting pan for 5 minutes. Remove and let cool to room temperature. Grind only 30 grams of the kolof in a coffee grinder to form a fine powder.
- For the mushroom and algae wafers: Mix the flour and 180 grams water in a bowl; divide into 4 equal portions. Add 1 grams of the mushroom powder and 5 grams of the roasted kolof powder to the first portion and mix thoroughly.
- Add 2 grams of the mushroom powder and 10 grams of the kolof powder to the second portion and mix thoroughly.
- Add 3 grams of the mushroom powder to the third portion and mix well. Add 8 grams of the mushroom powder to the fourth portion and mix well.
- Preheat a flat panini grill on both sides, making sure that the plates are smooth and can be in full contact. Pour a spoonful of the first mixture onto the grill, close the grill, and press it evenly with a cloth until the dough expands, approximately 25 seconds. Remove the dextrinized wafer immediately. Repeat, making wafers from each of the 4 mixtures. Cut the wafers into squares of different sizes and keep them in an airtight container, separated by color.
- For the beurre monté: Preheat the oven to 485°F (250°C/Gas Mark 9). Roast the sea carrots in a roasting pan for 5 minutes.
- Bring a pan of water to a boil. Portion the frozen noisette butter into cubes. All at once, add the xanthan gum and the noisette butter cubes to the boiling water, and emulsify for 2 minutes, preferably with the food processor.
- Infuse the beurre monté with the roasted sea carrots in the emulsion for 30 minutes, trying not to let the temperature drop below 140°F (60°C). Strain and set the beurre monté aside.
- For the cured loco: Make a vertical cut in the loco then skin both halves and cure them in the salt for 7 minutes. Then wash them to remove the salt residue and refrigerate.
- For the charcoal-grilled beach asparagus: In a bowl, emulsify the garum with the olive oil by hand. Set aside at room temperature. Heat the Chilean espino coal until the embers are red-hot. Then spread out the embers into a thin layer to produce a slight warmth.
- Put the beach asparagus on a perforated pan and place it about 12 inches (30 centimeters) above the embers. Grill for 5 minutes, occasionally brushing the garum emulsion over them to prevent them from drying out. Turn the beach asparagus over and repeat the process.
- For the rock spinach salad: In a bowl, season the rock spinach with the lemon juice and mushroom oil.
- To serve: Preheat 4 plates and a skillet (frying pan). Add the olive oil to the skillet over high heat, and caramelize the locos for only a few seconds on each side. Place them on a chopping board and immediately cut them into chunks no larger than 2-inch (3 centimeters).
- Arrange the locos on the upper part of each plate: the first piece at the top center, the second piece slightly to the right side, and the third piece on the left side. Cover all the loco pieces with the beurre monté. Following the line on the plate, arrange the rock spinach salad. In the row, add the grilled beach asparagus, covered with pajaritos cream; and in the last row just spoon pajaritos cream and top it with the roasted kolof chunks.
- To finish the dish, arrange the wafers from the top of the dish, starting with the darker and more flavorful ones and descending to the paler and less intense wafers. Serve at once.