Originally Posted by veronporter
Hey. I'm looking to do a caper & raisin gastrique with a shrimp & grits dish I'm working on. I don't want to use it as a puree because I've already got one on the plate(red pepper/espelette). We usually do gastriques as 1qt water, 1/2qt glucose, 1/2qt sugar, 2 T champagne vinegar, reduce to desired consistency. I was wondering if it might work to steep the capers/raisins in boiling water for the appropriate amount of time, strain the solids out and use it in place of the water. Would the flavor be strong enough/noticeable? Or maybe just whisk a small amount raisin/caper puree into the gastrique at the end(and sieve through a chinois a few times)? I want something relatively translucent, with a slight golden raisin/caper olive green color and flavor.
How would you best achieve this result and why? Thanks a lot.
Gastriques have always taunted me since the minute I found out about them. Why - because I can't find authoritative info on them in any of the books I consider source books, like Larousse and Escoffier etc. But they are just sugar and acid with flavoring, right? Then are catchup and BBQ sauces gastriques? Any way....
It looks like you got 1 qt of water and basically 1 qt of sugar, then is that 2 Table spoons of acid? One table spoon of acid per quart of sugar seems way too low to me, those are ratios I would use to make a simple caramel where the acid is almost undetectable. That aside, to incorperate the flavors you are talking about I would chop up the raisins and cook them down in the gastric as it reduces to get maximum flavor, then strain them out at the end. Use golden raisins to better achieve the color you are talking about. The caper flavor is the tough part.... If it absolutely has to be in the sauce then I would suggest replacing all the acid with caper "juice". About 2 cups per quart of sugar and reduce water accordingly. The reason is because I don't think capers will survive the cooking and sugar, I like AdamBurgerDavise's idea of adding the capers last - what flavor do capers really have anyway? - their flavor is fleeting. Garnish finished sauce with plumped raisins and capers.
A question for you Veron, why do you use 1/2 sugar and 1/2 glucose? (not challenge - honest question) And why grits? Are they served like mushy plopable grits like at Waffle House, or white corn meal polenta cake style? Why not couscous or quinoa?
Edited by Coup-de-Feu - 10/31/12 at 12:03pm