Ideas eat at me. We marinated a number of shrimp with combava, tarragon and crushed red pepper. After several hours in this marinade we hot smoked the shrimp. The result was a shrimp with hints of citrus, balanced spice and a smoky backbone. Initially we were going to use these smoked shrimp with a corn soup. Perhaps in the future we will revisit that. Instead, we served a smoked shrimp cocktail. A bed of arugula was topped with Grandma Kitty's cocktail sauce (ketchup, mayonnaise, horseradish) and then crowned with the smoked shrimp. The dish worked. The guests enjoyed it. I wanted more. And so the past several days have been spent working on permutations and directions in which we can go with the smoked shrimp.
And then Aki began making fluff. Really, a cooked meringue, though it might as well have been fluff. That was the spark. I took some of her base and seasoned it with horseradish and salt. A sweet, tangy, concoction resulted. It roughly resembled the cocktail sauce. I was also working on a crispy pistachio recipe and as my ideas often collide, the dish came together. We topped the smoked shrimp with the marshmallow and bruleed it. A few tiles of crispy pistachio added texture to the dish and the small nasturtium leaves added bits of spice. The toasted notes of the marshmallow paired well with the smoked shrimp. A final grating of pistachios finished the dish.