Duck Breast with Potato Foam Gnocchi

Today I wanted to try making potato foam gnocchi that I had read about - originally a Ferran Adria creation - and had attempted once before rather unsuccessfully (last time I used cream with the yams, and the texture turned out like whipped cream rather than foam).

I also had a duck breast in the fridge that needed to get eaten up. At the store, I came across some sea asparagus and nice crimini mushrooms. All that was left was to figure out a sauce for the dish, so I took some duck stock out of the freezer.

The gnocchi are created by combining some mashed potatoes, potato water (the water used to boil the potatoes), seasonings (I added a touch of truffle oil), and sodium alginate (about 5g) in a whip cream gun. The gun is then charged with a nitrus oxide canister and then squeezed out into a water bath that has some calcium chloride (about 5g) mixed in. The chemical reaction between the sodium alginate and calcium chloride creates a gel layer around the foamed potato mixture. It comes out as a big long snake, so you have to snip it into gnocchi sized pieces with a pair of scisors. The end result is a delicate gnocchi that pops in your mouth releasing the potato foam interior.

I pan fried the duck breast, blanched the sea asparagus, and sauteed the crimini mushrooms. I reduced the duck stock and added a couple crimini mushrooms to it to give it more body. The end result was a very enjoyable dish. The flavours all worked great together and the gnocchi was an enjoyable success.