Idaho® Potato Shooter with Beet "Caviar"


  • Beet Caviar
  • 3 whole beets (about 1 1/4 pounds), trimmed, washed
  • 1 orange, cut in wedges
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 ounces unflavored gelatin powder
  • 2 quarts canola oil, chilled to 45°F in 6-inch-deep 1/3 hotel pan

    Potato Soup
  • 1/4 cup chopped leeks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 medium Idaho® russet potatoes (80 count), peeled, roughly chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces crumbled blue cheese
  • 6 ounces sour cream
  • Salt and pepper as needed
  • Fresh chervil sprigs for garnish


  1. Toss beets, orange, garlic, bay leaves and rosemary in olive oil. Wrap mixture loosely in aluminum foil; bake at 325F until beets have a little bit of give but are still firm, about 2 hours. Do not overcook. Remove from oven and reserve beets. Set aside roasted garlic for soup preparation. Discard orange and rosemary.
  2. When beets are cool enough to handle, peel and chop roughly. In blender, purée beets with red wine until completely smooth and very well blended, about 2 minutes. Strain mixture through chinois; there should be about 2 cups. Discard solids.
  3. Place beet liquid in saucepan over medium heat; simmer until warmed and alcohol taste has mellowed, about 5 minutes. Slowly sprinkle in gelatin, whisking until completely incorporated.
  4. Using plastic syringe without needle, slowly drop caviar-sized beads of warm beet liquid into cold oil, droplet by droplet. (Oil must be cold, no more than 45°F; place in freezer if necessary. beet liquid should be warm, between 100°F and 130°F.) Test a few droplets, they should bead up in the cold oil. If necessary, add additional gelatin, re-heat and begin process again. Refill syringe until all liquid has been used. If beet liquid starts to set, re-warm, stirring, until liquid again. Refrigerate "caviar" at least 20 minutes. Strain oil; reserve beet "caviar" beads. Reserve refrigerated up to 5 days.
  5. Prepare soup: In a saucepan over medium heat, sauté leeks in olive oil until soft but not browned, about 3 minutes. Add potatoes, bay leaf, reserved roasted garlic and stock. Simmer over medium heat until potatoes are cooked, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat, discard bay leaf, add cream, blue cheese, sour cream, salt and pepper; blend until smooth. Strain; chill several hours.
  6. Per portion: Spoon chilled soup into shot glass; garnish with beet "caviar" and chervil sprig.
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Yield: 48 amuse-bouche servings

Mike Jackson
Benchmark Hospitality, Deloitte University
West Lake, Texas

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