Team Feedfeed loves an entertaining moment, so you can imagine our excitement when Chef John Taube IV of Pilot at the Hoxton Hotel in LA came by FeedfeedLA to build the seafood tower of our dreams! Meet the Grand Aioli, full of tiers of seafood, fresh market veg and a heavenly saffron aioli to season it all. It’s the perfect way to start off any holiday gathering and can be customized to your favorite seafood and vegetables!
There are some ingredients in this dish that require just a tad amount of prep. First, being confit garlic which adds a mellow sweetness and tamed garlic flavor by covering peeled cloves in a neutral oil in a baking dish and cover with foil before cooking low and slow in a 200°F oven for about 90 minutes. As for the saffron water, it’s kind of like brewing tea. Pour a few tablespoons of boiling water over a pinch of ground saffron threads and let sit for 5 minutes to bloom. Finally, the team at Pilot makes homemade flatbread perfumed with Moroccan spices, but feel free to use your favorite recipe or store bought variety to serve with this gorgeous platter.
- Rockweed seaweed, blanched
For the First Tier of the Tower (Market Vegetables)
- 6 marble potatoes, halved and blanched
- 6 baby carrots, peeled
- 3 breakfast radishes
- 1 watermelon radish, thinly sliced
- 1/ 2 English cucumber, cut into spears
- Assorted market vegetables, as desired
For the Second Tier of the Tower (Seafood)
- 6 mussels, cooked
- 4 oysters, shucked
- 3 prawns, cooked
- 3 snow crab claws, cooked and cracked
- 4 scallops, thinly sliced on the shell
For the Second Tier of the Seafood Tower (High Priced Shellfish)
- 1 king crab leg, cooked
- 1 sea urchin, shell opened
- 1 tin pike roe
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
- Saffron Aioli, recipe below
On a seafood tower, fill each tier with crushed ice and top with blanched seaweed. Arrange component on each tier, then serve immediately with lemon wedges, aioli and flatbread.
For the Saffron Aioli
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic, confited
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon saffron water
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 1/ 2 cup lemon-infused oil
In a large mortar, add mustard, then mash in the confited garlic and egg yolk. Season with a pinch of salt and stir in the lemon juice and saffron water.
Slowly stream in the oil while stirring with the pestle until an emulsified aioli forms. Adjust seasoning with salt.