For years (seriously, years) my husband has dreamed of ordering a five pound sack of frozen uni from Catalina Offshore Products. They sell what's known as vana, which is uni that's too mushy to be served as sushi but still delicious for other uses: mousses, pasta, over rice, etc.
I haven't decided if I'm ready for the challenge, but I've been slowly hatching a plan to surprise him with an uni dinner party for his next birthday. three or four friends, a sack of vana, and my imagination.
So far, I know I want to make a creamy uni pasta, maybe with mushrooms.
I also thought a nice starter would be a very dry, almost salty cocktail. Not really actually salty, per se, but borderline savory and remniscent of the ocean. I'm not quite sure how to achieve that, it's just a thought!
And I once had an amazing uni custard; will have to recreate that or a uni mousse.
So that leaves me stumped on a starter (some kind of rainbow seaweed salad with light uni dressing, and/or a few slices of sashimi?) and a dessert (!?!)
Not every single dish needs to have uni, but I'd like to include it throughout the meal. After all, I'm going to have five pounds of the stuff (no need to use it all at once though!) Any creative ideas greatly appreciated!