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Category: Appetizers

Baked custard of salsify, red pepper coulis

Baked custard of salsify, red pepper coulis

Today, we cook a vegetarian recipe of baked custard of salsify,  red pepper coulis. The flan (baked custard) is accompanied by smoked trout, which is optional!

I like the salsify, this  vegetable which is quite dirty to  peel and is so often badly cooked.

Most of the time it is overcooked, too bland and often bathed in an insipid béchamel. By this recipe I try to demonstrate the contrary and contrary to my habit I photographed this dish in a festive atmosphere. This salsify based dish asks for it!

Let’s start with the peeling of salsify

Peel the salsify with a peeling knife, cut the stems into pieces of about 4 cm and immerse them immediately in cold water to which you will have added a  fillet of white vinegar to prevent the quick oxidation of this vegetable. Check the salsify pieces and remove any remaining black parts. Rinse the salsify in a second bowl of water clean with vinegar.

And as a picture is better than a lot of words: do not forget the newspaper !, it will save you a messy cleaning of your work plan.

Baked custard of salsify, red pepper coulis

First the salsify chips: Peel and rinse the salsify stems with vinegar water. Cut into the thinnest slices possible using a mandolin or a peeling knife. Dry the salsify slices between two sheets of kitchen paper for at least 20 minutes. Fry the chips golden brown in frying oil à 180°, season with salt and. That’s it!

Continue with the red pepper coulis: We need 2 sweet red peppers, salt, Espelette pepper, lemon juice and a few drops of olive oil.

Cut the peppers in half, remove the seeds and the white parts of the vegetables, then cut them into cubes. Cook them in  lightly salted water, mix and season with lemon juice, chili and salt. Pass the pepper mash through a fine colander to remove some remaining hard pieces. Simply emulsify the coulis with a little oil with  a mixer just before serving.

Now the flan:

1 kg of salsify, the juice and zest of half a lemon, 2 dl liquid cream, 2 egg yolks, flour, butter, salt and pepper.

Clean and wash the salsify, as already explained. Cook the salsify stalks for 10 minutes in water with the juice of half a lemon and a spoonful of flour. Drain half of the salsify, then continue cooking the rest of the vegetables for about twenty minutes: they will then be very tender.

Mix well the cooked salsify with cream, egg yolks and 30 g of flour. Cut the salsify ‘al dente’ into small cubes and spoon them in the cream of salsify. Season with salt of pepper and lemon zest.

Put the salsify mix in individual soufflé buttered molds.

Cook the flans 25 minutes in a bain-marie in a preheated 180 ° oven

Let the flans stand for 3 minutes, untold them and serve with the chips and the paprika coulis.

I accompanied the salsify cakes with smoked trout fillets, but it’s not really essential.

English is not my native language. Feel free to ask for information about this recipe. I will answer any question. I also would very happy with any corrections you may suggest.

Thanks in advance!

Cold artichoke soup

Cold artichoke soup

This ice-cold soup made from artichokes is a perfect aperitif bite or appetizer. We used artichoke hearts that we put in  jars last summer. Together with olive oil and lemon from the very last harvest this artichokes makes a perfect match. This dish makes us remember some  tastes of last summer in South-Italy.

Cold artichoke soup

Ingredients: 1 jar of artichoke hearts (about 250 g net weight), 7.5 dl of chicken broth, 1 onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 lemon, 1 small chili pepper, olive oil, salt , pepper of Espelette.

Peel and slice the onion and garlic. Make them glaze without coloring in a filet of olive oil. Add 1 dl of the liquid from the jar and 3/4 liter of defatted chicken broth . Add the artichoke hearts to the soup and cook for 30 minutes on low heat. Mix the soup and pass it trough a fine sieve. Finely grate the zest of the lemon and add it to the soup. Let the soup cool down and keep the artichoke soup in the refrigerator until serving.

Season the cold soup with lemon juice, salt and Espelette pepper, then mix the soup with enough olive oil (about 1.5 dl) and ice cubes to obtain a glazed and creamy soup .

Decorate with a few fresh mint leaves and serve immediately.

We used Espelette pepper, a variety from the South of France, but obviously and kind of not too strong pepper would be fine.

Season the artichoke velouté when it has already cooled.

Enjoy!

Cured and dried duck breasts

Cured and dried duck breasts

Here is a recipe of cured and dried duck breasts, easy  to realize , but it requires a little patience before you can appreciate the result! Cured and dried duck breasts  are eaten as an appetizer , cut into thin slices and they will do wonders in your salads and even your soups. And as I like to confit the legs , I prefer to start the recipe with two ducks, and use the carcass to cook a broth.

Cured and  dried duck breasts

To make this dish, you need at least the 2 duck breasts of a fat duck. You will use the thighs and duck carcass for other recipes

For two duck breasts: 30 g coarse salt, 10 juniper berries, 10 black peppercorns, 2 leaves of thyme, 2 bay leaves.

Crush juniper berries and pepper in a mortar. Add salt, thyme and toasted laurel into small pieces. Put this mixture on the flesh side of the magrets. Put the magrets on top of each other, skin side to the outside. Put them in a dish and put a weight on it, then keep them in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Separate the duck breasts, sponge them with paper towel and then wrap them separately in a clean cloth. Let them mature for at least one week in the refrigerator before to enjoy them.

The quantities of salt and spices suit me perfectly, but nothing prevents you from varying the elements of the curing. And of course it is always possible to smoke the magrets. The breast must than be smoked 24 hours after salting and then dried as in the described  recipe.

Enjoy !