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Posts tagged ‘truffles’

Saucy Series X: Bechamel Mornay

Welcome to guest blogger Deana Sidney of Lost Past Remembered, a blog dedicated to discovering, replicating and adapting historic recipes. In this saucy series she demystifies one of the cornerstones of classic French cuisine: the mother sauces.

Sauce Béchamel Mornay

I discovered Filet of Sole Verdi when I read a description of it that made me swoon –– sole, lobster and truffles on pasta with a creamy Mornay sauce that’s popped under the broiler to brown a bit. Escoffier invented the dish to impress the composer. With 2 great sauces in it I thought it was perfect for the sauce series.

escoffier

Escoffier

But when I looked up the original recipes for béchamel and Mornay sauce, I was shocked.

Escoffier’s original béchamel is made with veal! His white sauce is cooked with pieces of veal for two hours then strained. Remarkable. I will try doing it that way one of these days but decided that, since it was fish, I would go with the simpler, non-veal version that he used for “Lenten preparations.”

Béchamel was named after the Marquis de Béchameil (1630 -1703), of whom Escoffier wrote “After all, if it wasn’t for his divine sauce the Marquis de Béchamel would have been forgotten long ago.” Legend has it that it was invented to sauce dried cod. It is in Varenne’s 1651 Cuisinier Francais made with a veal velouté and cream, so Escoffier’s version echoes the sauce’s velouté ancienne roots (velouté has been around a very long time).

The same was true of the Mornay sauce. Probably named after a “player in the halcyon days” of the 2nd Empire, Charles de Mornay, I never knew Escoffier put fumet into the sauce (fumet being stock-based liquid the meat or fish was poached in). It makes a sublime addition to the cheesy sauce, giving it a bit of backbone.

When you put it together with the sole and lobster and truffles and pasta, ooh la la, you can see why Verdi was pleased with it. It is extremely elegant and if you do the sauces and pasta ahead of time, it can be ready in a few minutes.

Bechamel Mornay 1

Filet of Sole Verdi

(serves 2 main course-4 appetizer)

½ to ¾ lb. filet of sole
1 c fish fumet/stock*
4 c cooked pasta (don’t go too al dente on this, you want it softish to go with the elegant texture of the dish)
1 c cream
2 small lobster tails, shells removed
1 T butter
2 c béchamel
2 c Mornay sauce
1 large D’Artagnan truffle sliced and ¼ chopped (optional)
2-3 t D’Artagnan truffle oil to taste.
Salt and pepper

Put the fish in the stock on medium heat. Add a touch of salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes per side –– they cook very quickly. Remove. Reduce the stock to 1/2 a cup. Pour any juices that have collected from the fish into the reduced fumet. If you have a lot of juices, you should reduce a little further so you only have 1/2 cup.

Warm the cream. Add the cheeses to the cream. Toss the pasta with the cream and salt and pepper to taste. Add 2 t of the truffle oil and some chopped truffle, if you are using it, and toss just before assembling the dish.

Add the fumet to the Mornay sauce and stir. Warm it. It should be thick.

Sauté the lobster tails for a few minutes. They should not be fully cooked. Chop the smaller end of the tail and add to the pasta. Slice the fatter end.

Heat the broiler. Make single skillets or a large skillet with handles that can take the broiler.

Spoon the pasta into the dish. Lay the sole over 2/3 of the dish. Pour the Mornay sauce over the sole and tuck the lobster at the edge of the Mornay sauce. Heat the pan on the stove for a few minutes at medium-low heat.

Put under the broiler on high for a few minutes. Pay attention, it goes from perfect to burned in no time. Remove and top with chopped herbs. Tuck the truffle slices in and drizzle with remaining truffle oil.

*(I always freeze bones and shrimp/lobster shells and make this when I have enough to make a quart of stock. Then freeze it flat and break it off when I need it or freeze in ½ c portions). You could use chicken stock in a pinch.

Bechamel mornay 2

Béchamel

2 c milk
1 small shallot, sliced
1 clove (optional)
3 T butter
2 T flour

Heat the milk and simmer while you melt the butter. Add the flour to the butter and stir over low heat till all bubbly. Do not let it brown. Strain the milk. Pour the hot milk slowly into the flour mixture, stirring all the while over medium heat till all the milk is used and the sauce is thickened. Add the cheeses and set aside.

bechamel mornay 3

Mornay Sauce

2 c béchamel
½ c fish reserved fumet
1 c grated Parmesan
1 c grated Gruyere

Add the fumet to the béchamel and reduce a little. Add the Parmesan and gruyere and stir till smooth.

Tournedos Rossini, A Legendary Recipe

The origins of this dish can be traced back to the relationship between legendary chef Marie-Antoine Carême and the composer Rossini, a known gourmand. Evidently Rossini insisted on the dish being prepared tableside so he could micromanage its creation, and when the chef objected to the interference, Rossini said, “So, turn your back.”  Whether that is true or not, this recipe bears his name, and it is as decadent, rich and satisfying today as it was when Rossini demanded it his way. Though it’s fairly easy to make, the ingredients are luxurious enough to make this a special-occasion meal. tournedos rossini1 INGREDIENTS

 PREPARATION 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter 2 large ramekins. Cover the bottom of each ramekin with potato slices, brush with softened truffle butter and add another layer of potato. Repeat until all potatoes are used. Weigh down each potato cake with a smaller ramekin, then bake in the oven until edges are crisp and the center is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Using an offset spatula, remove potato cakes to paper toweling. 2. In a small bowl, combine the demi-glace, truffle juice and chopped truffles, set aside. 3. Season filets with salt & pepper. In a large skillet over medium heat. Melt the duck fat in a large skillet over medium-high flame. Sear the filets until desired doneness, about 5 minutes each side for medium-rare. Remove to a cutting board to rest, tent with foil to keep warm. 4. Discard all fat from the skillet. While the pan is still hot, add the Madeira, scraping up all the beefy bits on the bottom. Add the demi-glace mixture, cook until reduced, then remove from heat and stir in the truffle butter. Taste for seasoning and add salt & pepper, if necessary. Keep warm. 5. Heat a small, dry skillet over high flame. When hot, sear the foie gras slices until golden brown, about 60 seconds on each side. Remove to paper toweling. 6. On each of two plates, place the potato cake in the center and top with the filet mignon then foie gras. Spoon the sauce over and around. Top with freshly shaved truffle.  

Christmas in July: Black Winter Truffles

A truffle is an irregular, round-shaped fruiting body of fungi, which grows underground in a symbiotic and mysterious relationship with the roots of trees. On average, truffles vary in size from a walnut to a golf ball, but there are sometimes exceptional truffles that can weigh a pound or more.

Tuber melanosporum, the black winter truffle

Tuber melanosporum, the black winter truffle

Tuber melanosporum is often called the black “Perigord” truffle, after the legendary truffles of that region of France. But black truffles are also found during the winter months in several parts of the Northern Hemisphere, including Italy and Spain. The black winter truffle drives people wild—it has dark, robustly-veined flesh that appears almost black-purple, and has the strongest flavor and aroma of all the black truffles.

Seasonality, the difficulty of locating the truffles, and erratic weather conditions all impact the cost of truffles, making them one of the most costly ingredients in kitchens around the world.

Remarkably, even miraculously, the black winter truffle has finally been cultivated in the Southern Hemisphere. With acidic soil, cool winters and warm summers, Australia offers conditions ideal for growing truffles, at least in the identified microclimate in Western Australia where we have found a  successful truffière.

This is the holy grail of truffles.

The truffières were amply planted with oak and hazelnut trees whose roots were inoculated with truffle spores. The years of patience have been rewarded; they are now harvesting black truffles in their winter season, which is June through August. These trees are producing a steady supply of quality black winter truffles, which are located in the traditional manner, with truffle-sniffing dogs.

We are pleased to say that the Australian truffles are just as impressive as their European counterparts. It’s like Christmas in July for truffle fans, who can celebrate the extension of the season.  One way of doing that is to make Tournedos Rossini.

Recipe_Tournedos_Rossini_HomeMedium

Tournedos Rossini with Australian Black Winter Truffles

 

Save the Date: Game Dinner at Daniel

For more information, and to buy tickets, email Julia Murphy.

 jmurphy@danielnyc.com

No-Fail Thanksgiving Side! Garlicky Truffle Mashed Potatoes

Here’s a super easy recipe to add to your holiday repertoire – Garlicky Truffle Butter Mashed Potatoes. Last week we gave you the recipe for garlic confit, an indispensable French pantry staple, and talked about the importance of truffle butter. Now we’re bringing it all together in an easy yet impressive recipe. If you’re feeling “extra rich,” as Ariane likes to say, add a flurry of paper thin slices of fresh white truffle upon serving, and watch your guests’ jaws drop.

View this document on Scribd

Holiday Workhorse: Black Truffle Butter

Black… truffle… butter. The words alone have the power to induce salivation. And while black truffle butter is a year-round kitchen staple, it’s versatility is especially appreciated during the holidays. From passed hors d’oeuvres to plated appetizers and all the way through the main event – truffle butter plays an essential role in our Thanksgiving feast. In this holiday video, Ariane demonstrates how to slide disks of the earthy, creamy concoction under the skin of a turkey before roasting for an out-of-this-world delicious bird.

NEW Product!

Just in time for the holidays, we are proud to announce a brand new product in the D’Artagnan lineup! It’s the luxury trifecta of deliciousness: foie gras, truffles, and now CAVIAR!!

But, it’s not just any caviar. It’s sustainable, environmentally friendly, farm-raised Ossetra from the Aquitaine region of France. And it’s unbelievably delicious! The silvery pearls are firm and plump, with a silky mouth feel and with a clean, nutty flavor that lingers… heaven.

Upcoming Event: Game Dinner at Daniel

For more information, and to buy tickets, click here. Update: As of 10/28/11 this event is sold out.