The first cookbook by one of America's top contemporary chefs, A Great American Cook by Jonathan Waxman, features recipes like Asparagus with Oranges and Hazelnuts; Sesame-Crusted Goat Cheese Cakes On Greens; and Sesame Grilled (or Broiled) Quail with Shoestring Potatoes.
Marinating the quail in a mixture of mustard, balsamic vinegar, sesame oil, and wine before cooking keeps them moist, helps crisp their skin, and gives them a rich, deep color. A final coating of toasted sesame seeds adds panache. The quail are accompanied by crispy shoestring potatoes.
The quail need to marinate for at least 2 hours, so plan accordingly. They are available through specialty butchers or through D'Artagnan (www.dartagnan.com).
Whisk the mustard, vinegar, and sesame oil in a small bowl. Whisk in the wine, then dribble in the olive oil, whisking until the mixture emulsifies. Finely mince the garlic and shallot and stir them into the marinade. Let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature.
Meanwhile, rinse the birds in cold water and pat them dry. Butterfly each quail by cutting down both sides of the backbone with poultry shears or sharp heavy scissors and removing it (freeze the backbones to use for stock, if you like). Open out each bird and place skin side up on the cutting board. Press down firmly with the palms of your hands to flatten the birds as much as you can. Pat dry again.
Strain the marinade into a shallow dish large enough to hold all the quail in a single layer. Place them skin side down in the marinade, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour. Turn the quail, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour longer, or up to overnight.
This page created January 2008
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