Yield: 75 hors d'oeuvres
Michelin three-star chef Marc Meneau has made this mystifying hors d'oeuvre one of his signatures. The technique of fusing gelatin to solidify a liquid in order to seal it in a package, only to melt it later through cooking, echoes the preparation of the famous soup dumplings of Shanghai. For the cromesquis, named for a Polish gourmand, Meneau makes a filling of foie gras, truffles, port, and cream, which he envelopes in a classic breading. Because of the molten center, it is important to cool the cromesquis slightly before serving so that guests can pop them into their mouths whole, thereby avoiding a potentially messy situation while fully experiencing the sensual flavor and texture.
1-3/4 ounces gelatin, about 24 leaves or 5 packages
2 cups Port
3/4 pound foie gras, diced
3 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup black truffle juice
Black pepper, freshly ground
1 ounce black truffle, finely chopped
Flour for dredging
6 egg yolks
4 cups fine white bread crumbs
Grapeseed oil for frying
Bollinger Brut Grand Année 1989 (Champagne), or another dry vintage Champagne.
Whether using leaves or powder, dissolve the gelatin in enough cold water to cover. In a large saucepan set over high heat, reduce the port by slightly more than half, about 20 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a very hot sauté pan, cook the diced foie gras for about 1 minute. Set aside. Add the cream to the reduced port and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the truffle juice and return the mixture to a boil once again. Stir in the dissolved gelatin, salt, and pepper and return the mixture to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the foie gras, along with any fat that may have rendered out. Transfer to the bowl of a food processor and process for several minutes until smooth.
Sprinkle the chopped truffle over the bottom of a half hotel pan or 2-quart baking dish, then pour in the cromesquis mixture. Refrigerate for about 12 hours, until set. Cut the chilled mixture into 1-inch squares.
Dredge the squares in flour and refrigerate for 8 hours. Beat together the eggs and the egg yolks. Dip the floured squares in the egg mixture and coat thoroughly in the bread crumbs. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Repeat the breading procedure (egg and bread crumbs) and return the cromesquis to the refrigerator until service.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large, deep sauté pan or pot, heat the oil to 350 degrees. Quickly deep fry the cromesquis until golden brown, drain, transfer to a rack set on a sheet pan, and finish in the oven for 3 or 4 minutes until heated through. Handle the cromesquis very gently, as the filling will have completely liquefied. Allow to cool slightly before serving. Expect that several of the cromequis will break during the cooking process and will not be usable.
Foie Gras. ..A Passion
By Michael A. Ginor
with Mitchell A. Davis
Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Cloth: $49.95, September 1999
Recipe Reprinted by permission.
Foie Gras. ..A Passion
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This page created December 1999