Friday, January 14, 2011

National Soup Month: Winter Chick Peas, Crunchy Stuffed Sage Leaves, Quail Egg Brioche, Ligurian Black Olives Caviar

Recipe and Photo by Chef Enzo Fargione of ELISIR Restaurant

For The Soup

1 ½ lbs dry chick peas left in cold water for 2 days
1 White onion finely sliced
Less then ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 oz Pancetta cut in one piece
2 Bay leaves
3 Chopped sage leaves
½ Gallon of excellent chicken stock
1 full tea spoon of minced garlic
Salt and ground white pepper

In a medium size pot golden the pancetta with only a few drops of the olive oil.
Stir in the sliced onions, the garlic the bay leaves and the sage and cook a low/moderate fire till the onions are translucent and clear in color.
Add the chick peas, the salt and pepper, the chicken stock and simmer till the chick peas are completely cook through soft to the taste and to the touch.
Remove the pancetta from the soup and discard.
Puree` only 50% of the chick peas soup through a high speed blender till fine and smooth.
Marry it back to the rest of the soup and keep cooking for 5 more minutes simmering at
low/moderate fire again
Taste for salt and pepper, correct if necessary.
Remove from stove and stir in the rest of the extra virgin olive oil to flavor.

For the Crunchy Stuffed Sage Leaves

6 large size sage leaves
2 tea spoons of soft Taleggio cheese
3 table spoons of blended oil for frying
½ Table spoon of flour

Make sure all the sage leaves are approximately of the same size.
Blanch them in hot salted water for a few seconds in order to get rid of the bitter taste until they turn into bright green color.
Remove from water and lay them open on a plate to cool off and dry.
Spread a generous quantity of soft Taleggio cheese on 3 leaves only.
Place the other leaves on top of them applying pressure and creating “sandwiches” like preparations.
Press gently on the edge of the stuffed leaves trying to seal them as much as possible in order to avoid for the cheese to come out during the cooking process.
Dust the leaves with flour and pass them quick in the tempura batter.
Fry in hot oil till golden crispy on both sides.
Set aside on deli paper and sprinkle them with a little salt.

For the Ligurian Black Olives Caviar

5 oz of pitted black Ligurian olives
The leaves of ½ sprig of fresh thyme with no stems
The tip of a tea spoon of minced garlic
Salt and ground white pepper
½ Table spoon of excellent extra virgin olive oil

Blend all ingredients together till smooth and velvety.
The puree` should have the consistency of a semi soft paste and able to be handled and molded it with a small spoon.
Taste for salt and pepper. Set the caviar aside at room temperature

For the Quail Egg Brioche

4 Fresh quail eggs
4 Slices of fresh Brioche
1 Table spoon of butter
Salt and ground white pepper
Line up the slices of brioche on your working table
With a metal round pastry cutter of 2 inches diameter form 4 discs of brioche.
Lay out the 4 discs on the working table and repeat this operation again with a round smaller cutter of 1 inch diameter cutting out the center piece.
Set aside.
Separate the quail egg yolks from the whites and set apart in their shell.
Discard the egg whites.  
Golden the 4 pieces of brioche on one side only with butter.
Turn them over on the other side and delicately place a quail yolk in each center hole.
Make sure it does not break or we will have to start all over again, it should delicately cook for a few seconds only searing the bottom part of the brioche while retaining its beautiful look preserving its soft consistency.
Sprinkle with a little salt and white pepper.
With the use of a small spatula remove them from the pan and rest them on parchment paper in warm place.          

To Serve
Place the soup in a warm ceramic serving bowl.
In the center of the plate place the brioche with the quail egg.
Next to it, on one side lay the crunchy stuffed sage and on the other side of the brioche a tea spoon of black olive caviar.
Serve it hot and immediately

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