Winter menu two

Winter menu two

Early–mid winter

By
From
Annie's Farmhouse Kitchen
Serves
8
Photographer
Patricia Niven; Illustrations: Robin Cowcher

Double-baked truffle & gruyere souffle

Roast duck, brussels sprouts & parsnips

Paris Brest

Double-baked truffle & gruyere souffle

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
80g unsalted butter
60g plain flour
350ml warm milk
75g gruyere, grated
1 tablespoon freshly grated parmesan
2 tablespoons grated truffle, plus extra truffle to garnish
4 eggs, separated
salt flakes
freshly ground black pepper
500ml pouring cream

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Melt 20 g of the butter and grease eight 150 ml souffle dishes with it.
  3. Melt the remaining butter in a small heavy-based saucepan. Add the flour and cook over a medium heat, stirring, for 2 minutes. Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly to smooth out any lumps. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the gruyere, parmesan and grated truffle until smooth and well combined, then set aside to cool for a few minutes. Fold in three egg yolks (save the remaining yolk for another recipe) and season to taste.
  5. Beat the egg whites to soft peaks, then fold quickly and lightly into the cheese mixture. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared dishes and smooth the surface. Stand the dishes in a sturdy baking dish lined with a tea towel and pour in boiling water to come two-thirds of the way up the side of the dishes. Bake for about 20 minutes or until firm to the touch and well puffed.
  6. Remove the souffles from the oven – they will deflate and look wrinkled, but this is fine (we all have days like that). Allow to rest for 1–2 minutes, then gently ease them out of the dishes and invert onto a large plate covered with plastic film. Leave until needed.
  7. To serve, place the souffles upside-down in individual buttered ovenproof gratin dishes (or you could put them in one big dish, as long as they are not touching). Pour over the cream to moisten them thoroughly, then return to the oven for 15 minutes. The souffles will look swollen and golden. Shave a little extra truffle over each one and serve immediately.

Roast duck, brussels sprouts & parsnips

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
3 carrots, cut into small cubes
3 onions, cut into small cubes
3 celery stalks, cut into small cubes
4 small ducks
8 thyme sprigs
salt flakes
freshly ground black pepper
125ml port
60ml Veal Stock, reduced
1 quantity Blanched brussels sprouts

Parsnip puree

Quantity Ingredient
1kg parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped, coarse core removed
500ml milk
1 bay leaf
salt flakes
freshly ground black pepper

Roasted parsnips

Quantity Ingredient
1kg parsnips, peeled and cut into wedges
olive oil, to coat
salt flakes
freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  2. Scatter the vegetables over the base of a flameproof roasting tin large enough to accommodate all four ducks comfortably.
  3. At this point you can prepare the ducks in one of two ways: either place them on the vegetables whole, or cut them in half, removing the backbone, and lay them on the vegetables, skin side up. Scatter over the thyme sprigs and season well with salt and pepper.
  4. Add a little water to the roasting tin so that the fat doesn’t burn while the ducks are cooking.
  5. Roast for 1 hour, basting every 15 minutes or so.
  6. To make the parsnip puree, combine the parsnip, milk and bay leaf in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook gently over a low heat for 45 minutes or until the parsnip is very soft. Remove the bay leaf and puree the parsnip in a blender with some of the milk. You are looking for a spreadable consistency so don’t add all the milk if it is going to make it too thin. Season to taste with salt and pepper. You can make this ahead of time and reheat it later on the stovetop.
  7. After an hour, turn the oven down to 160°C and roast the ducks until tender (when you push at the leg meat it should be soft and yielding) – this will take the best part of another hour. Start checking after about 40 minutes.
  8. To make the roasted parsnips, toss the parsnip wedges in enough olive oil to coat, then place on a baking tray and put in the oven about 15 minutes before the duck comes out. When you remove the duck, place the parsnips on the top shelf and turn the oven up to 200°C. They should crisp up in 5–10 minutes. Remove from the oven and season with salt and pepper.
  9. Remove the duck from the oven. If you have roasted the ducks whole, you can now carve the meat off the frame. If you have cooked them in halves, turn them over and remove all the bones from the underside.
  10. Strain the fat off the vegetables, leaving the vegetables in the tin, then place the tin over a medium heat. Deglaze with the port, stirring to lift off any bits stuck to the base of the tin, then add the reduced veal stock and bring to the boil. Strain into a saucepan or jug.
  11. To serve, make a pool of puree on each plate or a serving platter and place a mound of roasted parsnips to the side. Balance half of the duck on the parsnips, then decorate with the sprouts and spoon over the sauce.

Paris Brest

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 quantity Choux pastry
50g flaked almonds
300ml pouring cream
pure icing sugar, for dusting

Pastry cream

Quantity Ingredient
500m milk
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthways and seeds scraped
125g caster sugar
6 egg yolks
50g cornflour, mixed with a little milk to form a paste

Praline

Quantity Ingredient
100g flaked almonds
200g granulated sugar

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 210°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper and draw a 22 cm (81⁄2 in) circle on the paper with a pencil. Turn it upside down so the pencil is turned away from the food but still visible through the paper.
  2. Spoon the choux pastry dough into a piping bag fitted with a 1 cm plain nozzle, then pipe the dough around the circle a couple of times. If you have too much dough, use it up by making a few choux puffs. Scatter the almonds on top of the pastry. Place on the top shelf of the oven and bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 160°C and cook for another 25 minutes. Remove and cool completely on a wire rack.
  3. To make the pastry cream, place the milk and vanilla in a heavy-based saucepan and bring to scalding point. Remove from the heat. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the sugar and egg yolks for 5 minutes or until pale. Add the cornflour paste, then the hot milk and whisk until combined. Return the mixture to a clean saucepan and place over a medium heat. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly, until the mixture is smooth and thick. Remove from the heat and place in a clean container. Closely cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a skin forming and store in the refrigerator until needed.
  4. To make the praline, preheat the oven to 180°C. Spread out the flaked almonds on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. Place the sugar in a heavy-based saucepan with just enough water to moisten it. Bring to the boil, stirring with a metal spoon until the sugar has dissolved, then cook without stirring until it becomes a nice golden colour.
  6. Scatter the almonds over a greased baking tray with sides and evenly pour the toffee over. Allow to set, then pulverise in a food processor, leaving it a little chunky. If you are making this ahead of time, store it in an airtight container in the freezer until needed.
  7. To assemble, split the choux ring in half horizontally. Place the bottom half on a serving platter, pipe in the pastry cream, scatter with the praline, then pipe on the whipped cream. Top with the top half of the choux ring, dust with icing sugar and serve. Don’t assemble this too far in advance otherwise it will go soggy – do it 2 hours ahead at the most and pop it in the refrigerator.

Timeline

  • The day before

    Make the pastry cream. Prepare the praline.

    The day of serving

    Make the choux pastry ring. Make the souffles, remove from the moulds and refrigerate. Prepare the ducks for roasting.

    1–2 hours before serving

    Place the ducks in the oven. Cook the parsnip puree and set aside in a small saucepan, ready for reheating. Whip the cream and place the cream and the pastry cream in separate piping bags fit ted with large plain nozzles; refrigerate. Place the parsnips in the oven to roast. Here, we deviate from the individual recipes and behave a little like a professional cook: when the duck is ready, remove it and the parsnips from the oven; place the duck on a resting tray, reserving the roasting tin for making the sauce.

    To serve

    Cook the souffles in cream and serve immediately. Increase the oven temperature to 200°C. After the souffles have been eaten, boil the water for the sprouts and return the parsnips to the oven. Make the duck sauce. Reheat the parsnip puree. If you are worried that your duck has cooled too much, pop it back in the oven for a few minutes. Assemble the plates of duck. When the main course is finished, assemble the Paris Brest and serve at the table.
Tags:
French classics
Farmhouse
rustic
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