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Old 05-09-2007, 06:31 PM   #1
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ISO Seafood Quenelles

I'm thinking of trying out some seafood quenelles, and I have two questions. Firstly, does anyone have a great recipe that they've used before? Second, since it's a forcemeat type of dish, I was wondering if it was a common practice, or even possible to add some sort of interior garnish to my quenelles, sort of like you might see in a terrine. Depending on what recipe I decide to use, I was thinking of adding a small lump of lobster tail or perhaps cured salmon to the center of the quenelle. If any of you have done this, how did you go about it? And if its not really possible to get an interior garnish inside of a quenelle, can anyone point me in the right direction for making a terrine. I have a sudden urge to work with forcemeats.

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Old 05-09-2007, 06:39 PM   #2
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You could probably add a tasty tidbit to the center, but whatever you put inside I would think it should be precooked. Quenelles are usually poached and I would imagine anything chunky on the inside might not get cooked through.

I think the only real challenge is to keep the "surprise" fully covered and be able to keep the quenelle intact during the cooking process. Sort of like hiding a rock in a snowball. You'd have to be sure to pack the outer mass firmly.

Just my thoughts and I'm sure you'll get other, probably better advice, before long. Good luck
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Old 05-09-2007, 08:07 PM   #3
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I agree with Katie E. Make sure any shellfish is cooked begin putting it inside your quenelle. I've heard that quenelles are classically formed by using two spoons, and scraping the forcemeat from one spoon to the other. This forms a three-sided, oval-shaped quenelle. You might try just gently rolling the forcemeat around the nugget of cooked shellfish to seal it up. It'll probably be bigger than normal.

Poaching something that big may cause it to fall apart. You might want to steam it in a bamboo steamer, on waxed paper.
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Old 05-09-2007, 09:29 PM   #4
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Though quenelle is normally referred to as a shape versus an ingredient/preparation, now a day, you can do a variety of things.

Think of a meatball, but adapt it to seafood. It needs a protein, filler, binder, and cooking method(as mentioned, poaching to keep with tradition)...and seasoning of course.

I have done a whimsical approach of them, being it was the shape, not classic preparation, with everything from crab meat with cilantro and curry(uncooked but used pasteurized crab meat), to champagne poached Salmon quenelle with grapefruit gastrique.

This is a copy and paste of a very traditional preparation:
  • For the quenelles:
  • 1 lb. skinned flounder or sole (or other mild white fish), well chilled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup well chilled heavy cream
  • salt, freshly grated pepper, freshly grated nutmeg
  • To Bake the Quenelles:
  • 3 Tablespoons of butter + plus extra for greasing skillet & gratin pan
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Gruyère cheese (or a mixture of Gruyère & Parmesan)

1. Put the fish, salt, pepper and nutmeg into a food processor and blend until smooth.

2. Add the egg and process to combine.

3. With the machine still running, very slowly add the cream in a thin stream until it is completely absorbed.

4. Butter the sides and bottom of a skillet. Using 2 tablespoons, shape the mousse into ovals and place in the skillet close to each other. Dip the tablespoons into cold water after shaping each quenelle.

5. Bring 8 cups of water to a boil and ladle the boiling water into the skillet to completely cover the quenelles. Bring to a simmer and poach 10 minutes.

6. With a slotted spoon, remove the quenelles and place on paper towels to drain.

7. Butter a gratin dish or other baking dish large enough to hold the quenelles in a single layer. Place the quenelles in the dish and dot with the butter.

8. Sprinkle with the cheese and bake for about 6 minutes. Remove from oven, turn on the broiler and broil the quenelles for about 2 minutes or until the top is lightly browned.

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Old 05-10-2007, 01:31 AM   #5
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Quenelles are so light they might not want to hold a very large morsel. And even something you think is small and light, might collapse the mixture.

It's certainly an idea worth trying, tho...

My favorite quenelles have been made by Jean Paul Lacombe at Léon de Lyon in Lyon (home of quenelles!). He sometimes makes them airy by using only egg whites! Amazing!
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