Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Parmigiano-Reggiano Custards with Romaine Lettuce, Anchovy Dressing and Parmesan Crisp

A.K.A. Caeser Salad on TFL menu.

First of all let me say, I really wish I had better camera skills. STEPHEN!! I need you :) But then you'd have to quit school and move and live with your crazy aunt while she cooks... so that may be just a trifle too much. Anyway, I apologize for the picture quality.

This is classic Keller: take a dish, give it a new creative twist, and while keeping the same ingredients, turn it into something totally new and different. Basically we have anchovy dressing (sorry no pics) a crouton, topped with a parmesan custard, a parmesan crisp and a chiffonade of hearts of romaine that have been tossed in some of the dressing.

You start by combining cream and milk and Parmigiano-Reggiano, bring to simmer and turn off heat and let it infuse.

Once that's done you combine it with some eggs to make your custard. Straining the cream infusion and whisking a bit at a time to temper the eggs. Then you ladel into your molds. These molds are too big which turned out to be the weakest part of the dish. But they were what I had. You place the filled molds into a roasting pan and fill about 1/2 way with HOT water and cover with foil and bake in a slow oven for 30 min. Pretty much your standard custard preparation. Before the bain-marie (water bath): After they came out of the oven:
They look pretty much the same except you can see the "after" ones have puffed a bit and look set.

Let the molds chill for 2 hours. Then there is the final assembly. You spoon some dressing on the plate and top it with a crouton. On top of the crouton, place your unmolded custard. Mine unmolded a little messier than I had hoped and as you can see the custard is too big in proportion to the other ingredients. Anyways, on top of the custard place a parmesan crisp and finally top with the chiffonade of hearts of romaine. Add a couple of dots of balsamic glaze on the plate.
The flavors were really good together, the crunch of the crouton against the creaminess of the custard and the tangy romaine. I think it would have been perfect if I had the proper molds. Keller calls for molds that hold 2 T. As it was, the custard really overwhelmed the other components. But that's what this project is all about.. learning and trying.

I know I keep promising shrimp, I'm waiting for a good price on them. They were really inexpensive 2 weeks ago....Figures LOL I have ordered black truffles so when they arrive I will have to make everything in the book with black truffles... very quickly. They say you can freeze them so that might take some pressure off.

See you soon.

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