In the restaurant business we usually call the humble Pancake by its French name, the Crêpe.
Crêpes come in all shapes and sizes and can be served with sweet or savoury additions. They can be seen in many cuisines and have many different names, though in essence they are a flat bread (though some also use yeast).
My first memory of Pancakes stem from my school days. We used to make them on Pancake Day (our name for Shrove Tuesday), and I remember partaking (and winning! 😆 ) at the school Pancake Race, a race where I had to run whilst simultaniously flip a Pancake from its frying pan!
Back at home, proud of my “Gold Star Pancake Race Medal”, I would then make Pancakes for my family, (Showing off!). I recall a laughable moment when I “flipped” to hard and the Pancake got stuck on the kitchen ceiling!. Luckily those days are far gone!.
It was Emilie´s idea to cook up some Crêpes for the restaurant. We decided to fill them with Sautéed Wild Mushrooms and Leeks.
We served them with some Yakitori Suace and Shallot Toast “Migas” (Crumbs).
These are served warm and were very tasty, in fact I ate three! 😉
Foie Gras Brûlée.
Yep, a fattened duck liver “flan” given a topping of brown sugar and burnt. Sounds strange, tastes lovely!! 🙂 .
Most of use have encountered Crème Brûlée´s on dessert menus. The Spanish have their version called Crema Catalana (literary “Catalan Cream”) which is made a little differently, and in my opinion is heavier and sweeter than its French cousin.
We make ours in small glasses and add a little bit more milk than normal, this gives the finished product a lighter texture which is neither solid or liquid.
Like most “Brûlées” (Brûlée means “Burnt Cream”), we sprinkle a little brown sugar on top and burn it with the help of a blow torch. The sugar melts then hardens and turns in to a crunchy topping, which is cracked by the spoon before eating.
To ensure “extra crunchiness” we do this process not twice, but three times.
After the initial meeting with the blow torch , we let it settle and harden before adding a little more brown sugar and reintroducing it to the flame.
It is then “painted” with a sticky reduction of Tamarind Syrup.
This Tamarind Syrup also hardens when it gets cold, so it has to be kept warm in order for it to keep a liquid consistency. After brushing it with the Tamarind, it is given another sprinkling of brown sugar before being served.
The Amuse Bouche is then served immediately.
Under the hardened surface is the wonderfully creamy and silky Foie Gras. The tangy and sweet flavour of the Tamarind and Caramel are the perfect foil for the Foie Gras. Yummy. 😉