Monday, June 27, 2011

Semolina and Gruyere Quenelles with Tomato Sauce

Learning about new food is always exciting. Before this I could not have told you what a quenelle was, and if asked, I would have told you incorrectly what semolina was.

Quenelle: Oval shaped dumpling traditionally made of pureed meat or fish.
Semolina: A coarsely ground flour from durum wheat (extra protein, extra gluten)

Now, this was not the easiest thing to make. There's a sauce to make, the dough needs to be made and then chilled, and the formed logs have to be boiled before they're baked. That said, it was real tasty.

Recipe from Vegetarian Times - March 2011 from Chef Raymond Blanc

1 1/2 cup whole milk
4 tbsp butter
3/4 cup semolina flour
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
5 oz finely grated gruyere cheese + more for sprinkling

Bring milk and butter to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat.
Stir in flours and cook 2-3 minutes. Be ready with a whisk to avoid chunks.
Take it off the heat and add the egg, egg yolk, and cheese.
Spread the mixture on a baking sheet, cover it, cool it for 2 hours.

In those 2 hours...

Tomato Sauce
3 tbsp olive oil
1 white onion chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/3 cup tomato puree
2 sprigs thyme

Heat the oil in a pan on medium heat.
Add garlic and onion. Saute until softened.
Add everything else. Cook 7 to 8 minutes.
Add 2 cups water and salt and pepper if necessary. Cook 5 minutes.
Hit the food processor and puree this stuff.

Now, time to deal with the cooled quenelles.

Heat the oven to 350.
Bring 2 quarts of water to a simmer.
Split the dough into 8 equal parts and roll them into 4 inch logs on a well floured surface. Add some muscle to make sure they stick together
Slide the cheesy goodness logs into the simmering water. They're going to sink.
It should take about 8 minutes until they rise - use a slotted spoon to grab them and put them on a paper towel lined plate.

Finally... the mix!

8 inch square pan. Add 4 cups of the tomato sauce.
Add the quenelles in whatever way makes the most sense.
Sprinkle some extra cheese over the top.
Bake 20 minutes. Serve.

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