Thursday, May 08, 2008


makes 4 servings

4 quails
16 poached quail eggs
7 oz. chopped mushroom caps
3 1/2 oz. summer truffles and other mushrooms

Confit onions
4 onions, sliced
2 oz. bacon, in small pieces
3 1/2 oz. heavy cream
3 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper
vegetable oil

4 tartlet shells
8 oz. white flour
2 oz. butter
1 egg yolk
2 oz. water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Making the pastry: Make the pastry 4 hours in advance so that it firms up and loses some of its elasticity. Rub the butter and flour together until crumbly. In a bowl, combine the other ingredients; gradually blend into the first butter/flour mixture. Roll into a ball; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface. Line 4 well-buttered brioche molds with pastry. Refrigerate until completely chilled or until ready to use. Bake in a 325°F. oven for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven; cool and unmold.

Confit onions: Gently cook the onions in butter with a pinch of salt; drain in a strainer to remove the excess liquid and butter. Sauté the bacon bits in a few drops of oil until browned; drain. Pour the cream into the same skillet and reduce by half; add the onions and bacon; season with salt and pepper.

Preparing the quails and finishing: Roast the quails in a 400°F. oven for 6 minutes; let rest for 10 minutes; cut in half; debone the breast but leave the bone in the leg. Poach the quail eggs by breaking them into boiling water to which a little vinegar has been added. Remove with a strainer once the white begins to coagulate; refresh in cold water and set aside. Just before serving, reheat briefly by immersing them in boiling water for a few seconds with a strainer. Cook the spinach and drain. Divide among the tartlets. Sauté the mushrooms and summer truffles; season with salt and pepper; place on the spinach. Add a spoonful of confit onions and cover with 4 quail eggs. Garnish with boned quail and serve immediately.

courtesy of: Michael Caines, Gidleigh Park, Great Britain

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