1 small salad frisee
A squeeze of lemon juice and a tiny splash of light olive oil to dress the above
salt and pepper
200 grams smoked eel fillets, sliced lengthways as thinly as possible
8 rashers of smoked, streaky bacon, grilled until crisp
1 heaped tablespoon finely chopped chives
For the beurre blanc
2 shallots, very finely chopped
4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
4 tablespoons white wine
4 tablespoons water
250 grams very cold, fine quality unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
salt and freshly ground white pepper
Make the beurre blanc: using a small stainless steel or enameled pan, combine shallots, vinegar, wine and water. Reduce over a very moderate heat until almost no liquid is left. Then, reduce the heat to as low as possible and add the butter one chunk at a time (using a small whisk), until it is all incorporated. It should look like light, slightly jellied custard. Season and keep somewhere warm (but not actually on the heat).
Separate frisee into thin leaves and dress with the lemon juice, oil and seasoning. Arrange evenly on the plate as a base for the salad.
Arrange the eel strips on top, the bacon bits around the edge and then spoon the beurre blanc ‘in and around’. Garnish with the chopped chives.
bacon recipe courtesy of: Week in Week Out: 52 Seasonal Stories, by Simon Hopkinson. Quadrille Publishing Ltd, 2007; Helen Graves, Food Stories, March 2009