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Brussels Sproutiflette, Caramel Apple Crèpes, and Teriyaki Salmon with Miso-Roasted Beets and Salsify Tempura

February 1, 2010

I wanted to make the gnocchi thing, I really did.  But as I contemplated it, it kept morphing into tartiflette in my mind.  Clearly, my subconscious was trying to tell me something: that putting Brussels sprouts into a tartiflette makes you feel so much better about eating it!  I went out and bought bacon, and then at the last minute decided not to use it, in favor of duck fat.  (So now it’s vegetarian.  As any Looney Tunes fan should know, duck is a vegetable.)  Anyway, I sautéed some onions, and then cranked up the heat to caramelize the chopped Brussels sprouts.  I tossed the onions and sprouts with diced, boiled potatoes (I peeled them so I could season my crèpe pan, but you could definitely leave the skins on) drizzled a little cream over the mixture, and topped it with slices of St. Nectaire cheese before popping it in the oven to get all melty.

Don't you just love inventing a new dish?

It was delicious- rich and hearty – and the side salad of mâche was, as predicted, a welcome contrast.

My copy of Ruhlman’s Ratio got a workout this weekend, both for the crèpes on Sunday morning and the tempura on Sunday night.  I wanted to let the batter rest overnight, but forgot about it until after dinner on Saturday when we were headed out the door to a housewarming party.  Luckily, crèpe batter is one of the fastest things to make, especially when you’re working with ratios, so I whizzed it together in a matter of minutes and we were on our way.  the next morning, the apples got the Tatin treatment and the crèpes came out beautifully.  I served them for breakfast – ok, we got a late start, by then it was more like brunch – with a couple of sausage patties on the side.

Caramelized apple peeking out of a crèpe

And then there was the Japanese-flavored extravaganza.  I was pretty set on making tempura with the salsify – I imagined the stick shapes would be perfect candidates for battering and frying – and I was hoping to find another way to enjoy beets.  Maybe without bacon?  Miso, I thought, might have just the right salty complexity to compliment the beets in a similar, but healthier, way.  Nick suggested teriyaki salmon to complete the meal, to which I was completely amenable.

Teriyaki salmon, miso-roasted beets, and salsify tempura

Preparing the salsify was a little involved.  Both Robuchon and Reboul said that the peeled roots should be boiled in water with flour and lemon juice mixed in.  I don’t know why the flour needs to be there.  And those buggers take a long time to cook!  You’d think that a root the thickness of a thumb would become tender fairly quickly, but no, these guys took half an hour!  I let them drain a bit before dredging them in flour, dipping them in a light tempura batter and frying them into crisp, irresistible little batons.  Meanwhile, I tossed diced beets with a little oil, salt, and pepper and roasted them for about 20 minutes.  I poured on enough miso vinaigrette to coat the cubes and again roasted for 20 minutes.  And you know what?  I loved them!  Now I have two ways to cook beets.  Hooray!  Once the vegetables were ready, I seared the salmon to a rosy pink on the stove, and napped it with homemade teriyaki sauce (a household favorite from Cook’s Illustrated) before digging in.

Originally published on Seasonal Market Menus.

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3 Comments
  1. February 7, 2010 8:06 pm

    So what did those scorsonère taste like? I’m scared of mine! Not sure what to do with them yet. I made a yummy gratin of caramelized leeks and topinambours though – love those!

  2. February 7, 2010 8:14 pm

    Well, I highly recommend tempura-ing the scorsonère – they were delicious! What does it taste like? Kind of like a less-sweet parsnip, with maybe a hint of oyster (one of its nicknames is “oyster plant”).

    And that reminds me – I still have a couple of topinambours left. I’m thinking soup with bacon, though a gratin sounds great, too!

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