As you know during our cooking class in Lyon with Chef Villard, we made a wonderful meal and Chef was kind enough to provide the recipes for the dishes we made together in his kitchen. The next few postings will reflect the dishes that we made as we recreated the meal for our good friends Barb and Kevin (Profiteroles and Ponytails).
Of course, I was not able to obtain some of the ingredients, so I had to improvise, but all in all, it turned out very well and I really enjoyed it (I hope our guests did too!)
The Improvised Menu:
• Escargot en chou •
• Pumpkin velouté scented with vanilla with EVOO sautéed wild mushrooms and seared scallops with hazelnut oil drizzle •
• Halibut wrapped in Prosciutto with a black olive beef stock sauce, new potatoes sautéed in EVOO and snap peas with arugula (rocket) pesto •
• Pear and milk chocolate clafoutis with home made caramel sauce •
I’m starting off with the pumpkin velouté because I’ve already posted about our starter, so please feel free to click on the link. Of course, hosting a dinner party with a complex menu and taking photos for the blog don’t actually go well together so instead of delaying dinner for our lovely guests, I served this soup again the next night when my nephew Brian was over for a much more casual dinner and was able to easily snap a pic without inconvenience.
Now, as usual I have made the recipe a little healthier and did not use the called for cream, but if you wish to make it yourself, please go ahead and indulge. I will also caveat that I made some preparation changes to the way Chef Villard made his soup; I oven roasted the pumpkin because all I was able to get was pie pumpkins and they tend not to be as sweet as the pumpkin that Chef Villard used, so I felt roasting would coax the sugars out of it more than just boiling. As well, our mushrooms were just ordinary wild mushrooms and not the intended trumpet mushrooms which are delicately earthy so I sautéed my wild mushrooms in butter to try to temper the strong earthiness of the wild ones! And last but not least, I roasted an entire head of garlic and added that to the soup because I like roasted garlic better than just cooked garlic. Otherwise, it’s exactly the same
Pumpkin Velouté with Sautéed Wild Mushrooms and Scallops with Hazelnut Oil
Makes 8 servings
- 600 g pumpkin (butternut squash would also work very well in this recipe
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp EVOO
- 600 mL chicken stock (home made or low sodium if store bought)
- 1/2 of a vanilla bean pod
- 150 mL Carnation Light Evaporated Milk (or heavy cream)
- 1 head of garlic
- 3 tbsp EVOO
- 12 Scallops
- 200 g wild mushrooms (or trumpet mushrooms)
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed flat (not small pieces, you want it whole enough to extract before serving).
- 1 tbsp hazelnut oil
- Pre-heat oven to 175° C or 350° F
- Peel and chop the pumpkin to 2-3 cm (1 inch) cubes, drizzle with olive oil and bake until fork tender.
- Peel off all of the skin from the garlic so only the individual cloves have their skin on. Put in a small ramekin and add about 3 tbsp EVOO and sea salt and bake until fork tender.
- In a large soup pot, add 2 tbsp EVOO and sweat out the onions until tender. Add the chicken stock and vanilla pod and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds and add it back to the pot.
- Add the roasted garlic and pumpkin and cook for about 6 minutes. Blend until very smooth with an immersion blender and press through a fine sieve. Set aside.
- Melt the butter in a frying pan and add the mushrooms and garlic clove and sautée until the mushrooms are tender. Set aside.
- Heat a frying pan up so and add a splash of olive oil. Dry off the scallops and fry each side until golden.
- Process the soup one more time with the immersion blender to aerate it.
- Plating: using either a large rimmed soup bowl or a small soup cup, add equal portions to the centre of each bowl. Spoon the soup around the mushrooms, garnish with scallop(s) and hazelnut oil.
Chef Villard was kind enough to pass along his experience and give us a few restaurant hints, that I would love to share with you:
- Process creamed soups again just before serving to aerate it, Chef Villard mentioned that this makes the soup extra light.
- When cooking any type of protein, it’s important to make sure that the thickness is even thoughout otherwise the thin bits will over cook while you finish cooking the thicker bits. So if you have a piece of fish with a thin tail end, fold it back over the next thickest part to even out the entire fishes thickness. Wrapping with prosciutto helps hold it together.