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Escalope With Cream and Asparagus ©

November 8, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

Once upon a time there was the most wonderful restaurant in Athens, in a beautiful Neo Classic building……

There under the trees in their beautifully cool garden, one savoured a unique Cuisine……..There were many places like this, once upon a time, but this was different, because it had  a French Cuisine, incorporating a life time of recipes from travels all over the world.

The restaurant’s name is now the title of a the book, “Balthazar”…..I came across this book long after it was published, exhibited in my butcher’s shop and the name caught my eye……what joy, surely this could not be a cookery book with all the recipes from that ‘wonderful’ restaurant long ago……..

We loved the food at Balthazar so much, that  when one day it was no more, I tried to recreate the recipes and now I am  even more thrilled, because I have the original recipes all in this amazing book, beautifully illustrated with all the memorabilia of the Chef’s travels around the world, post cards, travel tickets,restaurant receipts, a pandoras box of a whole life time…..

This I dedicate to Niko and Stefania who so kindly introduced us to this restaurant. We dined there several times and it was “always” exquisite……..”Jamaica Tart,” their show stopper, will in due course follow. So sought after was the recipe, that the Chef kept it in code so that no on could copy it!!!!!!

To the good old days……..

 

Medium to Easy

 

 

6 persons

 

 

Ingredients

12 Veal Escalope cut from the “fillet,”  Filleto in Greece. The most tender cut.( Important )

4 tbs seasoned flour for dusting escalopes

2 tsp powdered Tarragon

4 tbs butter

250 ml white wine

1 tbs brandy

250 ml cream

salt white pepper

16 white asparagus, fresh or from a jar

Fresh tarragon for decorating

Serve with “Potatoes Noisette.” Potatoes cut into balls, with a ball cutter and deep fried in corn oil.

 

Method

This recipe should be cooked shortly before serving……..

1. Get your butcher to cut the escalopes as instructed and then using a piece of cling film, pat lightly with a rolling pin to spread thin, unless your butcher has already done this. It is very important that you buy the best and most tender cut and that the escalope are very thin. A good butcher will know.

If your asparagus are fresh, boil in salted water, lid off and drain. If fresh ones are not available buy them in a jar, pour off the preserving liquid and soak for half an hour in fresh water. During this time change the water twice and I make a few incisions into the stalks, so that there is no taste of the preserving liquid.

2. Sieve your flour onto a baking tray, add salt, white pepper and powdered tarragon. Place escalopes on seasoned flour one by one and turn over and do the same on the other side, so that the escalope is thoroughly coated in seasoned flour. Place on a large plate ready for frying.

3.  Melt butter in non-stick frying pan and fry escalopes, three pieces at a time, until they are golden on both sides. Reserve on a warm dish. 3-5 minutes cooking time on each side.

4.  Once  all your escalope are fried, add the wine and brandy and boil rapidly for three minutes. Then add the cream and reduce for another two minutes. You want the sauce to thicken so it coats the back of a spoon. Mix the sauce carefully, using a wooden spoon and add the escalopes followed by the white asparagus.

5. Heat through until asparagus are warmed through. If the sauce is not plentiful add a little more cream. Taste! Adjust seasoning.

6. Serve in warm serving dish and decorate with fresh or dried tarragon.

7. Serve together with “Potatoes Noiasette.” (Potato balls, cut with special ball cutter and deep fried in oil .)

N.B. In order to really enjoy this recipe you need to follow it accurately, there is no swapping of ingredients here and the final result is exquisite! On a different occasion you can use  sliced mushrooms instead of asparagus or steamed celery root, but the original asparagus recipe is the best!

Order your meat from the butcher ahead of time, so that he can give you the best, his most tender cut….say it is for a very special occasion!

* For you Greek speakers, you will notice a small variation in the cooking method, because in the Greek written recipe, it is not exactly clear, but no worries I have written it out in English with the correct order of cooking.

 

 

The book filled with a life times collection of recipes.

There were three favourite recipes from this restaurant, Orange Soup, Escalope Alla Cream and the all famous

“Jamaica Tart,” which the Chef kept such a secret, even his nearest and dearest were not let in on the secret.

After all these years I can now compare my own version to the original and I guessed it almost completely!!!

The recipe will follow in a subsequent blog……Once tried , never forgotten.

Escalope prepared by butcher.

Place dried tarragon in mortar and grind into a powder.

This fine powder you add to the seasoned flour.

Lay each side of your escalope into the seasoned flour.

If white asparagus are not readily available this ‘jarred’ version makes a very good alternative.

Soak asparagus in water for half an hour. Change water twice during this time to get rid of the preserving

liquid.

Melt butter in non-stick frying pan.

Fry three escalope at a time until golden, 3 minutes each side, don’t over cook, they will cook more in cream

sauce.

Add cream and then asparagus and heat gently through.

Soak fresh tarragon for garnishing in salted cold water. The salt releases any bugs!

Arrange in pre-heated serving dish and decorate with fresh tarragon, or if not available sprinkle with dried

tarragon or parsley.

Final result…..heaven…….escalopes melt in the mouth and sauce delicious…….

 

 

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Nick permalink
    November 8, 2012 6:38 am

    Reading and looking at the pictures here in Johanesburg brings back memories
    of many romantic evenings with my wife to be, in a different and happier Athens !

    Like

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