Directions for the Comte Cheese Gougeres
Serves: 8 (makes about 65 small puffs)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Make-Ahead: The unbaked gougères can be frozen for up to 1 week. Once frozen the gougères can be stored in an airtight container. Bring the gougères to room temperature before baking. The gougères can be baked up to 2 hours ahead and rewarmed at 175°C for 3 to 4 minutes.
1. Position the racks in the top third and center of the oven and preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced). Line 2 large baking trays with baking paper.
2. In a medium heavy saucepan, combine the butter, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, and 1/2 cup of water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the flour all at once and mix with a wooden spoon until the mixture has formed a ball. Continue to cook the mixture over medium-low heat, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the taste of flour has cooked out of the dough.
3. Transfer the dough to a large bowl and, using an electric mixer, beat the dough on medium speed for about 3 minutes, or until the dough comes to room temperature. Add the eggs one at a time, completely incorporating each egg before adding the next. Scrape down the sides of the bowl before adding the next egg. Stir in the cheese.
4. Transfer the dough to a piping bag. Pipe 2.5cm rounds of the dough onto the prepared baking trays, spacing about 3cm apart to allow the gougères to expand as they bake. Lightly sprinkle the fleur de sel over the gougères. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown.
5. Pipe comte crémeux into gougères and serve warm.
Directions for Comte Cremeux
Makes: 2 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
1. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add flour and stir for about 5 minutes, or until a smooth paste forms.
2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat cream and milk together until scalded.
3. Gradually add hot cream-milk to butter mixture, and whisk continuously until smooth. Bring sauce to a boil.
4. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring constantly, then remove from the heat.
5. Immediately add cheese one small handful at a time, and stir until melted and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Strain cheese mixture through fine sieve. Transfer to piping bag with long narrow tip.
7. Pipe warm cheese mixture into gougères. Serve immediately.
1. Combine carrots, celery, and onion in a large pot of water and bring to a boil.
2. Add shrimp, cover, and remove pot from heat. Set aside about 3 minutes, or until shrimp are just cooked through. Do not over cook the shrimp.
3. Remove shrimp from cooking liquid and chill on ice in fridge.
Clams and Mussels
1. Sweat shallot and garlic in a hot pan with olive oil.
2. Add clams, mussels, parsley, and wine.
3. Cover and cook until mussels and clams open.
4. Transfer mussels and clams to a flat tray to cool down.
5. Once cool, place in fridge until ready to assemble platter.
1. In bowl, whisk vinegar and shallots. While whisking, slowly whisk in the oils. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until cold.
1. On a large deep sided platter or bucket, place crushed ice. Decoratively arrange shrimp, mussels, clams, and oysters.
2. Serve with the lemon to squeeze over, the vinaigrette, and some crusty bread.
Brine and Duck
1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, add 1/2 litre water, sea salt flakes, pink salt, thyme, bay leaves, coriander seeds, orange zest, lemon zest, cinnamon stick, cloves and juniper. Bring mixture to a boil, whisking to dissolve salt and sugar. Remove pan from heat and stir in 1 1/2 litres water. Cool brine to room temperature.
2. In a large container, combine duck legs and brine. Cover and refrigerate. Brine duck legs for 24 hours.
Confit Duck Legs
1. Preheat oven to 150°C (130°C fan-forced).
2. Rinse duck legs thoroughly under cold water and pat dry. Place duck fat in a large high-sided roasting pan that is wide enough to fit duck legs in a single layer and place pan over medium heat to melt fat. When fat has melted, add duck legs to submerge. Cover casserole tightly with two sheets of foil. Transfer to oven and cook for about 3 1/2 hours, or until meat is very tender and pulls easily from bones.
3. Remove duck legs from fat and transfer to a large bowl and leave to cool slightly. (Duck fat can be cooled and reused two or three times, but can get quite salty after repeated use). Remove and discard skin from duck legs. Using your hands, pull meat from bones. Leave meat in as big of pieces as possible, making sure not to shred it too finely. Place duck meat in a large bowl. Add 3 tbs duck fat, sage, sherry vinegar and green peppercorns to duck meat and gently toss to combine. Taste mixture and season with salt if necessary
4. Line a terrine mould that is 15cm in length and 9cm wide and 8cm tall (1 litre capacity) with 2 layers of cling film, leaving about 8cm of overhang on each side of mould to fold over top of terrine when filled. Transfer duck mixture to prepared mould, packing down into an even layer to remove any air pockets. Fold overhanging cling film over top of terrine to cover. Using a cocktail skewer, poke holes through cling film to prevent air bubbles in terrine. Cut a piece of cardboard to fit the size of terrine and place on top of terrine. Place about 1kg of tinned vegetables over cardboard to weigh down terrine. Place in refrigerator to set terrine, about 8 hours.
1. Unmold terrine and cut crossways into 1cm-thick slices. Allow slices to sit at room for about 10 minutes to temper slightly.