Chef diaries: Manu Feildel

Bonjour! Oo la la!

At Best Home Chef we love all things French… croissants, pate, escargot… But our absolute favourite is French chef Manu, who has chosen Australia as his home away from home.

We caught up with Manu recently while he was holding a masterclass at Winning Appliances. He taught us how to create his ‘Manu’s Sausage’ or the fancy Scallop Boudin with Crab Bisque Sauce (which is served at his restaurant L’Etoile). Manu cooked this entire dish using the Scholtès MultiPlo, an appliance allowing users to roast, steam, deep fry, slow cook and sous vide.

Here is Best Home Chef’s exclusive video with Manu where we ask him his secrets to home cooking and how to cook the perfect steak.

And here’s his recipe – Manu’s Boudin de St-Jacques et bisque de crustacés or his Scallop Boudin with Crab Bisque Sauce.

Manu’s notes – “It’s an easy recipe, really; the only truly technical part is in the shaping of the sausage. I find flathead is the right fish for this recipe, but you could use salmon if you want.”

Ingredients:
• 250g flathead fillets, skin removed, pin-boned
• 90g egg whites (about 3 egg whites from 55g eggs)
• 250g cleaned scallops, roe removed and discarded, finely chopped
• 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
• 300ml pouring cream
• Table salt
• 500g baby spinach
• 50g cold unsalted butter, chopped
• 1 quantity Crab Bisque Sauce (see below)
• Sea Salt and freshly ground pepper
• Ocean trout roe and chervil sprigs, to serve

Method:
1. Process the flathead in a food processor until a fine paste forms. Add egg whites and process until smooth, then transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Fold in the scallop and chives and then, stirring continuously, gradually add the cream and season to taste.
2. Lightly dampen a work surface with water and lay out a large piece of plastic film (the water stops the plastic from slipping). Place 100g of the scallop mixture in a line along the centre of the plastic film over the top and shape the mixture into a sausage about 10cm long. Roll up and tie a firm knot in the plastic film at each end, then repeat with more plastic film and the remaining mixture to make 8 sausages.
3. Heat a side-based saucepan of water until it reaches 90°C on a candy thermometer or is just below a simmer. Add the scallop boudin and poach for 10 minutes; the water should not boil or the boudin will split. Gently remove the boudin from the pan and leave to stand for 2-3 minutes. Snip the ends off the plastic film and carefully unwrap the boudin, then pat dry with a clean tea towel.
4. Meanwhile, blanch the spinach in a large saucepan of boiling water for 1 minute, then drain and squeeze out the excess liquid.
5. Just before serving, heat the crab bisque sauce until hot. Whisk the butter and adjust the seasoning.
6. Divide the crab bisque sauce among 8 shallow soup bowls and place some spinach in a line down the middle. Top with a scallop boudin, a small spoonful of ocean trout roe and a sprig of chervil and serve.

Serves 8 as an entree.

Bisque de crabe or Crab Bisque Sauce

Ingredients:
• 1kg raw blue swimmer crabs (about 4)
• 50ml olive oil
• 1 small onion, chopped
• 1 bulb baby fennel, trimmed and chopped
• 2 stalks celery, chopped
• 4 eschalots, chopped
• 8 cloves garlic, chopped
• 5cm knob ginger, chopped
• 5 roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
• 50ml brandy
• 250ml dry white wine
• 1 tablespoon tomato paste
• 2 star anise
• 5 black peppercorns
• ¼ teaspoon coriander seeds
• ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
• 3 sprigs thyme
• 1 bay leaf
• 2 litres cold water
• 250ml pouring cream
• 50g cold unsalted butter, chopped
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method:
Working with one crab at a time, hold a crab upside down, then lift the tail flaps (‘apron’) and insert a small knife under the top shell. Twist the knife to loosen and pull off the top shell, then remove and discard the grey gills (‘dead man’s fingers’). Leave the coral (‘mustard’) as it holds a lot of flavour. Using a kitchen cleaver or large sharp knife, cut each crab body into 8 pieces and tap the large claws firmly to break open the shell. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan or stockpot over high heat. Place the crab pieces in the pan and cook, stirring often, for 6-8 minutes or until the shells change colour. Add the onion, fennel, celery, eschalot, garlic and ginger and stir for 8-10 minutes or until lightly coloured. Add the tomato and brandy and simmer until reduced by half. Pour in the wine and simmer for 5-6 minutes or until reduced by half again, then the tomato paste, star anise, peppercorns, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, thyme, bay leaf and water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, without skimming, for 40 minutes.
Strain the mixture through a colander sitting over a large bowl, then return the solids to the pan and reserve the stock. Using a heavy-duty blender (or the end of a rolling pin), crush the shells as much as possible – the more you crush them, the more flavour will be released. Return the stock and crushed shell to the pan, combine well, then strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, pressing with the bottom of a ladle to remove as much liquid and flavour as possible. Discard the solids.
Transfer I litre of the stock to a clean saucepan. Add the cream and simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes or until the bisque has reduced enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Whisk the butter into the hot bisque sauce, then season with salt and pepper.
Makes about 1 litre.

Sally Killoran
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Sally Killoran

Love writing blogs, talking to chefs and creating food people love. It's not a food baby, I promise.

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