RICOTTA DUMPLING WITH SAGE, QUINCE AND BROWN BUTTER – GRADY ATKINS
Chefs notes; a very simple, seasonal dish which relies heavily on the quality of ingredients for its success. At Bloc Café, we use this dish for ‘plat paysan’, which is our peasant style small plates offering. This is a vegetarian dish as long as the ricotta sourced does not contain animal rennet. It is also gluten free. On poaching- the water (when at the correct temp) should taste a little salty and look like a fizzy drink in a glass. After adding the dumplings, raise the heat to keep the fizz going as the water will cool this slightly. A shallow pan with enough water to cover the dumplings works best.
Fresh quince- 1 each
Peel and quarter the quince. Toss it in enough brown sugar to cover the quarters and lay in a small pan, just covering with water. Add a sprinkle of mixed spice and simmer very gently, covered, until the quince is tender. Cool, then remove the quince from the syrup. Reduce down the syrup until thick, paint over the fruit and roast-medium heat- until dark orange and burnt on the edges. Set aside.
Ricotta (or fresh goats’/cows curd) 250 g
Chick pea flour 125 g
Whole fresh egg 1 each
Sea salt 12 g
Black pepper to taste
Grated cheese 125 g (a hard-vegetarian cheese such as English Gruyere, or Parmesan if not vegetarian).
Mix all ingredients together with a spatula until a uniform cover. Roll into marble size balls and poach in salted water until firm. Drain and set aside.
Use salted butter as it browns quickly and foams up nicely.
Salted butter- 50 g
Half a lemon
Sage leaves-8 each
On a medium heat add the butter and sage leaves to a sauté pan. Let it melt and as it starts sizzling add the cooked dumplings and quince pieces. If they have previously cooled that’s fine. Add a little colour to the dumplings and quince, gently turning. When the butter has stopped giving off steam that means all the water is cooked out, so it will now turn brown. When a nice sandy colour, give a quick squeeze of lemon to stop the cooking. Separate all ingredients in to 4 bowls.