Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Crab Roe Stuffed Fish Balls l'Americaine








Lobster Mousseline Hot Dog

Lobster Mousseline Hot Dog


Lobster mousseline hot dog gently poaching in the lobster broth 

A nice elegant fusion recipe!  Chinese crab roe stuffed surimi fish balls with a classic French lobster "American style" sauce preparation!

     It has been a very long time since I have made Homard a l'Americaine.  Lobster a l'Americaine is considered to be a classic French entree.  L'Americaine was created by a french chef named Pierre Fraisse, who worked in America by the name of Chef Peters and later settled in Paris.
     Many food historians state that the name a l'Americaine refers to lobster cooked American style as in reference to the country of America.  Brittany France also was once called America and Brittany claims this fine French recipe as its own marquis entree!
     Since capsicum peppers and tomatoes are not native to French Brittany and they are native to the Americas, most food historians agree that the recipes refers to "American style" as in the western world.  Since France was truly one of the first global societies, many food historians still disagree, because the ingredients for l'Americaine were also available in France.
     Regardless of which region l'Americaine refers to, the fact is Chef Pierre Fraisse created this recipe!  In fact, l'Americaine was a quickly thrown together entree that was made in a hurry when there was not enough time to prepare a more extensive recipe for guests.  L'Americaine is served as an entree with thin slices of lobster meat.  The lobster was sliced thin, so it would cook faster and the flambe was used to increase flavor before the body of the sauce was formed.  
     Basic southern France bouillabaisse techniques were used for the start of this recipe.  Flambe is another required technique for making l'Americaine.  Rapid reductions and a thin roux were used to give the sauce its body.  The sauce is finished with a monte au beurre technique to prevent a "skin" from forming on the finished sauce, just like monte au beurre is employed in making a fine lobster bisque!
     L'Americaine is truly an entree that has a nice amount of lobster meat in the recipe.  L'Americaine can also be served without the lobster meat as a sauce for other recipes.  In classic French cookbooks like Escoffier and Larousse Gastronomique, only a reference to the ingredients, technique and the rush to complete the l'Americaine is mentioned.  The step by step recipe was not printed in those two great French reference books, but any experienced French chef can cook the recipe, by just using those cooking reference book descriptions!
     L'Americaine is spicier than Newburg and it is similar to a rich quickly made veloute with glace technique reductions increasing the overall flavor ten fold!  The timing of the flambe is key and the timing of adding white wine and lemon play their parts.  Red chile pepper is the key flavor that sets this lobster entree or sauce apart from all others.  Not too much chile pepper and not too little of an amount of chile pepper can be a fine line to draw!
    Now for the good part and this is really going to cause some classic French chefs to keel over, when they read this!  The reason that I made the l'Americaine sauce instead of the entree was because I used the lobster meat for another recipe.  I had two huge uncooked lobster claws from a three pound lobster in my freezer that were set aside from when I made the classic Lobster Thermidor for this recipe blog during the Christmas holidays.
     Tonight, I used the bulk of the lobster claw meat to make a lobster mousseline.  The lobster mousseline was used to make a lobster mousseline hot dog for another recipe.  Yes, I will be posting a Las Vegas style lobster corn dog recipe tomorrow!  Lobster corn dog?  A few top trendy Las Vegas restaurants offer lobster corn dogs on their menus and one offers a French black truffle lobster corn dog at a very nice price!  Las Vegas is adult fantasyland and I am sure that many classic French chefs have secretly fantasized about creating a tastier richer corn dog.  Maybe not, but the idea was a good one!
     The lobster claw shells and scraps of lobster meat were used to make the l'Americaine sauce.  Since it was only being made as a sauce, I was not concerned about the amount of lobster meat.  I was only concerned about the flavor being accurate.  Since I had no guest and I was not in a hurry, like when Chef Pierre Fraisse created the l'Americaine recipe, I had more time to extract a rich lobster flavor from the lobster scraps.
     When making fresh sausages, especially mousseline sausages, the sausages must be gently poached at 150 to 170 degrees.  This is done so that when the sausage is cooked later, the sausage casing does not split open from the pressure of steam trying to escape from the ingredients.
     Like all French chefs know, increasing flavor can be something that is important.  I temporarily diluted the start of the l'americaine recipe and poached the lobster mousseline hot dog in the rich flavored lobster broth to increase the flavor of the hot dog!  After the hot dog finished poaching, it was set aside and the cooking of the l'Americane sauce was resumed.
     First, the diluted start of the l'Americaine was reduced back to it's normal consistency at the stage of l'Americaine after the initial flambe.  A tiny amount of mirepoix was added to make up for any lost flavor.  I made a small necessary adjustment and that is okay.
     So, the moral of the story is obvious!  If you are using two large lobster claws to make a lobster mousseline hot dog, use the scraps to make a l'Americaine sauce!  Viola!  I can almost hear the comments from the great French chefs now.  "Those imbecile l'Americaines and their stupid American hot dogs!  Bwahahaha!"

     Crab Roe Stuffed Fish Balls l'Americaine Recipe:
     I am not going to write both recipes for lobster mousseline corn dog and l'Americaine sauce as one.  These two recipes will be written separately.  The lobster moussline hot dog and corn dog recipe will be posted tomorrow.  If you wish to take the opportunity to make both recipes at the same time like I did, then the guidelines are laid out in the introductory paragraphs above.
     Chinese crab roe stuffed surimi fish balls are a very nice high quality pre-made frozen product that can be purchased in any good Chinese market.  Las Vegas Chinatown markets had a very nice variety of different flavored surimi fish balls and stuffed surimi fish balls to choose from, when I was shopping there.
     The rich classic French l'Americaine sauce is perfect for the slightly sweet flavor of crab roe stuffed surimi!  Making the l'Americaine sauce does follow the same guidelines as making the l'Americaine entree.  The difference is that the crab roe stuffed surimi fish balls take the place of the lobster meat.  It is important to extract as much flavor as you can from the lobster scraps and shells for the sauce!
     Heat a large saute pan, braising pan or a sauteuse over medium heat.
     Add 1 small splash of olive oil.
     Add the scraps from two very large lobster claws and the lobster shells.  (Or add 3 handfuls of whole lobster scrap and shells)
     Saute and toss the lobster scraps, till they start to gain some red color.
     Add 4 minced garlic cloves.
     Add 1 handful of chopped onion.
     Saute till the garlic turns a golden brown color.
     Add 3 ounces of tomato puree.
     Reduce and stir the tomato puree, till it just begins to take on a richer darker red color.  (Pincer)
     Add 3/4 cup of brandy.
     Ignite the brandy and flambe, till the lobster scraps and shells become lightly caramelized.
     Add 1 cup of dry white wine.
     Add enough water to barely cover the lobster scraps and shells.
     Add 1 small bay leaf.
     Add 3 to 4 pinches of cayenne pepper.
     Add 4 to 5 pinches of Spanish paprika.  (Hungarian paprika has the wrong flavor profile for this sauce!)
     Bring the ingredients to a gentle boil.
     Reduce the temperature to medium low/low heat.
     Slowly simmer the ingredients, till the broth becomes a light reddish brown lobster broth color.  (There is no rush to make this sauce like how the original recipe was quickly made, unless you happen have guests pounding their knives and forks on the table!)
     Strain the lobster broth through a fine mesh sieve into a separate container.
     Return the empty hot pan to medium heat.
     Add 4 pats of unsalted butter.
     Add just enough flour, while constantly stirring, to form a rough with a medium thin consistency.
     Stir the roux, till it becomes a light blonde color.
     Return the strained lobster broth to the pan slowly, while whisking.
     Whisk till the roux combines with the broth and forms a very thin sauce.
     Add sea salt and white pepper.
     Add 1 small squeeze of lemon juice.
     Add 7 thawed Chinese crab roe stuffed surimi fish balls.
     Gently simmer and reduce the sauce, till it becomes a rich rusty orange lobster color and till it becomes a medium thin consistency.  Be sure to occasionally gently turn the fish balls, so they heat evenly as the sauce reduces.
     Place the Chinese crab roe fish balls on a plate and arrange them so they look nice.
     Remove the pan with the sauce from the heat.
     Add 2 pats of unsalted butter while stirring with a whisk.  (Monte au beurre)
     Spoon the l'Americaine sauce over and around the Chinese crab roe stuffed surimi fish balls on the plate.
     No garnish or chopped parsley is necessary!
     Serve with vegetables and a starch of your choice on the side.

     Viola!  This l'Americaine sauce recipe is not difficult to make and it only takes the basic original ingredients for this sauce to taste as it should.  The techniques and cooking time are only slightly modified, since the featured ingredient is not lobster meat.  Chinese crab roe stuffed surimi fish balls are usually steamed or cooked in the broth of a soup.  Heating the fish balls in the sauce adds flavor to the fish balls.  The combination of crab roe, surimi and l'Americaine flavors creates a very nice tasting classic Chinese French fusion entree!
     Here is the link to the second half of this recipe:  Lobster Corn Dog  Yum!  ...  Shawna

7 comments:

  1. Great review and written very entertainingly. Of course, now you've got me hungry for lobster, crab and hot dogs.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! The lobster mousseline hot dog/lobster corn dog recipe will be posted tomorrow! Just thinking of a good dipping sauce to go with it.

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  2. Great recipe, i’m going to consider it with my spouse tonite. Hope i get it right! Cheers
    These look delicious and healthy. Great recipe. I can't wait to try this one!
    I wondered what the triple B was all about. Very healthy cupcakes :). I love bran muffins, and the addition of banana and blueberries is wonderful. Hope you'll stop by to see my CCC selection
    These look great, healthy too. I am definitely going to try them!cpetricia

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    Replies
    1. The lobster l'American sauce is very rich like a good lobster bisque is. Thanks! Glad that you are giving it a try!

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  3. nice posting.. thanks for sharing.

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