Friday, June 21, 2013

Frog Legs Sauté au Beurre Seville Orange with Herbs

A nice Floribbean frog legs recipe for summer!  Served with roasted red pepper creme brown basmati rice and a yellow squash barrel full of green beans.

     Some beurre blancs and butter sauces are better off being made ahead of time and then used when the food is plated.  Experienced sauté chefs usually are also sauciers.  A good sauté chef can make a perfect emulsified butter sauce in the pan that the entree was cooked in as a finishing touch.  Knowing when the liquid reduction in the sauté pan is just the right consistency and knowing when the temperature is correct for adding butter when making an a la minute emulsion is something that only experience can teach.  
     If an item like frog legs are dusted with seasoned flour before sautéing, the a tiny amount of roux will form when liquid makes contact and that makes it even easier to create a butter emulsion sauce.  Heat breaks butter emulsions.  The easiest way to make an a la minute butter emulsion in a hot sauté pan is to turn the heat off and work quickly with just the carryover heat of the pan.  Quickly is the key word.  Too much time in a hot pan that is off of the heat will also result in a broken butter sauce.  A broken emulsified butter sauce looks clear like clarified butter and that is amateurish.
     Great sauté chefs have lightning fast hands with agility and coordination to match.  A good sauté chef thinks about logical order every step of the way and never misses a beat.  Knowing when to add certain ingredients to keep flavors at a peak and to create maximum eye appeal is essential.  Timing is of utmost importance, because most sauté entrees have to be served immediately when they finish cooking.  
     I was a sauté chef and saucier for more than two decades and I can honestly say without bragging that I am pretty darn good at teaching the art of sauté cooking.  As readers have noticed, I do write a lot of sauté recipes and most are meant to be cooked to order.  Readers who learn to sauté like a pro are rewarded by cooking better food than what most restaurants serve and their home cooking never looks like old stale buffet food!  

     Roasted Red Pepper Creme Brown Basmati Rice:  
     This recipe makes 1 large portion!  If it looks like cheddar cheese rice then just forget about it!  Cheddar cheese and an orange sauce on the same plate is one of the worst possible flavor combinations that could be imagined.  The flavors clash.  Anatto is an ingredient in this rice recipe and anatto is what is used to give cheddar an orange color. 
     Place 1 cup of water in a small sauce pot.  
     Add 1 cup of light chicken stock.
     Add 1 pat of unsalted butter.
     Add 2 pinches of ground anatto.
     Add 1 pinch of Spanish paprika.
     Add 1 small pinch of cayenne pepper.
     Add 1 small pinch of garlic powder.
     Add 1 small pinch of onion powder.
     Add sea salt and white pepper.
     Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat. 
     Add 1 cup of brown basmati rice.
     Return the liquid to a boil.
     Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Cover the pot with a lid.
     Simmer and steam the rice, till it is fully cooked.
     Add 3 tablespoon of small chopped roasted red bell pepper.
     Add 1/2 cup of cream.
     Reduce the temperature to very low heat.
     Gently simmer and occasionally stir, till the rice and cream thickens to a heavy thick consistency.
     Keep the roasted red pepper creme brown basmati rice warm on a stove top.

     Yellow Squash Barrel full of Frenched Green Beans:
     Frenched green beans are green beans that are cut into long thin slivers.  The green beans have to be cooked al dente for this presentation or they will look limp.
     Cut a 2" to 2 1/2" long section of yellow squash.  The squash section should be about 2" wide.
     Use a channeling tool to cut vertical grooves on the barrel.
     Use an apple coring tool to hallow out the squash barrel from end to end.
     Blanch the squash barrel in boiling salted water, till it is almost halfway cooked.  (about 1 1/2 minutes)
     Cool the squash barrel under cold running water.
     Set the squash barrel aside.
     Trim a small bunch of green beans.
     Cut the green beans into long thin strips.
     Blanch the Frenched green beans for 20 seconds in boiling salted water.
     Cool the green beans under cold running water.
     Note:  The squash barrel and greens beans should be reheated when the frog legs are started.  
     Reheat the green beans and squash in a sauté pan over low heat with 2 ounces of chicken stock and 1 pat of unsalted butter.
     Season with sea salt and white pepper. 
     Place the squash barrel on a cutting board and fill the barrel with the green beans. 

     Frog Legs Sauté au Beurre Seville Orange with Herbs:
     Bottled bitter orange juice is available at Mexican and Cuban markets.  Bitter orange is seville orange or bigarade orange. 
     Soak 3 pairs of frog legs in milk for 2 minutes.
     Drain the milk off of the frog legs.
     Lightly dredge the frog legs in 1 1/2 cups of flour seasoned with sea salt, black pepper, white pepper and 1 pinch of cayenne pepper. 
     Heat a saute pan over medium heat.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
     Add 2 pats of unsalted butter.
     Sauté the frog legs, till light golden brown highlights appear on all sides.  The frog legs should fully cooked at this point.  
     Remove the frog legs from the pan and set them aside on a wire screen roasting rack.  Keep the frog legs warm on a stove top.
     Drain the excess grease out of the pan and remove ant dark bits of suc.
     Return the pan to medium heat.
     Add 2 ounces of dry white wine.
     Add 3 ounces of bitter orange juice.  
     Add 1 ounce of chicken stock.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of minced green onion.
     Bring the liquid to a boil.
     Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Add sea salt and white pepper.
     Add 1 pinch of thyme.
     Add 2 pinches of dill weed.
     Add 1 pinch of marjoram.
     Add 1 small pinch of tarragon.
     Add 1 small pinch of rubbed sage.
     Add 1 small pinch of basil.
     Add 1 pinch of minced mint.
     Add 2 pinches of minced Italian parsley.
     Simmer and reduce, till only about 3 tablespoons of liquid remains.
     Turn off the heat.
     Immediately add 2 1/4 ounces of butter that is cut into thin butter pats, while constantly stirring to create an emulsified butter sauce.
     As soon as the butter melts ad creates a butter sauce, use a rubber spatula to scrape the sauce out of the pan into a ceramic cup.
     Keep the cup warm on a stove top.

     Frog Legs Sauté au Beurre Seville Orange with Herbs - Roasted Red Pepper Creme Brown Basmati Rice -  Yellow Squash Barrel full of Frenched Green Beans - Presentation:
     Arrange the frog legs on the plate, so they fan out from center.
     Use a scoop or 2 serving spoon to give the roasted red pepper creme brown rice a ball shape and plate it on the plate.  
     Garnish the rice with smoked bacon lardons.
     Place the assembled yellow squash barrel full of green beans on the plate.
     Use a spoon to drizzle the seville orange herb butter sauce over the frog legs and on the plate.
     No garnish is necessary!

     Viola!  This is a very tasty plate of frog legs with a simple clean looking presentation.  Yum!  ...  Shawna

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