Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Quaglie al' Speck con Insalata di Pere, Radicchio e Aceto Balsamico

This is a very interesting dish that takes an Italian thought process on food, yet prepares it in a way that is more Native American. I take succulent quails and wrap them in smoky speck and then roast them on cedar planks. What you're left with is an intoxicating aroma that tantilizes your nostrils and makes you not want to wait for the food to be done. I have paired them with a seasonal bitter-sweet salad component that has a little drizzle of 25 year balsamic vinegar on it. Quite delectable!!!

TT = to taste

For quail:
4 semi boneless quails (substitute squab or cornish hens - cooking times would change though)
4 sprigs of thyme
4 sage leaves
4 large slices of speck (smoked prosciutto, you could substitute prosciutto)
TT salt
TT black pepper
2 cedar planks

place cedar planks in water for a minimum of 3 hours, preferably more if you can
let quails stand at room temp for a half hour
once ready preheat the oven to 450F
once oven is heated, place the planks in the oven for about 5-10 minutes to heat up
take the quails and disperse the herbs evenly on top of the breast meat
season quails with salt and pepper
wrap one piece of speck around each quail and drizzle the quails with a little olive oil
once planks have heated, pull them out and brush them with a little olive oil to keep the quail from sticking
place 2 quails on each wood plank and place them in the oven
roast them until the breast meat is medium (around 15 minutes)
once done pull them out and allow to rest for 10 minutes
transfer to individual plates along with salad
serve immediately (once serving you can drizzle the quail and salad with a little good extra virgin olive oil if you like).

For salad:
2 pears, peeled, cored & thinly sliced
1 head radicchio, cut in half, cored & julienne
6T good extra virgin olive oil
2T 25 year balsamic vinegar
TT salt
TT pepper

While quail is roasting, make the salad
In a mixing bowl combine the radicchio, pears, olive oil & vinegar and toss together
season with salt and pepper to taste and toss together
taste for seasoning and adjust accordinly
set aside until quail is done

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