A goat cheese/ apples/ walnuts/ duck breast verrine – the original version :-)

Access reserved only for Foodistas.. 🙂 You might have side effects of pleasure after trying out this small finger food dish. Of course, you can invariably decline it at your taste ; use mascarpone instead of goat cheese, Pata negra like Bo used in his verrine instead of duck…Let’s cut the talk and walk you through the “original recipe”.

For 4 gourmets, you will need:

–  Fresh goat cheese, went for the Picandou for its softness and mild harmonious flavors.

(4 pieces will be enough)

– 2 granny smith apples

– 5 or 6 thin slices of dried duck breast.

– a handful of raw walnuts.

– a tablespoon of honey

– one to two tablespoons of brown sugar

– a few sprigs of chives

– one small tablespoon of crème fraîche

– some salted butter

– salt and pepper

Credits: Marion Prosenz

Credits: Marion Prosenz

Here we go, this recipe goes in 4 steps:

1)  Prepare the goat cheese mixture first – mix together the cheese, the crème fraîche, the chives, a bit of pepper, a bit of lemon (optional) and salt (but take it easy on it as the goat cheese has already a certain amount of salt). Adjust to taste.  If the cheese is hard to soften or if it is chilled after being in the fridge, you can run it on a pan for a few minutes before plating. If you want it at room temperature, it is fine too.

2) The enjoyment will come with the lovely presence of the granny smith apples. After peeling them, a bit of lemon  squeezed on them (to avoid oxidation), cut in small bite sized cubes. In a sauce pan, add up some salted butter, let it melt and then hit it with the nice apples. After a few seconds, sprinkle the brown sugar on top. Let it simmer for 10/15 minutes until well coated. They should keep some firmness, don’t let them become a purée or compote. Taste them, they will be warm and slightly melting in your mouth.

3) In a different pan, maybe simultaneously, again a bit of salted butter to melt, throw the walnuts (a bit crushed prior) and let them mingle for a few minutes. Then, add up the honey and let the love happen, for about 15 minutes, but slowly, at low temperature to avoid bruising the walnuts. When they cool down, they will be crunchy and sweet. Exactly what we need.

4) Take off the fat of the sliced dried duck breast and cut them in very tiny pieces. In the test drive recipe that I have performed prior to my cooking event with friends, I realized that the fat was too chewy.  So really take it off or it will ruin a bit of the taste for your guests.

Now you are ready to plate…

Take your nicest verrines (glass) and then carefully pour a bit of the goat cheese mixture on the bottom (1 inch). Then a spoon of the apples, the duck (eye-ball it people 😉 and end it up  with the beautiful crunchy caramelized walnuts…

Why do I love this small amuse-bouche? And why I think you should give it a try….

♡ I  think it is pretty low-key dish, easy to find ingredients and real hands on recipe.

♡ It is pretty elegant as the colors pop up, the textures are “in relief” and it is tiny mini…who does not like small bites? 🙂 . You also have a small temperature play which is interesting too for the palate.

♡ In terms of taste, you will find the softness and tanginess of the goat cheese. Choose a mild one to not overpower the dish itself.  As far as the apples, they have to kick a bit of acidity so they build up a nice harmony with the cheese. The duck brings some of the gamey taste, with a nice salty balance.  Last but not least, about the walnuts. I just love them! I feel here they bring the final crunchy touch and end up the whole pleasure the palate has just experienced. A small but powerful and flavorful bite!

Just do it! 🙂 Bon appétit…

PS: And remember this was my version as a base, with ingredients I love so much…it is so versatile that you will just have fun also doing your own experimentation.  Keep on sharing, I am having fun!

Credits. Captain Thomas Schäffer

Credits. Captain Thomas Schäffer

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