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The Caterer

Cromer crab tortellini, asparagus velouté, samphire and parsley jelly, by Madalene Bonvini-Hamel

10 May 2012
Cromer crab tortellini, asparagus velouté, samphire and parsley jelly, by Madalene Bonvini-Hamel

Ingredients
(Serves 10)

For the crab tortellini
550g "00" pasta flour
1tbs rapeseed oil
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
4 whole eggs
6 egg yolks
100g chicken breast meat, skinless and roughly diced
1 egg white
100ml double cream
500g white fresh Cromer crabmeat, all shells removed
4tbs chopped fresh soft herbs (tarragon, chervil, parsley and chives)

For the samphire and parsley jelly
60g Continental parsley, leaves only
100g samphire
200ml fish stock
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1.5g agar
1 gelatine leaf

For the asparagus velouté
400g asparagus, sliced spears and stalk
100g baby spinach
1tbs rapeseed oil
2 banana shallots, finely sliced
1 leek, finely sliced
1 celery stick, finely sliced
2 sprigs of parsley
1tsp coriander seeds
125ml dry vermouth
500ml chicken of fish stock
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
150ml double cream

Method
First, prepare the pasta dough: In a food processor blend the flour, oil and seasoning. Slowly add the eggs one at a time. Once the dough comes together, turn it out on to the work surface and kneed for six minutes until it forms a smooth ball. Wrap the dough tightly in clingfilm and rest for one hour.

Prepare the tortellini: In a food processor, make a chicken mousse by blending the chicken breast and egg white till smooth. Slowly add chilled cream and incorporate. Do not over-work the mix as the cream can split. Stir in seasoning. Place a mixing bowl over ice and mix the crabmeat, seasoning, herbs and chicken mousse together. Refrigerate for one hour. Roll out the pasta using a pasta machine. Cut out 8cm round disks and spoon a heaped teaspoon of the crab mix into the centre of each pasta disc. Brush the edges with egg wash and fold the disc in half, covering the crabmeat. Lift it in your hand and shape the tortellini. Once all the tortellini has been shaped, blanch for one minute in a large pan with rapid boiling salted water. Refresh the blanched tortellini in ice water, drain and glaze with olive oil. Keep refrigerated until needed.

Make the jelly: bring a large pan of salted water to the boil over high heat. Blanch the parsley in the boiling water for one minute, refresh in iced water and then cook it for the second time for two minutes. Refresh once again in ice water. Blanch the samphire in the boiling water for one minute and refresh in ice water. Soak the gelatine in cold water. Once the parsley and samphire are chilled, blend both together until smooth. Heat the fish stock in a small pan over high heat. Add the purée and whisk in the agar and the gelatine. Boil for one minute and then pour it into a small tray. Leave to set for four hours.

Make the asparagus velouté: fill a large saucepan with salted water and boil over a high heat. Add the asparagus and spinach and cook for two minutes. Refresh in iced water, drain and keep chilled. In a large saucepan, sauté the shallots, leeks, celery, coriander seeds and parsley in the rapeseed oil over a high heat for about eight minutes, or until golden brown and softened. Deglaze the pan with the vermouth and cook for five minutes. Add the stock and bring the sauce to a gentle simmer for 15 minutes then add the cream and bring the sauce back to the boil and simmer for a further five minutes. Pass the sauce through a fine sieve. Blend the hot sauce with the blanched chilled asparagus and spinach. Pass the sauce back through a fine sieve, over ice, to chill as soon as possible.

To serve each portion: cook the tortellini in boiling salted water for three minutes, drain and glaze with rapeseed oil. Garnish the bowl with warm cooked asparagus and samphire, cut the samphire and parsley jelly into cubes and arrange it among the asparagus garnish and then place the tortellini in the centre of the bowl on top of blanched spinach. Heat the velouté and use a hand held blender (ba-mix) to foam. Spoon the foam over the tortellini and serve immediately.

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