Talk Takeaway: Cooking with Ludo Lefebvre

Posted on Mar 8, 2013 10:45am

Chef Ludo Lefebvre shows us how to make Salmon en Croute and Apple Clafoutis with Almond Cream. Click here for all of Ludo's delicious recipes.

Salmon en Croute with Red Wine-Shallot Reduction

4 6-ounce salmon fillets
6 17½ x 13½-inch sheets fresh phyllo pastry or frozen, thawed
½ cup Clarified Butter (see recipe in back of book)

1 cup dry red wine
1 cup ruby Port
¼ cup minced shallots
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter

Sprinkle the salmon fillets with fleur de sel and pepper. Place 1 phyllo sheet on the work surface so that the long edge lines up with the work surface (keep the remaining phyllo sheets covered with plastic wrap and a slightly damp clean kitchen towel so that they do not dry out). Brush with some clarified butter. Repeat layering the phyllo sheets and clarified butter 2 times. Place 2 salmon fillets on the left half of the stacked phyllo sheets, spacing evenly. Fold the other half of the phyllo stack over the salmon. Press the edges of the phyllo stacks together to enclose the salmon completely. Using a small sharp knife, trim the phyllo to extend 1-inch beyond the edges of the salmon. Transfer the salmon packets to a heavy large baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining phyllo sheets, clarified butter and salmon fillets to make 4 salmon packets total. Cover the packets and refrigerate until they are firm, about 15 minutes (this will make them easier to handle).

DO-AHEAD: At this point, the salmon packets can be prepared up to 1 day ahead. Keep them refrigerated.

Bring the wine, Port and shallots to a boil in a heavy small saucepan. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the liquid thickens slightly and is reduced to 1/3 cup, about 15 minutes. Whisk in the butter to blend well. Season the sauce to taste with fleur de sel and freshly ground pepper.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Oil another large baking sheet. Heat a heavy large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the salmon packets and cook until the phyllo directly over the salmon is golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the salmon packets to the oiled baking sheet. Bake the salmon packets until the salmon is just cooked through, about 8 minutes for medium doneness.

Place 1 salmon packet in the center of each of 4 large plates. Spoon the sauce around the perimeter of the plates. Serve immediately.

Apple Clafoutis with Almond Cream
Serves 6 to 8

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
10 large whole eggs
4 large egg yolks
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
2 pound apples, sliced with peel removed (8 slices per apple)

Almond Cream:
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
3/4 teaspoon almond extract

2 tablespoons powdered sugar

To make the clafoutis:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 3-quart baking dish with the softened butter then sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sugar over the coated baking dish and gently shake the dish to coat it with the sugar. Arrange the apples in the baking dish.

Whisk the eggs, egg yolks, and 1 cup of sugar in a medium bowl for 2 minutes to blend well and have a homogeneous mixture. Add the cream and flour and whisk very well to blend. Pour the batter over the apples in the dish. Bake for 50 minutes, or until golden brown on top and crusty and the center is just set.

To make the almond cream:
Whisk the cream, powdered sugar, and almond extract in a medium bowl until the cream is very thick and fluffy. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

To serve:
Sift powdered sugar into a small bowl to blend.

Cut the warm clafoutis and transfer it to bowls. Spoon a generous dollop of almond cream alongside the clafoutis. Sift powdered sugar over and serve immediately.

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