It's terrine time again!

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It's terrine time again!

Postby Jenise » Sat Jul 28, 2012 4:40 pm

Bill's famous all-terrine dinner (our ninth!) is slated for next weekend, and as usual I've been immersing myself in the subject in order to choose the most challenging and educational terrine possible. By 'educational', I mean only that which I will learn from the most, so it has to be a type of terrine that I've not done before and one unlike any that I remember anyone else doing. I search for something with a unique point of view, a distinct sense of time and place and Jenise-ness, whatever that is.

So on Wednesday I made a gratin terrine. Gratin, in terrine world, means a terrine in which the dominant meat comes from already cooked meat, like ground meat pan-browned or larger chunks braised or boiled. I'd been reading about such terrines in some really old books I have, and frankly wondered why anyone would do that. So I browned some turkey and ground beef together, seasoned them, added bread crumbs and eggs and baked the result in a terrine form. The result? I still don't know why anyone would do that. It was vaguely like a meatloaf, only not as good. Perfectly fine chilled, cut into squares and served on a cold lunch plate, but otherwise just eh. As suspected.
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The 'gratin' style terrine
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On Thursday, I made a Balantine. It's a variation on a deboned, stuffed chicken of a type I've done many times before, but in this case I wanted to stuff it with two forcemeats and see what a layer of sliced veal scallopinis would look/feel like cooked like this, as I'd seen such layering in some antique recipes and wanted to test it. In the picture below, you see that layer between the two forcemeats. One of the forcemeats was made from chicken and herbs and deliberately finely textured, the other all pork (sausage/ham/fatback, hand ground) and more rustic. The chicken force was spread over the chicken skin on which I'd left a layer of meat attached, and the other was formed into a ball shape . The edges of the skin were then pulled up into a perfect round, pinned and the whole refrigerated again to gain some shape memory before roasting. The result was tasty and I learned from it, but I came away convinced that it's not something I want to do for Terrine 9.

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Spreading the chicken force on the skin
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Adding the veal scallopines and pork ball
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The final result
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Then yesterday just for yucks I made heirloom tomato terrines which we then had as our dinner first course. For the tomatoes, I just used some campari tomatoes plus one yellow one that I had lying around. The tomatoes were peeled, deseeded, and set with a seasoned aspic. Pretty and delicious, but I might have to rob a bank to pay for enough pretty colored tomatoes to make it work for T9.
IMG_4455-001.JPG
Tomato Terrine
IMG_4455-001.JPG (27.28 KiB) Viewed 5490 times


Today, no terrine. But I'll be back in the saddle come Monday. Stay tuned!
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Re: It's terrine time again!

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Sat Jul 28, 2012 8:24 pm

Just curious about the shortcomings of the chicken one? It looks and sounds delicious.

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Re: It's terrine time again!

Postby Rahsaan » Sun Jul 29, 2012 10:50 am

I may be biased, but I say go with the tomato terrine. It looks lovely!
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Re: It's terrine time again!

Postby Karen/NoCA » Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:48 pm

Rahsaan wrote:I may be biased, but I say go with the tomato terrine. It looks lovely!


Beautiful and also "in season". So many beautiful heirlooms out there. Try and find a good selection of heirlooms and pick up one of the yellow tomatoes with the scallop edges. Lovely! There is a red tomato with fluted edges, Costoluto Genovese, it would look great, as well.
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Re: It's terrine time again!

Postby Jeff Grossman/NYC » Sun Jul 29, 2012 2:47 pm

Instead of a pork ball, can you do something with four and twenty blackbirds chanterelles or other mushrooms left in a chunky state?
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Re: It's terrine time again!

Postby Jenise » Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:27 pm

Jeff Grossman/NYC wrote:Instead of a pork ball, can you do something with four and twenty blackbirds chanterelles or other mushrooms left in a chunky state?


:lol: I *have* thought about that, though. Even thought about layers of vegetables where each would be a typical stew component (carrots, celery, peas etc) so that the whole was like a chicken pot pie, say, in pureed, solid form.

Answering Mike's question about that terrine, it was good, it just wasn't special in the way I was seeking. That is, the pork element would need to be refined, the rusticity wasn't as interesting as I expected it to be especially compared to the delicate chicken forcemeat layer nor did it quite carry the seasoning as forcefully (no pun intended) as I wanted it to. All of which can be refined and improved--the balantine is a great format after all, and no one's done one quite like this.
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Re: It's terrine time again!

Postby Jenise » Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:32 pm

Rahsaan wrote:I may be biased, but I say go with the tomato terrine. It looks lovely!


It was; delicious too. Sure would be a great dish to do in about three weeks when heirlooms should be thick on the ground--it's a bit early yet. What are available are very expensive California/Mexico tomatoes, which of what I've tasted thus far are picked too green to have as much flavor as I'd like.
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Re: It's terrine time again!

Postby Jeff Grossman/NYC » Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:55 am

Jenise wrote:
Jeff Grossman/NYC wrote:Instead of a pork ball, can you do something with four and twenty blackbirds chanterelles or other mushrooms left in a chunky state?


:lol: I *have* thought about that, though. Even thought about layers of vegetables where each would be a typical stew component (carrots, celery, peas etc) so that the whole was like a chicken pot pie, say, in pureed, solid form.

That is clever. I can imagine keeping all those chunky veg together in a beef aspic... but, then, it might come across as unused stuffing for soup dumplings. :wink:

It still seems like there is some kind of idea lurking around in these shrubs but I can't quite catch it.
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Re: It's terrine time again!

Postby Bill Spohn » Mon Jul 30, 2012 12:52 pm

Thanks for the insight into the creative process.

I liked your ballotine - with a bit of work it could work really well.

I am doing a heavily herbed chicken terrine with pistachios and ham (as much for visual as flavour) with a core of foie gras. I'd planned to do it as a ballotine but have opted to go as a terrine. I've been playing with sides - made and discarded a very decent thyme and shallot custard timbale last night as not what I was looking for. Looked for frozen fiddleheads - ain't none around here. Still mulling that over.

I'll be presenting 2 white wines, both 2001 - an Alsatian Gewurz with a bit of age (trying to decide between a Mann Furstentum and a Willm Clos Gainsbronnel Kirchberg de Bar - favouring the latter) and a German Riesling with a bit of RS - I think a Spatlese, so as to give contrast and see which works best with the food.

I'd ask you about your vinous ruminations, but obviously that would be premature until you nail down the food!

Hey - we have a slot open for sweetbreads, you know....... :mrgreen:

Trying a different side tonight...... :|

PS - been meaning to try these individual leg ballotines for some time: http://ruhlman.com/2012/06/chicken-ballotine-recipe/
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Re: It's terrine time again!

Postby Jenise » Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:16 pm

Jeff Grossman/NYC wrote:That is clever. I can imagine keeping all those chunky veg together in a beef aspic... but, then, it might come across as unused stuffing for soup dumplings. :wink:

It still seems like there is some kind of idea lurking around in these shrubs but I can't quite catch it.


The chicken stew idea I mentioned wouldn't involve aspic at all, expect as an exterior garnish. The layers would be mousselines.

But YEAH re those shrubs. I've been beating them for three weeks now and my net's still empty! I'm wearing Bob out. We're sitting there last night watching the Olympic swimming finals, which was plenty exciting, and suddenly I blurt out "Bob, what about lemon?" Talk about obsessed--that is me right now. But I do enjoy it, enjoy being able to focus and persist that I didn't have when I was 20 years old.

The last two days were good. I read two whole garde manger books cover to cover and found myself veering back to my original plan: to somehow put the flavors of Austria into a terrine. I was inspired by a visit last fall to a Finger Lakes restaurant called Augustin's Heuriger, which was one of my favorite restaurant visits of the past year. A 'heurige' is an event in Austria held by wineries to announce that the new wines are ready for tasting and buying. They'll hang a sun made of straw out near the road and serve a lot of cured, smoked meat and preserved vegetables typical of the Austro-Hungarian table. My thought was to create a plate that would represent that and serve it with one red and one white, a gruner and a zweigelt. At Bill's event that would make me the swing course, as the seafood guys will be doing all white and the meaty guys will be doing all reds. Over the weekend I zeroed in on some other ways to do that than I'd previously entertained, and I got out of bed this morning ready to go. A terrine's in the oven right now.

If I'm not happy, I'll tweak and make another. And if I run out of time to tweak (I have a sick cat who could occupy my attention), I decided this weekend what my fall back would be. I have the whole plate designed in my head, and it's so beautiful I feel bad about not switching. But I can't let Austria beat me. :)
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Re: It's terrine time again!

Postby Jenise » Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:27 pm

Rahsaan wrote:I may be biased, but I say go with the tomato terrine. It looks lovely!


Thought I'd come back add what is the real reason I can't do the tomato terrine for this event: timing. Like me, you probably hate the flavor of old, macerated tomatoes. Well, that's what you'd be dealing with if you made it the day before, and I wouldn't have the time day of the event to make, chill and transport that terrine to Vancouver by early afternoon. :(
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Re: It's terrine time again!

Postby Jenise » Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:38 pm

[quote="Bill Spohn"]with a bit of work it could work really well.[/spohn]

It definitely would. Still might. The idea's not dead, just taking a pit stop. :)

As I mentioned to Jeff I could be short of time this week. If the terrine that's in the oven right now doesn't push all the right buttons for me, I might switch continents entirely and go Arab. I have a fabulous idea in that direction I'd love to do--and in fact will do soon anyway, if not this week. It would be an awesome Bordeaux course.

Your terrine sounds terrific. Be sure not to scrimp on the foie. :) Frozen fiddleheads? Have never seen them, it's fresh or nothing. Where you live, you should be able to forage your own!

Sweetbreads. Yikes. That's the world's most dangerous food for people in the big G club by like 10x the next worst thing.

Re individual leg ballotines: one book I have defines a ballotine as a stuffed chicken leg and absurdly doesn't allow any other possibility. And it's a fairly modern book, so it's surprising that it would have so narrow a view.
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Re: It's terrine time again!

Postby Bill Spohn » Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:55 pm

Jenise wrote:Your terrine sounds terrific. Be sure not to scrimp on the foie.



That sounds like a plea to get an end piece (i.e. no foie for you)!! :mrgreen:

I look forward to seeing what you end up with - it is always excellent whatever you choose!
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Re: It's terrine time again!

Postby Jenise » Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:07 pm

Bill Spohn wrote:That sounds like a plea to get an end piece (i.e. no foie for you)!!!


Beware my knife skills when you make threats like that!
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Re: It's terrine time again!

Postby Jeff Grossman/NYC » Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:14 pm

Jenise wrote:I was inspired by a visit last fall to a Finger Lakes restaurant called Augustin's Heuriger, which was one of my favorite restaurant visits of the past year. A 'heurige' is an event in Austria held by wineries to announce that the new wines are ready for tasting and buying. They'll hang a sun made of straw out near the road and serve a lot of cured, smoked meat and preserved vegetables typical of the Austro-Hungarian table. My thought was to create a plate that would represent that and serve it with one red and one white, a gruner and a zweigelt. At Bill's event that would make me the swing course, as the seafood guys will be doing all white and the meaty guys will be doing all reds. Over the weekend I zeroed in on some other ways to do that than I'd previously entertained, and I got out of bed this morning ready to go. A terrine's in the oven right now.

Sounds splendid. I have once been to a heuriger: http://public.fotki.com/jeffg165/vacations/eastern-europe/3-vienna/vi-415-heurigen.html

Indeed, lots of bread, cured meats, pickled vegetables, sweets. And sturm, the fizzy half-fermented wine. Glug glug glug.

Gonna plate with a bit of pumpkin-seed oil?
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Re: It's terrine time again!

Postby Rahsaan » Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:56 pm

Jenise wrote:I was inspired by a visit last fall to a Finger Lakes restaurant called Augustin's Heuriger, which was one of my favorite restaurant visits of the past year.


Dano's Heuriger? Near Seneca Lake? My mother lives in Ithaca so people have been telling me about that place (especially because my wife is German and often vacationed in Austria) but I didn't have any reason to trust their culinary judgment. Plus, my mother loves to cook and our trips with the little one are often hectic these days. But, that is a very ringing endorsement so we'll have to make a point of trying it sooner rather than later.
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Re: It's terrine time again!

Postby Jenise » Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:19 pm

Rahsaan wrote:
Jenise wrote:I was inspired by a visit last fall to a Finger Lakes restaurant called Augustin's Heuriger, which was one of my favorite restaurant visits of the past year.


Dano's Heuriger? Near Seneca Lake? My mother lives in Ithaca so people have been telling me about that place (especially because my wife is German and often vacationed in Austria) but I didn't have any reason to trust their culinary judgment. Plus, my mother loves to cook and our trips with the little one are often hectic these days. But, that is a very ringing endorsement so we'll have to make a point of trying it sooner rather than later.


Dano's! Yes, must be. Right on Seneca. Everything we ate that night was very good and nothing disappointed--it was easily the best meal we had in the area--and it's a great looking dining room. Very sophisticated Euro-modern with vibrant art. But what made it really special was how much fun we had. Charming old Dano is a total extrovert and the second he has a break in the kitchen action, he's out in the dining room flirting and yakking from table to table--as much with the guests he doesn't know as those he does. I would guess he personally chose every wine on the good wine list as he was quite knowledgeable about each. Made us wish we'd spent our first night there instead of our last, his thoughts would have been most useful. I had never heard the word 'Heuriger' before that night. Your wife might not consider the food exemplary considering her experience, but I don't think she'd be disappointed.
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Re: It's terrine time again!

Postby Rahsaan » Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:42 pm

Jenise wrote:Dano's! Yes, must be. Right on Seneca. Everything we ate that night was very good and nothing disappointed--it was easily the best meal we had in the area--and it's a great looking dining room. Very sophisticated Euro-modern with vibrant art. But what made it really special was how much fun we had. Charming old Dano is a total extrovert and the second he has a break in the kitchen action, he's out in the dining room flirting and yakking from table to table--as much with the guests he doesn't know as those he does. I would guess he personally chose every wine on the good wine list as he was quite knowledgeable about each. Made us wish we'd spent our first night there instead of our last, his thoughts would have been most useful. I had never heard the word 'Heuriger' before that night. Your wife might not consider the food exemplary considering her experience, but I don't think she'd be disappointed.


Sounds great. Unfortunately I just got back from this summer's trip to Ithaca, and the online summer menu sounds right up our vegetable-loving alley. But will definitely make it a priority for the future.
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Re: It's terrine time again!

Postby Jenise » Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:00 pm

Okay, so here's yesterday's terrine effort, which I just turned out:

IMG_4478-001.JPG
IMG_4478-001.JPG (54.47 KiB) Viewed 5309 times


Looks beautiful, but I'm not happy with it. :(
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Re: It's terrine time again!

Postby Bill Spohn » Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:07 pm

Jenise wrote:but I'm not happy with it. :(



ImageImageImageImage It looks great! And how much more terrine can poor Bobo taste test?
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Re: It's terrine time again!

Postby Jenise » Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:50 pm

Bill Spohn wrote: It looks great! And how much more terrine can poor Bobo taste test?


He never tires of it; and he doesn't even see what's wrong with this one the way I do. But then, I "see" the flavors needed in my head and if that's not what's on the plate, it's for me a failure. To Bobo, it's just lunch. :)
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Re: It's terrine time again!

Postby Jenise » Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:00 pm

So here's how obsessed I am: just now, I was reading a CNN news release to Bob about the latest accomplishment of American swimmer Michael Phelps in London, a silver medal. "It's his 18th career Olympic terrine!", I said excitedly.
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Re: It's terrine time again!

Postby Karen/NoCA » Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:31 pm

That is a beautiful terrine Jenise. Too bad it did not meet your expectations? What will you do different?
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Re: It's terrine time again!

Postby Jenise » Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:44 pm

Karen/NoCA wrote:That is a beautiful terrine Jenise. Too bad it did not meet your expectations? What will you do different?


Not quite sure. We had slices for lunch today. And it's very tasty, but here are the problems: The two veal layers are not distinct and visually different from the center ham layer. Too, the sauerkraut flavor in the ham that I've been striving for, and that was so obvious in the raw mixture, hasn't come through in any of the cooked versions in the way I'd hoped. And it's a key player: sauerkraut=preserved vegetables, ham=smoked/cured meats and the veal + lemon=wiener schnitzel.
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