Grillade Stuffed Quail with Grit Cakes
- 1/2 pound veal stew meat, cubed
- 1/2 cup chopped onions
- 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 cups mild stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs, more if needed
- 4 quail, split down back
- Creole spice
- 2 cups strong chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 5 plum tomatoes quartered
- Andouille Grit Cakes (recipe follows)
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- Chopped parsley, for garnish
Make grillade stuffing: In a saucepan combine first seven ingredients; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to very low and simmer for 40 minutes, until veal is very tender. Strain veal, reserving liquid separately. In a food processor combine veal mixture with about 1/2 cup bread crumbs and process until smooth; add some braising liquid if too dry, or more bread crumbs if too loose -- stuffing should be firm enough to hold its shape. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Season insides of quails with Creole spice and stuff each with about 1/4 cup of stuffing. Reform quails around stuffing; season outsides with Creole spice.
Begin sauce: In a saucepan begin boiling chicken stock until flavorful and reduced to about 1 1/2 cups. In a small sauté pan heat oil, add tomatoes and sauté, tossing, until their liquid begins to evaporate. Add them to rapidly boiling stock; adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, roast quail in a roasting pan about 12 minutes. To serve, on each dinner plate arrange two grit cakes, touching; top each grit cake with a quail. Ladle sauce over all and garnish with Parmesan and parsley.
Yield: 2 servings
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