Verjus Recipes

Crispy Salmon, Spring Vegetables & Verjus Sauce
Recipe developed by Leeanne Wright

Ingredients:

10 thin asparagus spears, blanched
1/2 cup fava beans, blanched and peeled
2 - 4 to 6 ounce salmon filets, skin removed
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon chopped shallots
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
6 fresh morel mushrooms, cleaned
1/4 cup white wine (or substitute half the amount of verjus)
1/4 cup verjus
1 teaspoon grainy mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
additional olive oil for cooking salmon and warming vegetables

Instructions

  1. In a medium skillet, warm asparagus and fava beans in butter. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Season salmon with salt and pepper, and sear in a skillet over high heat with a little olive oil. Cook on each side for 3-4 minutes or until golden. It will feel slightly firm to the touch. Remove from skillet and lightly cover with foil to keep warm.
  3. In same skillet used to cook the salmon, saute shallots and garlic over medium heat until translucent. Add mushrooms, then deglaze with wine (or verjus). Whisk in verjus, mustard and olive oil. Spoon sauce over salmon and top with asparagus and favas.
Meringue Nests
Marilyn's favourite!

Ingredients:

4 egg whites at room temperature
½ lb. sugar (1 cup), finely powdered as below
½ to 1 tsp. vanilla
⅛ to ¼ tsp. cream of tartar

I enjoy finding tartrates in wine (the little crystals that sometimes form in wine, especially when it is chilled and settle in the bottle). They are actually cream of tartar and I collect and dry them and use them when making meringues.

Ingredients and proportions for meringues are always the same. For every 4 egg whites (from 2 oz eggs), use ½ lb sugar. Process the sugar in a food processor to get it very fine so it dissolves more easily.

A pre-heated 225°F oven gives a soft, crunchy meringue; a preheated 275°F oven gives a chewy one. Use bottom heat only and line the baking sheets with parchment paper. Make sure eggs are at room temperature before carefully separating the whites.

Beat the egg whites until foamy in an electric mixer. Add the vanilla and cream of tartar. Add, while continuing to beat, 1 tsp. at a time, the finely powdered sugar. When the mixture stands in stiff peaks on the beater, it is ready to be baked. Spoon the meringue into a large pastry bag fitted with a large plain or fancy tip. Holding the pastry bag perpendicular to the baking sheet lined with parchment paper, pipe flat disks about 3½ inches in diameter and no higher than ¼ inch, spaced about ½ inch apart. Keep the tip down into the meringue and let it spread out rather than lifting the tip. Then add a circle or two to the top of the outer edge of the disks, keeping the tip up to create raised edges. You will be able to fill the centres after baking. When the meringues are dry - depending on the size, after 1 to 2 hrs in the oven - turn it off, open the door and wait 5 minutes. Carefully lift the meringues off the parchment paper and store in an airtight container. Just before serving, fill with fresh berries and whipped cream; or try custard and kiwis. Ice cream with chocolate sauce is delicious too!

Mushroom Soup (with verjus)
Another of Michelle's creations - the best mushroom soup we have tasted!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter (divided)
1/2 cup diced onion
1 pound mixed mushrooms (I used mostly wild cauliflower mushroom, with 6 button mushrooms and handful enoki mushrooms)
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp flour
2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup Venturi-Schulze Verjus
1/4 cup Venturi-Schulze Brandenburg No.3 wine (optional)
1/4 cup Madeira
1/4 cup sour cream
pinch of red pepper flakes
dash of green Tabasco sauce
salt
pepper
more verjus to taste
2 tsp fresh chopped dill

Melt 1/4 cup butter in heavy large saucepan. Add onions and cook over medium low heat until translucent.

Slice mixed mushrooms thinly, then coarsely chop and put them in a large Ziploc bag. Add flour to bag and shake to coat mushrooms.

Add the rest of the butter to the onions. Increase heat slightly and add mushroom/flour mixture. Cook mushrooms, stirring often, about 4 minutes. Do not burn. Add milk, heavy cream and stock. Stir. Add verjus, No.3 and Madeira. Stir. Add sour cream. Stir. Add red pepper flakes, Tabasco. Simmer the soup slowly, over low heat for 30 minutes. Do not boil. Add salt and pepper to taste and more verjus to suit your palate. Add chopped dill and serve in bowls with crusty bread on the side.

Can be made ahead of time. Tastes even better the next day.

Seafood St. Jacques
Michelle's creation - to die for!

Ingredients:

¼ cup coarse bread crumbs
¼ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
¾ cup dry white wine
½ cup Venturi-Schulze verjus
1 cup water
½ small onion, sliced
½ bay leaf
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 pound scallops (in ¾ inch pieces), or cooked crab or a mix of both
6 tablespoons of unsalted butter
½ pound of small mushrooms, thinly sliced
½ whipping cream
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon white flour
1 tablespoon minced Italian parsley

Serves 4 as main course, 8 as appetizer.

Requires 4 or 8 2 oz. ramekins.

Preheat oven to 350° F with rack placed in the middle.

Toast bread crumbs in the oven on a baking sheet until light golden colour, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the cheese. Set aside.

Combine wine, verjus, water, onion, bay leaf, salt and pepper in a 3 quart heavy saucepan. Bring to a simmer and simmer, uncovered for 5 minutes. Add the scallops and simmer, stirring once in a while, until just cooked through, 2 or 3 minutes. Remove scallops with slotted spoon and transfer to large plate to cool. Return any onions to the pan. Boil liquid until reduced to 1 cup, 8 to 10 minutes. Strain liquid through a sieve into a bowl and discard solids.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a 10 inch heavy bottom fry pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.

Whisk together cream and egg yolk in a heat proof medium bowl. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a 2 ½ quart saucepan over moderately low heat. Add flour and cook, whisking, for 2 minutes to make a roux. Remove pan from heat and add reduced cooking liquid, whisking constantly. Return pan to heat and simmer, whisking for 1 minute. Pour sauce in a slow stream into cream mixture, whisking constantly. Pour sauce back into pan and simmer, 1 minute. Remove pan from heat and season with salt and pepper.

Set broiler rack about 4 inches from heat and preheat broiler. Stir mushrooms, scallops and cooked crab, if using, into sauce. Divide mixture among ramekins. Sprinkle with bread crumb mixture and place ramekins on baking sheet. Dot with remaining butter.

Broil until golden, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley.

**The scallop mixture can be made a day ahead and refrigerated, covered. Reheat in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, before spooning into ramekins.

Pair with Venturi-Schulze 2006 Kerner.

Verjus Highball
Michelle's adaptation of a Mojito

Ingredients:

½ tsp sugar
8 mint leaves
thin slice of ginger (about as round as a nickel)
2 oz Venturi-Schulze Verjus
ice
1½ oz rum
ginger ale or ginger beer
5 additional mint leaves

Mix first three ingredients and mash with the back of a spoon. Add the verjus and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Fill a highball glass with ice, strain the mixture into the glass, add the rum and stir. Fill the glass with ginger ale and stir in the 5 whole mint leaves. Delicious!

Verjus Sorbet
Totally yummy!

Ingredients:

375 ml (one bottle) Venturi-Schulze Verjus
¾ cup simple syrup (see below)
* optional - about ¼ tsp finely grated or minced grapefruit peel
* optional - about ¼ tsp finely grated or minced lemon peel

Recipe can be doubled or tripled.

For a sorbet ready within 25 minutes, start with verjus and simple syrup that are well chilled. Stir together until well mixed and process in an ice cream maker as per manufacturer's directions.

If a more tart sorbet is desired, start with ½ cup of simple syrup. You can add additional simple syrup a bit at a time to your taste, keeping in mind that when frozen, the sorbet will become more sharp.

* simple syrup: dissolve 1 cup of sugar in 1 cup of boiling water. Chill before using in the verjus recipe and store in the refrigerator.

If you don't have an ice cream maker, make a day ahead. Put the mixture in a shallow pan in the freezer. Every half hour or hour, drag a fork through the mixture to break up the ice crystals as they form. When completely frozen, process with a mixer, food processor or blender to a fine consistency and freeze in an airtight container.

For more recipes, visit: www.venturischulze.com/recipes