Black Pudding, Smoked Garlic, Apple Reduction, Crushed Peas, Hazelnut Tuile
The recipes on this blog can be eclectic and random but they're definitely not cheffy. Just this once, as we come towards the end of another year, then I think I'm allowed one dish that might seem a little more elaborate. Actually, it really isn't difficult to put together but it might possibly impress your friends. Admittedly, I'm assuming that you have friends who like black pudding. I put this together after I stumbled across some lovely smoked garlic and some even more lovely black pudding in a local market.
There are four elements to this little treat:
- First, a base of peas flavoured with smoked garlic. The smoked garlic might seem a little intense when raw but, when it's roasted, it becomes mellow and intensely savoury.
- Second, the black pudding, which is cooked very simply. Choose whichever black pudding you like but I prefer to use a softer style. My favourite types are usually either from Stornoway or Normandy.
- Third, an apple reduction. This sounds a bit cheffy but it's really just boiled apple juice. Reducing the juice almost to a caramel will introduce a bitter edge to the flavour that I think works well in this dish. I admit that I've
stolenborrowed this idea from the rightly renowned chef Daniel Clifford.
- Finally there's a very simple hazelnut tuile that adds texture and contrast to the dish. Hazelnuts and black pudding seem to work particularly well together.
This recipe is intended as a starter or a light lunch and will serve 2 people.
For the roasted smoked garlic:
For the tuiles:
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp cornflour
1 tsp hazelnut oil
Black sesame seeds for sprinkling (optional)
For the apple reduction:
250 ml apple juice
To finish the dish:
2 slices of black pudding
You could simply roast two or three cloves of smoked garlic rather than a whole bulb but I prefer to do more than I need and keep the excess in the fridge for use in other dishes over the next few days.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Wrap the garlic bulb and the oil in a foil parcel, place on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 45 - 55 minutes until the garlic is very soft and the kitchen smells lovely.
Remove the garlic from the parcel but be careful to save the oil. Once the garlic has cooled enough to handle, simply squeeze the softened garlic out of the cloves. Set aside 1 tsp of the oil and mix the garlic flesh with the remainder. Store in the fridge until needed.(If there's not much oil left after baking, just add a bit extra to prevent the garlic drying out).
Make the tuiles:
This amount should make more than you need for 2 but it's tricky to use less than 1 egg white.
Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with something non-stick: a silicone baking mat would be ideal.
Whisk the egg white briefly, just until it's loose and frothy. Stir in the ground hazelnuts, sugar, cornflour and hazelnut oil. Place a dessertspoon of the mixture on the lined baking tray and spread it out thinly with a palette knife or a spatula: it should be as thin as you can make it without the mixture breaking up or leaving holes. You could try to be neat here and create nice shapes for the tuile but I actually prefer a random effect for this dish. Sprinkle with some black sesame seeds, if you're using them.
Bake in the oven for 6 - 8 minutes until browned at the edges. Lift off the baking tray and leave to cool on a rack. (You could also bend the tuiles into different shapes while they're still hot using the old trick of wrapping them around something like a rolling pin but I prefer to keep them flat on this occasion).
Make the apple reduction:
Put the juice into a small pan over a high heat and reduce until it starts to darken, thicken and become syrupy but stop before it becomes glue-like or solid. Take off the heat and either keep warm until needed or chill and reheat later when you come to finish the dish.
Finish the dish:
Boil or steam the peas for a few minutes until softened. Drain and crush lightly together with a generous teaspoon or two (or however much you fancy) of the roasted smoked garlic. Keep warm.
Add the reserved teaspoon of smoked garlic oil to a frying pan and fry the black pudding slices until done to your liking. Avoid making the black pudding too hard or crusted; around 3 minutes on each side is usually about right for an average slice.
Reheat the apple reduction and make sure that you have warm plates ready to serve the dish. Place a layer of the crushed peas on the plate, using a ring to keep it neat if possible. Top with the black pudding and add enough of the apple reduction to make a thin covering on top of the pudding and, just for show, to dribble down the sides a little. Place a tuile alongside.