Foie Gras and Morel Shu Mai
"If I were asked for a single recipe that epitomizes East-West cuisine, this would be it. Shu mari are, of course, usually filled with a pork and shrimp mixture. Here, they're filled with foie gras and morels, a deluxe stuffing that makes a fine introduction to foie gras for those unfamiliar with it.
"Foie gras and Sauternes are also a classic pairing, thus the Sauternes-infused version here. Edamame--fresh soybeans in the pod--make a wonderful puree, especially when spiked with truffles. I think of edamame as Japanese fava beans, but they're ever so much easier to prepare and are just as sweet."
-- Ming Tsai
Makes 6 serving
- 1 teaspoon canola oil
- 2 cups thinly sliced shallots
- 1 cup Sauternes or late harvest Semillon or Barsac
- 4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium canned broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 thyme sprig, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons canola oil
- 1 cup cleaned and chopped fresh morels, chanterelles, hedgehogs, or shiitakes
- 4 ounces boneless and skinless chicken breast, julienned and frozen
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon white truffle oil
- 12 ounces fresh foie gras, B or C grade, cleaned and cut into chunks
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
- 18 square wonton wrappers
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
- Salt and freshly ground white pepper
- 2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium canned broth
- 2 cups shelled fresh or thawed frozen edamame (soybeans in the pod)
- 2 cups spinach leaves
- 1 tablespoon white truffle oil
- 1 tablespoon cold butter
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped black truffle
- 1/4 cup chives cut into 1/2-inch lengths
- Truffle oil, for garnish
To prepare: To make the broth, heat a large saucepan over high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. When the oil shimmers, add the shallots and saute, stirring, until brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the wine and reduce by three-fourths, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the stock, bay leaves, and thyme. Season with the salt and pepper to taste, turn down the heat, and simmer until the broth is reduced by one-fourth, about 30 minutes. Keep warm.
To make the hu mai, heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and saute lightly until softened, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to bowl and refrigerate until bold.
Fill a large bowl with ice. In a food processor, combine the frozen chicken, eggs, cream, and truffle oil and puree until smooth. Add the foie gras and puree. Do not over-process. Season with the salt and pepper to taste, transfer the mixture to a chilled medium bowl, and fold in the morels and chives. Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium heat, add 1/2 teaspoon of the filling, and cook through, about 30 seconds. Taste and correct the filling seasonings, if necessary.
Hold 1 wonton wrapper in your hand. Place about 1 teaspoon of the filling in the center of the wrapper. Bring the wrapper up around the filling, pressing it to adhere to the filling and pleating as you go. Continue around the filling. There will be 6 to 8 pleats. Tap the dumpling against the work surface to flatten it. The filling should be level with the top of the dumpling. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling. Cover the dumplings lightly with plastic and refrigerate.
Set up a double boiler. To make the puree, heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. When the oil shimmers, add the shallots and sautee, stirring, until soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with the salt and pepper to taste. Add the stock, raise the heat, and bring to a boil. Correct the seasonings; the stock should be well flavored. Add 13/4 cups of the edamame, reduce the heat, and simmer until the edamame are very soft, 25 to 30 minutes. During the last 2 minutes, add the spinach and allow the leaves to wilt. Transfer to a food processor and puree. Add the truffle oil and butter and pulse to incorporate fully. Remove to a small bowl and fold in the truffles; the heat from the puree will release the fragrance of the truffles. Keep warm in the double boiler.
Set up a steamer. If using a stainless-steel steamer, spray with nonstick cooking spray; if using a bamboo basket, line with red leaf lettuce or Chinese cabbage leaves. When the water boils, add the dumplings to the steamer tray and place 2 of the remaining edamame on top of each; some edamame will be left. Steam until the filling is cooked through, about 8 minutes.
Place small mounds of the edamame puree in 6 large soup bowls. Surround with 3 of the shu mai, ladle in the broth, and sprinkle with the chives. Garnish with the truffle oil and the remaining edamames and serve.
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