Chartreuse of Shrimp and Vegetables ►
A chartreuse is a molded (usually domed) preparation of vegetables and meat or game. Colors are carefully placed and alternated. The chartreuse is served hot. At Le Cirque, chartreuse is prepared in individual molds with shrimp and a colorful array of vegetables. The finished molds are napped with creamy wine sauce and garnished with chervil.
- Shrimp - 48, medium
- Olive Oil - 1 cup
- Tomatoes - 6 large. ripe. cleaned, peeled, and seeded
- Chervil - 1 Sprig
- Eggplant - 1
- Zucchini - 2
- Shallots - 3, peeled
- Butter - 2 tablespoons, cut into four pieces
- Dry White Wine - 2 cups
- Heavy (Whipping) Cream - 1 cup
- Chervil - 6 sprigs
Clean and shell the shrimp. Heat a tablespoon of the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat and saute the shrimp for 20 to 30 seconds per side; do not overcook. Remove and drain on paper towels.
Drizzle a little more olive oil in the saute pan and saute the tomatoes and chervil sprig over medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes, until they begin to lose their shape. Drain the tomatoes and put them in a bowl. Crush them with a fork to make a coarse puree.
Slice the eggplant about 1/4-inch thick. Adding olive oil to the saute pan as necessary, saute over medium-high heat until the slices are golden. Drain on paper towels, blotting to absorb excess oil. Do not crowd the pan; saute in batches if necessary. Slice the zucchini 1/8-inch thick and saute as for the eggplant.
Slice the shallots in thin pieces. Put the shallots and the wine in a large pot and cook over medium-high heat until the liquid has nearly all evaporated. Whisk in the butter, a piece at a time, until completely emulsified. Set aside and keep warm.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Using 3-inch tin cups or buttered ramekins, arrange a slice of eggplant in the bottom, then add 4 shrimp in a circular pattern. Spread a little of the tomato puree and add a piece of zucchini. Repeat, making two layers. Put the cups or ramekins in a deep baking dish and fill with hot water halfway up the sides of the cups or ramekins. Bake 10 minutes, until set. Take out of the oven and let stand for 2 minutes. Using hot mitts, lift out the cups or ramekins and drain, holding a spatula over the top to hold the chartreuse in place.
Put the sauce back over low heat and whisk in the heavy cream until smooth.
To serve: Unmold a chartreuse in the center of each serving plate. Nap with sauce. Garnish each with a chervil sprig.