Consomme des Ecrevisses aux Truffes
Hidden under golden brown puff pastry caps, this sparkling consommé contains pink crawfish tails and bits of black truffle. The consommé makes an elegant starter for dinner.
- Live Crawfish - 2 pounds (Alt. shrimp)
- Water - 3 quarts
- Salt - 3 teaspoons
- Water - 9 cups
- Onion - 1 medium, coarsely chopped
- Leek - 1, white part only, chopped (reserve the green portion)
- Carrot - 1 medium, coarsely chopped
- Thyme - 1/2 teaspoon
- Bay Leaves - 2
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Black Truffle - 1 large, shaved and chopped
- Clarifying Solution
- Reserved green leek parts (above), cleaned and minced
- Celery Stalk - 1, minced
- Egg Whites - 4
- Puff Pastry - 2 sheets, thawed
Wash and purge the crawfish in 3 quarts lightly salted water for 30 minutes. Drain and rinse. Put 9 cups of water in another pot. Add the crawfish and chopped vegetables. Bring to a boil and add the seasonings. Simmer for 30 minutes (do not boil rapidly or the consommé will become cloudy). Set aside to cool; when the crawfish are cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the shells. Ser aside.
Combine the leeks, celery, and egg whites for the clarifying solution. When the consommé broth is cool, stir in the clarifying mixture and bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Simmer the consommé until clear. A crust will form on the top. Strain by pushing the crust to the side and straining the consommé through a sieve lined with two layers of cheesecloth without breaking the crust. Discard the crust and put the strained consommé over medium-low heat until ready to serve.
To assemble and serve: Preheat the oven to 425 F. Put the reserved crawfish meat and chopped truffle into ovenproof soup bowls and place the bowls on a baking sheet to make them easier to handle. Ladle consommé over the crawfish and truffles in the bowls. Wipe the rims clean. Cut discs of puff pastry to fit over the tops of the bowls. Place a disc on each bowl, pressing around the edge to seal. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, until the pastry is puffed and browned. Serve immediately.