Venison and Tyrolean Ham Cordon Bleu with Pumpkin and Celery Mayonnaise ▶
Deep-fried packets of golden pumpkin conceal centers of smoky ham and venison. The unusual cordon bleus are served with celery mayonnaise and garnished with celery root chips.
- Celery Mayonnaise
- Celery Root - 1, peeled
- Egg Yolks - 2
- Dijon-Style Mustard - 1 tablespoon
- Lemon Juice - 1 teaspoon
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Oil - 1 cup
- Sour Cream - 2 tablespoons
- Garlic Vinegar - 1 tablespoon
- Walnut Oil - 1 tablespoon
- Fried Celery Root Garnish
- Reserved celery root (above)
- Canola oil - for deep-fat frying
- Venison and Tyrolean Ham Cordon Bleu
- Pumpkin - 1 10 – 12-inch diameter
- Tyrolean Ham - 4 slices (alt. smoked meat or canadian bacon)
- Venison Cutlets - Four, 3-ounce
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Eggs - 2
- Cold Water - 1/4 cup
- Flour - 1 cup
- Dry Bread Crumbs - 4 cups
- Canola Oil - for deep-fat frying
To make the mayonnaise: On a mandoline or V-slicer, shave off 20 to 24 thin celery root chips and reserve in ice water. Dice the remaining celery root and place in a saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until softened. Remove from heat and drain well. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the yolks, mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Whisking constantly, slowly add the oil in a thin stream. When the oil has been incorporated and the mixture is thickened, fold the sour cream and cooked celery into the mayonnaise. Set aside.
To make the celery root garnish: Drain the celery root chips and pat dry. Heat the oil to 370 F in a deep-fat fryer or deep pan and put the chips in the oil, a few at a time, being careful of spatters. Fry 30 to 40 seconds, turning once, until crisp. Remove with a wire strainer or slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Set aside.
To make the cordon bleus: Pare the pumpkin and cut out the stem. Scoop out the seeds. Using a large slicer or a very sharp knife, cut 1/4-inch slices (slightly thinner if possible) from the sides vertically, creating sixteen 6-inch circles of pumpkin. With a 3-inch cutter, cut the centers from eight of the slices.
Place four whole slices of pumpkin on a work surface. Center a four ring-shaped slices on top of each. Top each with a second ring-shaped slice. Press a piece of ham or bacon, cut to fit, into each hole. Press a piece of venison, cut to fit, into each hole over the ham. Season with salt and pepper. Place a whole slice of pumpkin on top of each package. Press the packets gently to seal, and trim the edges together. From this step on, handle each packet as a cordon bleu.
In a small shallow bowl, blend the eggs and water with a fork to form egg wash. Put the flour in a shallow bowl or dish. Put the bread crumbs in another shallow bowl or dish. One at a time, dip the cordon bleus into the flour and dust them off, then into the egg wash to coat, then into the bread crumbs to coat. Use long thin skewers along two sides to hold the sides of the cordon bleus together, “sewing” them once on each side with a skewer.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Heat the canola oil to 360 F in a deep fat fryer or deep pot. Fry the cordon bleus until golden brown, turning to brown both sides. When browned, drain on paper towels, put on a baking sheet, and finish cooking in the oven, 4 to 8 minutes. Cordon bleus are done when a skewer or the point of a knife can be inserted easily.
To serve: Remove the skewers from the sides. Cut each cordon bleu in half to reveal the center. Place two halves to one side of each serving plate, one slightly overlapping the other. Stir the garlic vinegar and walnut oil into the mayonnaise and place a large spoonful on each plate. Place fried celery root chips beside the cordon bleus.