The tree is up; the stockings are hung; the Carols are playing and the children are home.
It’s Christmas time at its best and the next best thing to celebrate the evening before Saint Nicholas drops by is with a hearty dinner for full bellies and even fuller hearts.
Not sure what to make? Worry not, as here we have a recipe for a Lobster Navarin and a Pan-Fried Duck Liver from Chef Antoine Rodriguez from Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur.
The genial executive chef loves Christmas more than anyone and he is more than happy to share tastes from Christmases of his childhood in France for a night before Christmas that will be well remembered.
Pan-fried Duck Liver with Diced Apple Compote, Chestnuts Puree, Tossed Hazelnuts and Coral Tuile Balsamic
Pan-Fried Duck Liver
With diced apple compote, chestnuts puree, tossed hazelnuts and coral tuile balsamic sauce. Serves 4 pax.
Foie Gras Ingredients
4 slices of duck liver (60 to 80gr each /1cm thick) | 5gr salt | 5gr crushed black pepper | 5gr five spices | 5gr sugar | 12cl balsamic vinegar | Sea salt | Micro green | 30gr hazelnuts, tossed and cracked
Spread the foie gras pieces out on a baking sheet or on a large plate.
Season both sides with the sugar, five spices, crushed black pepper, and salt.
Cover the foie gras with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Place a heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat. When the pan is very hot, add the foie gras pieces and cook, flipping once, until nicely browned, 1 to 2 minutes per side.
Transfer the foie gras to a plate with absorbent paper and pour off the rendered fat. Add the vinegar to the pan to deglaze it; let the liquid boil for a few seconds, reserved.
Chestnut puree ingredients
120gr vacuum-packed roasted chestnuts | 25cl warm milk | 60gr unsalted butter (melted) | Salt and pepper
In a medium saucepan, cover the chestnuts with the water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over moderate heat for about 5 minutes, until the chestnuts are hot. Drain the chestnuts and transfer them into a food processor. Add the milk, butter, and process until smooth. 5/Season with salt and pepper and reserve aside.
Drain the chestnuts and transfer them into a food processor. Add the milk, butter, and process until smooth.
Apple Compote Ingredients
1 Fuji apple | 15 gr sugar
Peel the apple, remove the seeds and the heart. Cut into regular cubes, then into smaller mirepoix. Place them into a casserole with sugar and 30cl of water.
Cover and simmer for 15 minutes over slow heat. Reserve aside.
Coral Tuile Ingredients
80gr water | 30gr oil | 10gr flour | Coffee extract 1 drop
Mix all ingredients.
Heat up a non-stick frying pan without oil. Pour a tablespoon of the mixture into the pan.
Cook for a few minutes until bubbles disappear.
Remove mixture from the pan and drain on paper towels.
Set the foie gras on the hot plate. Pipe the chestnuts puree on the side.
Top the puree with tossed hazelnuts.
Drizzle the reduced balsamic over the foie gras. Sprinkle the foie gras with some coarse salt and crushed pepper.
Quenelle the diced, cooked apple and place on top of the foie gras.
Decorate with micro green and coral tuile. Serve immediately.
(Swipe left for full ingredients and recipe)
Lobster Navarin with Morels
With morels. Serves 4 pax
4 x fresh lobsters of 500/600 gr each
Court Buillion Ingredients
1 sprig of fresh thyme | 2 bay leaves | 10gr peppercorn | 100gr carrot, peeled and roughly cut | 100gr leek, clean and roughly cut | 80gr onion, peeled and roughly cut 5cl white vinegar | 15gr sea salt | 4 litre water
Bring salted water to boil in a large pot and add in all aromatic ingredients.
Put the lobsters in and soak for 3 to 4 minutes.
Thereafter, chill them in iced water, remove the shell and carefully remove the meat from the claws to keep the flesh in shape. Reserve the head and the carcasses aside.
Lobster Bisque Ingredients
Cut all carcasses and lobster head into small chunks| 30gr butter | 5cl olive oil | 50gr minced shallots | 3 garlic cloves, crushed | 150gr carrots, diced | 50gr celery, diced | 4 large fresh tomatoes, cut into cubes | 25gr tomato paste | 1 sprig fresh thyme | 2 bay leaves | Salt and pepper to taste | 10cl brandy (optional) | 25cl white wine (optional) | 50cl hot water | 500gr cooking cream
In a large casserole, heat oil over high heat and crush the head and the carcasses until small pieces. Keep roasting and stirring in the pot and flame with Brandy. Add shallots, onions, and garlic. Stir for one minute. Add diced carrots, celery, fresh tomatoes and tomato paste. Add the aromatic herbs (thyme and bay leaves). Deglaze the pan with the white wine, and cook for a few minutes. Season it, add hot water and combine well. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the cooking cream and bring to a boil. Cook over med-high heat for 20 minutes.
Remove from the heat, and blend the bisque until fine.Strain through a fine sieve to extract the flavours and aromatic elements of the carcass. Add more seasoning (if needed), add the morels, and reserve in a hot bain-marie.
10cl brandy (optional) | 15gr butter | 5cl olive oil
Cut the lobster meat into large medallions. In a sauté pan, heat oil and butter over low heat and sauté the lobster gently just for a couple of minute.
Season with salt and pepper, and flame with Brandy. Reserve aside.
Vegetable Garniture Ingredients
50gr butter | 100gr baby carrots | 80gr blanched green peas | 100gr rainbow tomatoes | 100gr of pumpkin shape with pearl scoop and blanched | 50gr micro herbs | 5cl hot water | Salt, white pepper and sugar to taste
Morels Ingredients and instructions
50 gr dried morels, Place your mushrooms in a bowl large enough to accommodate all of them. Remember, dried mushrooms will reconstitute up to 6-8 times their dry weight. Cover them with warm water, wine or stock. Let them sit in the liquid for 15 - 20 minutes. Gradually, they will absorb the moisture and "plump out". Drain the mushrooms in a colander; be sure to reserve the flavourful soaking liquid to use in stocks, soups or sauces. Strain or carefully "decant" the mushroom liquid to avoid any remaining sediment or grit. Include a bit of the morels which were reserved aside into the strained mushroom liquid.
Place a generous amount of bisque at the centre of each of the four plates.
Arrange the lobster on top of the bisque.
Arrange the vegetables and the morels.
Decorate with micro greens and add the croutons just before serving.
(Swipe left for full ingredient and recipe)
Seasons greetings from Le Meridien KL and the FirstClasse Team. We hope you have a hearty dinner with your closest and dearest this Christmas.
Log on to Le Meridien KL’s official website here to learn more about their festive offerings. Alternatively, view their festive offerings brochure here.
(Photography: Anson Siau)