Corsu Vecchiu with Spiced Carrot Salad and Golden Raisin Puree

September 2, 2006 at 9:15 am (Other, unrated)

My friend adapted this recipe from The French Laundry Cookbook by Thomas Keller, as one course in an extravagant birthday dinner. The spice mix is marvelous, and the combination of sweet raisin juice, slightly bitter carrot juice, tart lemon, pungent spices, and salty rich cheese was heavenly.

3/4 c carrot juice
1 pinch of spice mix, see below
1/2 c golden raisins
2 T lemon juice
8 oz wedge Corsu Vecchiu, Gruyère, Emmanthal, Mahón, or Petite Basque
3/4 c shredded carrots
6 sprigs chervil

1. reduce carrot juice — strain, bring to a boil, and then simmer until reduced to about 1 1/2 to 2 T, about 10 minutes, skimming scum off the top; add a pinch of spice mix and set aside.
2. plump raisins — place raisins in a pan, cover with water, add lemon juice and simmer 2 to 3 minutes.
3. purée raisins — place raisins in a blender with enough cooking liquid to let them turn; strain and set aside.
4. cut cheese into 30 thin triangles
5. combine carrots with carrot reduction, season with salt
6. plate — place 1 T of raisin purée in the center of each plate; top with a “haystack” of carrot salad and place the cheese and chervil on top.

Spice Mix
1 1/2 t coriander seeds
1 T black peppercorns
1 in piece of cinnamon
OR 1 1/2 t ground cinnamon
3/4 t cloves

1. heat spices together in a small pan until fragrant
2. grind to a powder

Yields about 2 1/2 T spice mix. Store in an airtight container for up to a week or in the freezer for longer.

My friend’s notes

The pureed raisins didn’t get combined with any of the spices – they went on the plate first, with the carrot mix on top.

The spices go into the reduced carrot juice after it’s finished reducing. I put in a pinch then (1/16 – 1/8 tsp?) and i let that sit while I did the other things. Then, I combined the carrot juice/spices with the shredded carrots just before serving.

I would also add one more note to step 2. after simmering the raisins, I let them sit for 10 minutes or so before pureeing them. That should make them easier to blend. We used ‘sultana’ raisins from the bulk section of the co-op, mahon cheese, and thyme instead of chervil.

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