A light meal, richly flavoured

Salad, brussel sprout flan and wafer cups with berries and cream.

June 20, 2008 | | Back Issues | Departments | Food | Summer 2008 | The Country Cook

Quick Cucumber Salad • Brussels Sprout Flan with Mushroom Sauce • Wafer Cups with Berries and Cream • Deliciously Illustrated by Shelagh Armstrong.

Quick Cucumber Salad • Brussels Sprout Flan with Mushroom Sauce • Wafer Cups with Berries and Cream • Deliciously Illustrated by Shelagh Armstrong.

You may want to put away the wine and pop a cold beer as the perfect accompaniment to this light but flavourful summer meal.

Our appetizer uses fresh crunchy cucumber and cherry tomatoes from the garden. We have opted for a Dijon dressing, but any one of your favourite dressings will likely complement this eye-pleasing first course.

Our second course features Belgian endive wrapped in ham and baked in the oven. Endive makes an excellent cooked vegetable after being painstakingly coaxed into an elegant white colour by the grower, making it something of a luxury item.

The Brussels sprout flan with mushroom sauce served alongside the endive is prepared in a tube tin or spring-clip tin. The sprouts could be substituted with well-drained spinach or zucchini. Although cultivated mushrooms are fine, this dish benefits from the addition of cremini and oyster mushrooms.

We finish with a refreshing dessert of wafer cups filled with seasonal fruit. Different flavours of ice cream could replace the fruit, or a dollop of ice cream on top could replace the whipped cream. As a fall variation, try caramelized apples with vanilla custard. Slivered almonds can be embedded in the batter to add texture. The French name for this thin crisp cookie is tuile, which means tile. While the cookie is still warm from the oven, it is placed into a muffin tin or over an inverted cup to form the desired shape – often resembling a curved roof tile. Traditional tuiles are often made with almonds and flavoured with lemon or orange. Our recipe is has a milder flavour so as not to overpower the delicate berries.

Quick Cucumber Salad

  • 4 hard-cooked eggs
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 small bunch fresh dill
  • 2 tsp | 1o ml Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp | 15 ml honey
  • 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp | 2.5 ml fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp | 3o ml mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper to taste

Quarter the eggs lengthwise. With a vegetable peeler or mandolin, slice the cucumber into long thin strips. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half. In a blender, mix the Dijon, honey, Worcestershire, lemon juice and mayonnaise. Season to taste with salt and pepper. On a dinner plate, place a mound of cucumber strips and top with four egg quarters. Place six cherry tomato halves around the perimeter of the plate. Drizzle with the Dijon mixture and scatter some chopped dill over the top. Serves 4.

Baked Endive with Ham

  • 4 Belgian endives
  • 3 tbsp | 45 ml unsalted butter
  • 2 c | 5oo ml chicken stock
  • 1/2 c | 125 ml cream
  • 2 tbsp | 3o ml flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp | 2.5 ml nutmeg
  • 1 tsp | 5 ml cayenne pepper
  • 1 pinch anise seed
  • 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 slices cooked ham
  • 1 c | 25o ml grated Emmenthal

Place the endive in the chicken stock in a medium saucepan and set to high. Remove the endive when the stock comes to a boil. Set the stock aside. Melt the butter in the saucepan and add the flour. Stir well and add enough of the stock to make a thick sauce, stirring constantly. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg, cayenne, anise and Worcestershire. Turn the heat down to low and add the cream. Set aside. Wrap the endive in the sliced ham and place the endive into the pan. Pour the sauce over top. Sprinkle the Emmenthal cheese over top of the ham. Cover and bake at 35o°F for 3o minutes. Place one endive on each of four small plates and drizzle sauce around the dish. Serves 4.

Brussels Sprout Flan with Mushroom Sauce

  • 1 1/2 lb | 68o g Brussels sprouts
  • 1/2 c | 125 ml vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 c | 375 ml milk
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 c | 25o ml grated cheddar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch nutmeg

Sauce

  • 2 tbsp | 3o ml butter
  • 3 slices bacon
  • 1 onion
  • 8 oz | 25o g sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tsp | 5 ml lemon juice
  • 4 drops Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 c | 25o ml vegetable stock
  • 1 c | 25o ml cream
  • 1/4 c | 5o ml chopped parsley

Quarter the Brussels sprouts, cook in boiling water and let drain for 3o minutes. Using a wooden spoon, beat the milk, eggs, cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg together in a large bowl. Butter the tube pan. Place the Brussels sprouts into the prepared pan. Pour the egg mixture over top and cover with aluminum foil. Cook in a water bath in a 35o°F oven for 3o-4o minutes or until mixture feels firm.
While the egg mixture is baking, melt the butter in a medium-sized pan. Dice the onion, chop the bacon and fry in the butter until the bacon is cooked. Remove the bacon and onion and set aside. Fry the sliced mushrooms in a frying pan, using additional butter if required. When cooked, add the bacon, onion, vegetable stock, cream and Worcestershire sauce. Boil until reduced to a creamy consistency. When the egg mixture is done, turn it out onto a serving plate. Squeeze the lemon into the sauce and pour into the centre of the flan. Decorate with parsley and serve. Serves 4.

Wafer Cups with Berries and Cream

  • 4 tbsp | 6o ml softened unsalted butter
  • 2/3 c | 15o ml icing sugar
  • 2 egg whites lightly beaten
  • 1/2 c | 125 ml flour
  • 1 tsp | 5 ml vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c | 125 g small berries
  • 1/3 c | 75 ml heavy cream, whipped

In a mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Add the icing sugar, flour, vanilla and egg whites, whisking until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap, set aside to let stand for two hours. On the reverse side of parchment paper, draw four circles, 4-3/4″ or 12 cm in diameter. Place the parchment on a baking sheet, pencil side down. Preheat the oven to 4oo°F. Drop 1.5 tbsp or 22 ml of batter in the centre of each circle and spread thinly and evenly to the circle’s edge. Bake for 2-3 minutes, or until the tiles are a golden brown. While still warm, place each cookie into a muffin tin to form the shapes. Remove cookies from the tins when they are completely cooled (about two minutes). Fill each with berries and top with a dollop of whipped cream. Serves 4.

About the Author More by Sandra Cranston-Corradini

Sandra Cranston-Corradini is the proprietor of the Cranston-Corradini School of Cooking.

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