Russian-French Gastronomic Seasons: Quail with pearl barley and apple puree

The dates November 9-11 mark an illustrious event: Gastronomic Seasons at Cafe de la Paix, Hotel InterContinental Grand Opera of Paris. Guests will be welcome to enjoy culinary masterpieces by chefs Laurent André and Evgeny Nasyrov.

Meanwhile, Evgeny Nasyrov, chef at Moscow’s Cafe des Arts (Moscow, Marshala Sokolovskogo st., 5) presents one of the most delicious dishes of Russian cuisine that will have even the French licking their lips: quail with pearl barley and apple puree.

Delicious quail dishes have a long and glorious tradition in Russia. This bird, loved for its tender dietary meat, was not only considered a hunting prize, but respected as a songbird and even a game-fowl. Russian fields rich with underbrush and grass tousle are an ideal nesting place for quails. Pearl barley is also a traditional Russian treat, widely used for tasty and filling meals by everyone, regardless of social status or wealth.

In this recipe offered by Evgeny Nasyrov, delicate quail meat is perfectly highlighted with sour apple puree and rich, sustaining pearl barley. There is also a sauce with a twist: ginger, garlic, and black currant make an unexpected yet delicious combination.

Ingredients (for 4 persons):
~150 g pearl barley
4 quails
4 green apples
250 g frozen black currant
1 slice ginger
4-5 garlic cloves
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 onion bulb
10 g butter
2 tbsp vegetable oil

Watch Evgeny making it, and try to follow his recipe:

1. Bake the pearl barley for 10 minutes at 180 C. Then cover it with water (there should be 2.5-3 times more water than pearl barley), bring to the boil. Slack the fire and poach for 40 minutes (depends on the quality of the pearl barley; the lower the quality, the greater the poaching time).

2. Cut the spines out of the quails: cut along the central cartilage and remove. Fry with a small amount of oil for 3-4 minutes. Cover with water and let draw—this will be the base for the sauce.

3. Melt the sugar. Don’t stir it! Better take it off the stove and shake. Add the hot spine broth, bring to the boil, and let draw. Crush the currant, sift and pour on the sauce. Peel the garlic, cut in slices, add. Add ginger. Mix everything, leave for a few minutes. Sift, squeeze out the juice. If you use buttercloth, use more than one layer.

4. Peel the apples, cut into slices, put into a roasting pan. Cover with water, one-third full. Simmer under the top, then puree with a blender.

5. Peel the onion, cut into small pieces. Melt butter, add onion, fry until transparent. Add to the pearl barley (you can also add salt and pepper to taste).

6. Cut the quails in half, oil. Warm up the frying pan. Put the quails in the pan, fry (turn over regularly).

7. Put the quails on the plates, cover with the sauce. Add pearl barley. Add apple puree (if you have a blowtorch, use it on the puree). Decorate with garnish: we used fennel and Japanese radish reminiscent of the underbrush where quails like to hide.

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