Summer Harvest Salad : Salad Messidor : Lesson 5 : Part 1 : LCB at Home

It's from the book Le Cordon Bleu: At Home - hurry and buy one for the full recipe; or try to follow my vague notes below.
Somehow I got this incredibly sharp image of the Messidor Salad, let's call it a summer salad to avoid the fancy French words ("messidor" meaning "summer harvest" in French) - - anyway, everything went right with the photography (now, if only I knew why or how). 
The dish? It's a bunch of veggies, in mayonnaise, in a big artichoke heart, sprinkled with chives.
messidor 080520081261
It wasn't faultless, not at all - but damn pretty.
1st off, way too much mayo was called for (the French traditionally use a ton of mayonnaise) so I cut it back; 2nd, it needed more salt (my fault); 3rd, more pepper; 4th, I forgot to put the chives on for the plating (but did remember for the photo-shoot later on).; 6th, needed some lemon juice squeezed on to liven it up; 7th, there was way more salad than would fit in the artichoke hearts so the plating was mostly for show and there was a bowl of the salad, for sharing, on the side; 8th, was supposed to be plated on a bed of curly endive but I forgetfully bought head-lettuce instead (well, at least it was curly); 9th, used prepared artichoke hearts instead of preparing them from scratch (since the ones in the market were very much on the too small side); and, finally, 10th, the mayonnaise "broke" while making it the first time 'round (but I was able to "recover" it with a second attempt).
Other than that... just fine.  The consensus, on the flavour aspect of the dish, is that Le Cordon Bleu is not proving to be strong on salad-making.
It's a fine salad but not a killer spectacular one.
What was really done was:


Summer Harvest Salad : Salad Messidor

Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • artichoke hearts
    • and a lemon for preparation
  • green beans, 25 cm long pieces [1"]
  • celery, batons (1/2 cm x 2,5 cm) [1/4" x 1"]
  • cauliflower, florets, really tiny ones
  • tomato, peeled, seeded, small bruinoise [diced evenly]
  • mayonnaise
    • 2 egg yolks
    • 1 1/2 C olive oil
    • dijon mustard
    • salt
    • white pepper
    • red wine vinegar
  • leaf lettuce (for the plating)
  • chives (decorative, mainly)

Procedure

  1. start with about 4 celery sticks, a large handful of green beans (1/3 #), 2 large tomatoes, and half a small cauliflower - - you ought to end up with equal amounts of each vegetable in the salad
  2. Cook the artichoke hearts in boiling water with a quartered lemon until "done" (a knife slides into the bottom with little resistance)
    • Cool on a rack, upside down so they drain
    • Trim the bases so they stand/sit more or less flat
  3. Cook the green beans in boiling water until just getting tender
    • Drain and rinse in cold water to stop them cooking
  4. Peel the "strings" off the celery and make into batons
    • a potato peeler works
  5. Prepare the peeled and seeded tomato in little cubes - as wide as the green beans and the celery.
  6. Make the mayonnaise
    1. 2 egg yolks, 1 T dijon, salt, pepper into a jar
    2. with stick mixer and a few drops of oil, mix
    3. when it's emulsified pour more oil slowly, patiently, into the mix
    4. see Notes, below, for what went wrong for me
    5. Add a tablespoon of red wine vinegar
  7. Mix veggies and half the mayo (an hour or 2 before serving)
  8. Serve on a bed of lettuce, in the artichoke hearts, drizzle with more mayo and sprinkle with chives

Done

Notes

  1. Much of the charm of this is in the size of the veggies all being similar; the green beans and celery equal size, the cauliflower torn to florets as small as you can get them (about the width of a ft green bean), and the tomatoes a size similar to the florets.  Likewise, cut the chives
  2. The mayonnaise "broke", that is, after going well for half the oil too much went in all at once and the oil stopped mixing properly with the egg.  It looks like a mess when that happens. 
    The fix is; switch to doing it with a hand whisk in a big metal bowl.  Break an new, whole, egg into the bowl; whisk until creamy, drizzle in 5 drops of the failed mayo; whisk until emulsified; add 10 drops of failed mayo, whisk; add 15 drops, whisk; you get the idea.
    It is tiring, all that whisking, but it works - - I recovered the failed mayonnaise in about 5 minutes (and 10 curse words) from the point of failure.

Worth another, less spectacular quality, picture?
messidor plate 070520081241
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2 comments:

Kayte said...

Well, just look at what I have stumbled upon...gold!

I did a quick search for this recipe to see if I could see an actual photo of what it looked like (always a plus for me) and your blog came up first. Very nice photo...thankyouverymuch.

Actually, very nice photos on your flickr site as well...hope it was okay to browse a bit.

Through a baking group I met a girl who was working her way through LCBAH cookbook and I jumped in to join her last week...we are now a group of 5 amateurs trying to learn something new with this book. I see that you are also cooking a bit with LCBAH and I plan on marking your blog and checking in on what you are doing each week...unless you want to join us at Whisk Wednesdays that is...although, from the looks of things, you are way, way beyond being entertained by the five (so far) of us.

Thanks for sharing.

Kayte said...

Well, I tried to get mine to come out as good as yours, but it fell a little short. Yours just glistens. I did not drizzle any extra mayo on the top...probably should have, but I kept adding up those calories and the total was growing...LOL. It tasted mighty fine, though.

Hey, I made MAYONNAISE from scratch...who knew???

I linked your site on my post today as I thought people should come and enjoy it like I did...and since you gave me permission in your email, I figured I should take advantage. Thanks.

We are such amateurs, but we are loving doing this...may learn something along the way. My steak dinner turned out really well.

Thanks again for sharing with us. Next week we do the mussels soup and cheese straws.