This week we bring you another delightful contribution to your kitchen from Martín Berasategui’s Melvin restaurant at Abama. We hope you’ve been following along at home and have gained a little culinary mastery thanks to our intrepid head chef Diego Dato.
Below, some Mediterranean classics that are sure to bring a smile to the faces of your loved ones gathered around the table.
Preparation: 60 minutes
100 g of spring onion
60 g of butter
60 g of virgin olive oil
200 g of flour + more for the outer coating
1.7 liters of milk
2 diced boiled eggs + another egg (raw) for the outer coating
450 g of chicken thigh meat, cleaned of bone and skin
Fine bread crumbs
Chop the spring onions finely with a sharp knife.
Boil the milk and chicken together in a pan for 5 minutes. When the chicken is cooked, take it out of the milk, and put the hot milk to the side to be used in the bechamel.
After the chicken cools, dice it into small cubes and put it aside.
Add the olive oil, butter, and chopped spring onion to another pan and cook them on very low heat for 15 minutes until the onion is tender, without browning it.
Add the flour to the pan a third at a time, stirring constantly. Continue to cook on low heat for two minutes and add the milk slowly so that lumps don’t form. Stir until you have a thin, creamy bechamel sauce. Once you have added all the milk, continue to cook on low heat another 15 minutes.
A few minutes before removing the bechamel from the stove, add the chopped boiled egg and the chicken, and salt to taste.
Once you have finished making the filling, place it in a dish lined with plastic wrap. Drizzle the top with butter and place another layer of plastic wrap on top. Chill for one day in the refrigerator so it solidifies.
Finish and presentation:
The next day, mold the croquettes into your preferred shape and roll them in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs. Set them aside carefully as you make them, being sure not to let them touch and lose their shape. Fry them in a good amount of hot oil and drain them on paper towels.
A good croquette requires work. A superb bechamel, creamy and fine, can only be achieved with a patient, steady hand that stirs constantly until the desired result is achieved.
Seared salmon with tartar sauce
Preparation: 15 minutes
Ingredients for the tartar sauce:
.75 liters of mayonnaise
2 tbsp of capers
6 large pickles, chopped
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped chervil
1 tbsp chopped tarragon
1 tbsp chopped chives
2 tbsp spicy Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
A few drops of soy sauce
Ingredients for the salmon:
4 deboned salmon filets
1 tbsp olive oil + more for sautéing the salmon
1 tbsp cider vinegar
Method for the tartar sauce:
Mix the mayonnaise together with all the chopped ingredients and stir well. Season to taste with salt and pepper and add a few drops of soy sauce to enhance the flavor.
Method for the salmon:
Season the salmon filets on both sides with salt and sear them on high heat in a pan with a few drops of olive oil for about 3 minutes. Remove them from the flame before they get too dry. You can also choose to brown the skin side of the filets and then finish them in an oven at 180ºC for 5 minutes.
Finish and presentation:
In the cleaned pan that you used to sear the fish, heat the tablespoon of oil and carefully add the cider vinegar so as not to splash. Let it boil for a few seconds, then add the chopped parsley. Drizzle this sauce over the salmon, and serve accompanied by the tartar sauce.
In the tartar sauce, feel free to substitute herbs you don’t have for others, or eliminate ones you don’t like. Fit the sauce to your palate, as long as it’s full of flavor.
Lemon flan with whipped Armagnac cream
Preparation: 45 minutes
Ingredients for the lemon flan:
250 ml of cream
250 ml of lemon juice
250 g of sugar
2 pieces of lime rind
Ingredients for the Armagnac cream:
.5 liters of liquid cream
25 g of powdered sugar
Vanilla bean seeds from one vanilla bean
A shot of Armagnac
Method for the lemon flan:
Boil the cream with the lemon juice. Blanche (vigorously whip) the eggs with the sugar and rinds.
Mix both together and put it in molds that will go into the oven at 120ºC for 30 minutes.
Method for the Armagnac cream:
An hour before making the whipped cream, put the bowl in the freezer so that it is completely chilled before beginning to whisk. The liquid cream should also be very cold.
The next part can be done with a hand whisk or an electric mixer. Place the cream in the cold bowl along with the vanilla seeds. Begin to whisk vigorously and constantly, shaking the mixture so that air molecules enter the cream and it begins to thicken bit by bit.
When the cream achieves the consistency of liquid yogurt, add the sugar and the Armagnac and continue whisking so it achieves even more thickness and sponginess. The color should remain white.
Finish and Presentation:
Take the flan out of the molds and serve slightly warm. Accompany with the whipped Armagnac cream.
The thickness of the whipped cream should vary according to its use. For an Irish cream, for instance, it’s better creamy; but for eating with strawberries or to serve with this flan, you should try to achieve a firmer consistency.