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How to Make a Top Chef Quenelle

Quenelle is a chef presentation and plating technique where a food preparation is molded into a small sausage or egg shaped dumpling for visual appeal.

 

A quenelle of caramel custard
A quenelle of caramel custard

Traditionally quenelles are a dumpling made with spiced meat or fish bound with fat and eggs but can be made with a variety of ingredients including desserts.

The shape of the dumpling is molded into a small sausage or egg shape and poached in boiling water.

The most common types are veal quenelles and Pike quenelles and are a specialty of Lyon France.

Usually served as an entree (main dish) with a sauce or au gratin.

To make the quenelle shape, first use a pair of spoons to shape the mixture. Traditional dessert spoons are ideal.

  1. Dip a spoon in hot water then scoop up a portion of the mixture.
  2. Dip the second spoon in hot water and scoop the mixture from the first spoon, smoothing the mixture.
  3. Repeat the process keep the spoons hot until you form a neat oval shaped dumpling.

If making a savory quenelle poach in boiling water or other broth depending on the recipe.

 

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