Devised by Nick Hodges, executive head chef of the Flying Fish Restaurant, St Michael’s Hotel and Spa Falmouth Tel: 01326 312707, www.stmichaelshotel.co.uk
(Recipe for 2) Ingredients:
250g heritage tomatoes, now readily available in most supermarkets and greengrocers (normal salad tomatoes are fine)
50g good quality Parmesan
4 quail breasts; alternatively other small game birds or even chicken will work
4 quail’s eggs
½ red onion
Small bag of mixed salad leaves
1 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons of golden rapeseed oil
•In a pot of fast boiling water, add the four eggs and boil for 2½ minutes. Remove immediately and place into a bowl of iced water; leave to cool totally. Remove and carefully de-shell the eggs, then leave in the fridge.
•Finely slice the tomatoes, arrange in an overlapped circle on a large white plate, season with sea and pepper and place in the fridge.
•Finely grate the Parmesan, sprinkle a thin layer on a non-stick baking tray, and make a circle of the cheese roughly 6 inches in diameter.
•Place in a pre-heated [200 degrees C] oven until the cheese melts and turns a very pale golden brown. Beware – if the cheese overcooks, it will not mould for the next stage.
•Remove the Parmesan from the oven, and allow to cool for a minute or two – it MUST NOT go cold. Remove the cheese just like a pastry biscuit from the tray with a spatula, and place over a mould (an egg cup or small ramekin is ideal). Press the cheese gently around the mould, producing a basket.
•Leave to set and cool over the mould. Place to one side.
•Pre-heat a non-stick frying until hot. Season the quail breast, lightly oil and fry for 6 to 8 minutes depending on the size and how you like to eat your game. Ideally, quail should be served pink, but this is up to you. Remove from the pan and leave to rest for 10 minutes, allowing the meat to become tender and juicy.
•In a bowl, add the vinegar, oil and a little seasoning. Whisk with a fork – this will be your dressing.
Remove your plates from the fridge containing the pre-sliced heritage tomatoes
•In the centre of the tomatoes, place the parmesan basket.
Cut the eggs in quarters, thinly slice the red onion and the rested quail, place into a bowl, and add a small amount of the salad leaves. Add the red wine dressing.
•Divide the dressed quail mix into 4 even amounts and place into the parmesan baskets. Use the colour of the eggs as your garnish; drizzle a small amount of the dressing over the tomatoes also, and serve