What are your secrets to enhancing the flavors of cucurbits?
Xavier Mathieu: My first tip is to prepare the roasted squash as if it were a piece of meat: with a few aromatic herbs, rosemary, garlic, and coarse salt. We start by coloring it in a frying pan with olive oil. Then it is roasted in the oven covered with pieces at a temperature of 180 ° C.
The secret is to glaze it with squash juice. The sweetness of its reduced juice brings sweetness. To get the juice, there are two solutions: either we pass it through a centrifuge to extract the juice. Either mix the raw pieces with a little water. Then filter through a coffee filter. You can use the juice to feed the squash while it’s cooking, just as you would a roast. You can also take the opportunity to prepare squash, ginger and verbena juice.
Are there any amazing possibilities for recipes?
XM: Yes, they can all be prepared as desserts of all kinds. It can be made into sherbet: the squash is cooked with syrup, then mixed and glazed. Cake, exactly the same recipe as carrot cake.
Otherwise, you can also put pieces of cooked squash in the machine to make a cake or add citrus peel or a “drop” of rum or Grand Marnier. Or a pie with candied chestnuts embedded or spread in bits on top of it like crumbs.
How do you make delicious gratin?
XM: You have to cook it a little earlier, and then finish cooking it with bacon, herbs or cheese. For example a mixture of Gruyere, Reblochon and Beaufort. The squash will become soft while the cheese will turn brown. It’s delicious. You can add a spoonful of cream on top.
Below, at the bottom of the dish, you can add a base of whipped leeks with a little cream.
What are your tips for soups and mashes?
XM: Soup, I’ll make it natural, maybe by adding a boiled egg or a piece of foie gras at Christmas. I will not add any curry as this is not the tone or the latency. But why not put a sprinkle of caraway on it. Otherwise a little garlic while cooking.
And the mash, very simple, ground with a knife, with a piece of butter, a pinch of cardamom powder, as an accompaniment to roast chicken, rib steak, veal steaks, all kinds of fish.
Recipe: Pumpkin Radish, by Xavier Mathieu
1) Roasted Pumpkin:
Ingredients : Cut the squash into about 100 grams, rosemary and garlic
Achievement Roast squash quarters in olive oil. Once it is well browned on both sides, add a few cloves of garlic and a few sprigs of rosemary. Sprinkle with butter for a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Finish cooking in the oven.
2) Radish Butter:
Ingredients : Butter, radish, lemon juice, salt
Achievement : Melt the butter, in the foamy butter, add the hot horseradish. Cook for a few minutes and add lemon juice. Mix using an immersion blender.
3) Squash Glaze:
Ingredients : Centrifuged squash juice and butter
Achievement : Reduce the juice of the squash until you have a glaze. Coat it with butter.
4) Finishing elements:
Ingredients : Puffed black rice, fleur de sel, split pepper
Achievement : Reheat the squash in the glaze until hot and well-coated, then place a veil of fluffy rice on top and finish on the plate with fleur de sel and split peppers. Served with a sauce bowl filled with horseradish butter.