Squash Soup and Walnut Panna Cotta
Will Baker is the Chef de Cuisine at Walnut Bistro in Eymet, Dordogne. Taking his experience from around the world, he focuses on a seasonal and fresh offering. His dishes are beautiful to look at and a delight to savour.
Will Baker of The Walnut Bistro
Butternut Squash Soup with Dehydrated mushrooms and Curry Leaf Oil
The Soup (Serves 10)
3 Butternut squash, cubed
3 White onions, sliced
650ml Coconut milk
30g Ginger, grated
3 Cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
160ml White wine
Sauté the onions and garlic until soft and fragrant. Deglaze the pan with white wine, reduce, season with salt and pepper. Add the squash, coconut milk, ginger and water, cook until soft. Blend until smooth. For that silky texture pass the mixture through a sieve. Pour soup into bowls and drizzle with curry oil and coconut cream. Garnish.
Curry Leaf oil
150ml Sunflower oil
10 Curry leaves
1cm Slice of ginger
1 tsp Fenugreek
1 tsp Coriander seeds
1 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
Heat olive oil to 55°C in a pot, add the ingredients and leave to infuse for two hours. Sieve thoroughly, leave to cool.
Slice the mushrooms thinly, place on a hatched metal rack in a 70°C convection oven, and leave until dry in texture.
Walnut Panna Cotta with Candied Walnuts and Walnut Liqueur Sauce
750ml Full Fat Milk
2 Vanilla beans, deseeded
5 Gelatine leaves
200g Caster sugar
200g Ground toasted walnuts
Grease moulds with vegetable oil, place in freezer. Soak gelatine in warm water until soft. Place the cream, milk, ground walnuts and vanilla seeds in a pot and heat to 80°C. Stir in the gelatine and sugar until dissolved. Place a metal bowl over ice cubes and strain into the bowl, stirring continuously to a sauce consistency. Pour the mixture into the moulds, refrigerate for 24 hours. To serve, turn out onto plates, dress with candied walnuts and a drizzle of walnut liqueur sauce.
Bring the water to a boil, add the sugar until dissolved, add whole walnuts and keep on a very low simmer for three hours. Strain through a sieve, making sure you keep the liquid for the sauce. Place in a very low oven overnight.
Walnut Liqueur Sauce
200ml Walnut Sugar syrup
100ml Walnut liqueur
Boil the walnut sugar syrup and add the liqueur. Leave to cool.
With family gatherings in mind, and serving 10, you can find Will’s recipe for Pan-cooked Foie Gras with Apple Mustard Slaw and Apple Purée in the Guest Chef section of our online articles
First published in the November/December 2019 issue of The Local Buzz
Images: The Walnut Bistro