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Crispy Eel Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette Recipe
Crispy Eel Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette
Rémy Giraud, Domaine des Hauts de Loire, France
Rémy Giraud, Domaine des Hauts de Loire, France
Total time: 30 to 60 minutes

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: Under 30 minutes

Difficulty: Easy
Chef's Note

Rémy Giraud offers a way to discover - or rediscover - eel that is both simple and original. The vinaigrette highlights the eel's flavor, while the bread crumbs provide crunch and the taste of browned butter.

"I prepare eels weighing between 800 g and 1 kg (about 2 lb.) in the following way: after cutting the heads off the day before, I remove the fillets and take the skin off with a knife. I cook it in numerous ways - for example: crispy eel salad with shallot vinaigrette; pressed eel with foie gras and leeks, red wine and orange sauce; eel brandade with parsley sauce and frog cromesquis; eel fillets with Vouvray wine and yellow oyster mushrooms; mousseline of smoked eel with melon and tarragon…"

For 4 servings
- 1 Eel, 800-900 g (2 lb.)
- 100 g (3 1/2 oz.) shallots
- 200 g (3/4 cup) peanut oil
- 40 g (3 tbsp.) wine vinegar
- 40 g (3 tbsp.) sherry vinegar
- 3 Belgian endives
- 100 g (3 1/2 oz.) mesclun
- 40 g (1 1/2 oz.) fresh white bread crumbs
- 50 g (3 tbsp.) butter
- Fine salt, freshly ground pepper
  1. Fillet the eel and remove the skin with a knife, along with as much of the fat as possible. Cut the fillets into 20 medallions and set aside in the refrigerator.
  2. Fry the shallots in the peanut oil until lightly colored. Once they have cooled slightly, crush them, add the two vinegars, season and heat just to a simmer. Finish the vinaigrette by adding the cooled peanut oil. Set aside in a cool place.
  3. Brown the bread crumbs in butter, drain, and keep hot.
  4. Season the eel with salt and pepper and cook in clarified butter until lightly colored on both sides. Remove the pan from the heat and cover the eel medallions with bread crumbs.
  5. Arrange 5 endive leaves in a star pattern on each plate, placing the eel medallions and mesclun in between; season with the vinaigrette in the center. Garnish with chive spears, nasturtium blossoms and rings of purple shallot (cooked in equal parts wine vinegar, red Port and red wine).


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