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Travel Noire Eats And Recipes: Quail With Cassava And Carrot Purée

By Travel Noire

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Nothing unites people quite like food. To celebrate the black men and women who are using food to connect cultures and communities, we’re sharing some of our favorite recipes from chefs, at-home cooks, and food lovers who know that great flavors can bring us all together. Giovanni Meyer, a Toronto-based chef and founder of Pinch of Black Salt, shares this recipe that will make anyone feel like a classically trained cook. 

RELATED: 5 Black-Owned Restaurants To Visit In The Bay Area

Quail With Cassava And Carrot Purée Recipe

2 Quail (ribcage removed)
4 Bay Leaf
1/2 Lemon Zest
1 Grated Garlic
Oil
Salt
Pepper

Carrot Puree Recipe
300 g Carrots diced
100 g Fresh Orange Juice
30 g Unsalted Butter
4-5 Cardamom Pods
Salt

Meat Stock Recipe
5 qt. Water
3-4 lb. Bones (Chicken, Rabbit & Quail)
3 lb. Mirepoix (Carrots, Onions, Celery)
5 Bay leaf
½ Bunch Parsley
½ Bunch Thyme
1 Head Garlic
Black Pepper
Mushroom Black Tea


Mushroom Black Tea Recipe
15 G Dried Morrel Mushrooms
6-7 G Lapsang Souchong Star
350 G Hot water
Charcoal disguised Cassava
1 Cassava Root
1-2g Powder Black Food Dye
Salt
Water

Instructions

24 Hours Before Meal Time

Marinade the quail using all the ingredients. Grate the garlic and give the quail a proper massage, and make sure it’s covered all over with the lemon, garlic and black pepper. I placed two bay leaf inside each and folded them over so they wouldn’t move. Let sit for 24 hours. You can prep everything else except the Cassava the day before. My suggestion is to get the stock going from early in the day, roast your bones at 400 F. I then added all my ingredients (chopped), filled it with the water and let it go. I reduced mine to 16 oz. That seems a bit insane, I know, but I didn’t add any salt to the stock and it was rich with pure poultry gaminess and I loved it.

Next, peel your carrots and give them a rough chop. Juice your orange. On a low heat, you are going to cook the carrots in a saucepan with all the ingredients until the carrots are fork tender, lightly salt. Be sure to cover with a lid to keep the moisture in. The smell might get a little intoxicating. Once your carrots are done, separate the liquid from solid and add the solids to the blender and slowly add the liquid to get the right consistency. You want it to be stiff; adjust your seasoning push through fine strainer. Save in container until next day.

While those are going, boil your water. Be sure to boil more than you need. Now I steeped the mushrooms and tea in a container with a lid because I didn’t want to lose any steam. Place mushrooms in the container and the tea in a loose tea bag, pour hot water into a container, cover and steep for 20 minutes. Remove the bag and leave mushrooms to soak in the tea for 24 hours.

Once your Meat Stock is 60% reduced, strain through a fine strainer and reduce by half. Once reduced, pour into a container and let it cool. Reserve until next day.

The Day Of 

So, 24 hours have passed, it’s the next day and you’re ready to finish this dish. Get a pot, fill with water (enough to cover cassava), and season with salt and add dye. Stir until totally black.

Grab your Cassava and cut into 2-inch logs, using a peeler to remove the skin. Now you may notice that there is almost another layer under the white layer. It’s almost like a sweet potato. If you aren’t sure what I am talking about, take a left-over piece and peel it and you will see the second layer I am talking about. You want to peel all of them to that layer, if you don’t there will be pieces of skin that don’t quite look like the rest of the cassava. Place the cassava into the pot and bring to a boil then simmer for 15 minutes. Be sure to constantly check them with a cake tester every five minutes. They need to be fork tender. Pour out water and be very gentle with them. Dehydrate for one hour. When 50 minutes are up, start to warm up your carrot puree and keep your stock and tea nearby. Get a small non-stick pan on a medium to high heat with oil. Get your quail, season with salt and place skin side down. Don’t move the quail, just let it get a crispy skin and get some color. Then add three mushrooms in the pan and turn the quail over. Add 4 tbsp. of stock with 3 tbsp. of mushroom tea. Baste until cooked all the way through. Reduce sauce to a thick consistency. Remove cassava from the dehydrator.

Sauce up that plate, add your quail and cassava and drizzle with sauce. Finish the dish with salt and some micro greens or oregano and your quail is ready to serve!

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