Eat Drink KL: Le Cordon Bleu Malaysia: Chef instructors share their favourite recipes for fish & snails

Monday, June 21, 2021

Le Cordon Bleu Malaysia: Chef instructors share their favourite recipes for fish & snails

What do experienced French chefs enjoy cooking and eating? 

We visited Le Cordon Bleu Malaysia's kitchen at its Sunway College campus to meet two of its most seasoned chef instructors, who shared their favourite recipes with us - a beautiful modern fish dish with a hint of Japanese inspirations, and a classic family favourite of escargots with a contemporary flourish.

Le Cordon Bleu Malaysia's chefs include the most respected French culinary maestros living in this country, having worked at world-class restaurants and helmed countless classes in this renowned school. So we were thrilled to watch them craft these mouthwatering masterworks, which Le Cordon Bleu Malaysia's students also learn to prepare, living up to the blue ribbon that's a bulwark of skill and tradition.

Chef Sylvain Dubreau: Stuffed flounder fish and grilled leeks with almonds and baby potatoes with garlic and parsley

With 34 years of experience under his belt, Chef Sylvain Dubreau is our definition of a master at his profession, having first honed his talents at Parisian establishments including the three Michelin-starred La Tour d’Argent and two Michelin-starred Les Ambassadeurs.

Chef Sylvain is no stranger to Asia - he worked in South Korea for five years and ran his own French restaurant in Japan before becoming a Cuisine Chef Instructor at Le Cordon Bleu Malaysia.

For this feature, he unveiled a stunning scallop-stuffed flounder with grilled leeks. Chef Sylvain loves this recipe as he's a major fan of fish, a preference he picked up in Japan. 

This recipe is delicately nuanced, promising a textured, layered experience. He managed to prepared it in one hour, but when he teaches the recipe in class, it typically takes about two and a half hours.

Main Ingredient
1 Plaice (Flatfish) - 600g to 800g (sole, plaice, or turbot)

Fish Fumet (Fish Stock)
Bones removed from your flatfish
25g butter
50g leek
50g onion
1 garlic clove
1 Bouquet garni - commonly consists of parsley, thyme, and bay leaf
50ml white wine

Farce (Stuffing)
Trimmings from flatfish
1 scallop meat (40g)
25g white leek
10g butter
1 courgette (use 25g of the green only)

Glacage (Glaze)
50g shallot
25g butter
500ml fish fumet (Reduce to 100ml approx.)
80ml cream (30ml liaison + 50ml whipped)
1 egg yolk
1 lemon

Garniture (Garnish)
1 leek
50g butter
25g almond flakes
4 Cherry tomatoes
100g baby potatoes
Olive oil, thyme, garlic

How to Cook: 

The Flatfish
Filet the flatfish. 
Habiller (dress) the fish, depouiller (strip) black skin only, scale the white skin.
2 filets from the dark skin.
Open the sole by the belly to let the filet attach to the white skin.  
Trim the fish, have two-thirds of the filet on the skin.

Farce (Stuffing)

Pan-sear the scallops and dice them; do the same with any extra fish flesh.
Dice some leeks and green zucchini. Cook it in same pan as the scallops.
Mix them together.
You can save some courgette slabs for decoration.

Make the fish fumet

Take all the ingredients of the fish fumet, put it in a pot/pan, and cook it on low heat for about 20 minutes.

Glacage (Glaze) 

Chop shallots finely. Add the fish fumet and reduce it to approximately 100ml. 

Finish with 30ml cream as liaison with egg yolk for creaminess. 
Add lemon juice and whipped cream to the glaze. The lemon's acidity helps balance out the fish flavour. 

Garniture (Garnish)  
Cook potatoes en robe des champs, or in other words, with the skin on. Finish with butter and persillade (normally consisting of parsley, garlic, herbs, oil, vinegar).
Cut leek into cylindrical shapes, blanch them and pat them dry. Then cook them on a grill – finish with hazelnut butter and almonds flakes.
Cherry tomatoes can be grilled, or sauté with potatoes.
Arrange the garnish and glaze on the plate as you wish.

Go back to the fileted flatfish
Put stuffing on the fish filet, and put the filet trimmings on top to sandwich the stuffing.
Wrap the fish completely with its white skin. Cover it in plastic wrap, then sous vide with temperature at 65°C for 15 minutes.

Top the fish with the glacage (glaze) and finish cooking under the salamander. If you don’t have a salamander, toast it in the oven to achieve that golden colour, slightly charred finish.
Arrange the garnish and glaze on the plate as you wish. Cut fish in half for presentation and plate it to show the stuffing inside.

Voila! A visual beauty that any restaurant would be proud to serve.

Chef Stéphane Frelon: Snails in red wine sauce with smoked duck breast, mushrooms and pearl onions

Our second recipe is courtesy of Chef Stéphane Frelon, a chef for more than three decades and instructor of 10 years. Chef Stéphane's career has taken him far from France, where he opened his own restaurant, in England, Canada and now, Malaysia.

As a child, Chef Stéphane spent a lot of time with his father collecting Burgundy snails to bring home for his mother to cook. She prepared them the classic way with butter, garlic and parsley; Chef Stéphane now adds wine to this rich, vibrant recipe with plenty of depth.

Snails absorb flavours well; Chef Stéphane appreciates the taste of escargot that has soaked up red wine, bolstered with mushrooms and smoked duck.

Main Ingredients
24 Burgundy snails (Helix Pomatia)
20g clarified butter
20g each of garlic, thyme, bay leaves and parsley to make persillade 

20g butter
40g shallots
350ml red wine
150ml demi glace

12 pearl onions
100g smoked duck
150g mushrooms

Prepare Escargots

Rinse escargots and then strain.
Blanch escargots in salted water with thyme, garlic, and bay leaves. Then strain and save for later. 

Sweat shallots ciseler (lightly heat shallots that are finely diced), add red wine and reduce.
Finish demi glace and monter au beurre - that is, add butter to the demi glace.

Cut smoked duck in lardons (small rectangular strips), sauté them, and save for later.
Peel and cut quartier mushroom, then sauté duck in the same pan.
Glaze pearl onions, and reserve for later.
Put garnish aside.

Finish Snails
Sauté snails in butter, add garnish, then add persillade (usually consisting of parsley, garlic, herbs, oil and vinegar).
Finish by adding the sauce, and plate it. Serve with bread or melba toast if desired.

Chef Stéphane adds one final garnish of micro-herbs freshly brought over from The Sunway Future - X Farm. 

The escargots turn out to be a tempting sight - Chef Stéphane plates them in different styles that all look amazingly appetising!

Many thanks to the chefs for taking the time to reveal their recipes.

Le Cordon Bleu Malaysia
WhatsApp: +6019-305-2586
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