Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Vegetarian Terrine

One of the three culinary classes I am taking this quarter is Garde Manger. Translated from French, the term means “keep to eat.” In the culinary world, it refers to the station in a kitchen that is in charge of preparing mostly cold foods. This covers some of the areas you might expect: salads, sandwiches, cold sauces and soups, and cold appetizers and hors d’oeuvres. It also covers preservation techniques and the fabrication of cured and smoked foods, terrines, pâtés, sausages, cheeses, condiments, pickles, and sometimes, hot appetizers and hors d’oeuvres. I love this class, and I’m learning a lot in it since a lot of the topics are new to me.

The most recent chapter we covered talked about terrines and pâtés, both of which I love to eat, but before about a week ago, I had no idea how to make. Of course, upon reading the chapter, I immediately wanted to make almost every recipe in it. However, other than lack of time, this would be impossible to accomplish since I also lacked much of the necessary equipment. To make most of these items, you must make a forcemeat which involves a meat grinder and food processor, neither of which I own. The solution? Make a vegetarian terrine! So, I decided to make Roasted Vegetable Terrine With Goat Cheese.

So first things first: what is a terrine? My book, The Art and Craft of the Cold Kitchen: Garde Manger by The Culinary Institute of America, defines it as “a loaf of forcemeat, similar to a pâté but cooked in a covered mold in a bain-marie.” Of course, there are exceptions to this definition as we’re about to see—a terrine, though traditionally made with meat, does not have to be made with meat. I think that the best way to understand what a terrine is, is to make one. I will warn you, though, set aside about four hours to make this recipe—it is very labor-intensive. Personally, I enjoyed the process, but it did take a lot of time.

You start with a whole lot of vegetables:As you might have noticed, these are all summer vegetables, so this recipe would be ideal to do in the summertime. I couldn’t wait, so I cheated and went totally un-seasonal on this recipe. All the vegetables get cut into 3 mm. Or 1/8” slices. That’s this small:
This step takes awhile, but was made much easier for me by having a very sharp knife. A mandolin would have made it even faster, so if you have one, use that.

So once everything is cut, you’ll end up with what might seem like way too many vegetables.
Don’t worry—it isn’t. Remember, you’re going to be roasting these vegetables, so they’re going to shrink down to a fraction of the size they are now.

Now, make you’re marinade, a mixture of olive oil, Dijon mustard, parsley, chives, garlic, rosemary, anchovies, and honey (see recipe below). Yes, the addition of anchovies makes this terrine not 100% vegetarian so if you want, you could replace them with more salt, or puréed black olives.Mix your vegetables with the marinade, and you’re set to start roasting. Roast the vegetables in a single layer on baking sheets, covered in oiled parchment paper at 215 F (the original recipe said 200, but I found 215 worked better for me), for about an hour, until they are dry, but not brittle.

This part takes a while because unless you have multiple ovens and enough baking sheets to fill them all, this step must be done in several batches. I was able to fit four baking sheets at a time in my oven, and it still took a long time. Since the vegetables all take different times to roast, and they weren’t totally uniform in size, I checked on them every twenty minutes or so and removed any veggies that were finished, replacing them with uncooked ones to start roasting. This way, I didn’t have to wait for an entire sheet to finish before starting more vegetables. Once again, let me warn you, this part is very time-consuming!

At some point while our veggies are roasting, you can make a custard out of fresh goat cheese and egg. When everything is done roasting and has cooled, you get to start assembling your terrine. Hooray! So, if you have a terrine mold, use that. If you’re like me and don’t have a terrine mold, a basic loaf pan works just fine. Line that with plastic wrap, leaving an overhang.
To assemble, alternate layers of vegetables and the cheese mixture until your pan is full. Now, fold the plastic liner over.
Cover the terrine with the mold cover or foil, and then you’re going to bake it in a water bath (a bain-marie) in a 300 F oven until the terrine’s internal temperature reaches 145 F, about an hour. To make the water bath, place the terrine in a 2” deep baking pan and fill with hot water halfway up the sides of the terrine mold. The water should stay around 170 F.
When the terrine reaches 145 F, take the mold out of the water bath and let it cool slightly. Then, weigh down your terrine with 2 lbs. of weight. I used canned goods, simply placed on top of the foil covering. The terrine needs to be refrigerated for at least 12 hours, and up to three days.

When you’re ready to enjoy it, simply pull it out and wrap out. Now check out that:
See how nice and compact it is? See all those nice layers? If I had a proper terrine mold, it would have been higher and narrower, but I think that this works just fine. It’s best if the terrine is nice and cold when you slice it in order to ensure clean cuts.

And how did it taste? Honestly, delicious and better than I expected. I was worried that the marinade would not be enough to properly season the vegetables, so the resulting product might come out bland, but that wasn’t the case at all. The terrine was full of flavor, and those vegetables had reduced and concentrated so that only the good, delicious parts were left. I was surprised to be able to taste the various elements of the marinade—the spiciness of the mustard, the saltiness of the anchovies, and the distinctive taste of garlic.
This would make a great appetizer, as well as a main course. I served it as a meal in slices over quinoa, topped with a drizzle of rosemary-infused olive oil and it was absolutely delicious.

Roasted Vegetable Terrine with Goat Cheese
From The Art and Craft of the Cold Kitchen: Garde Manger 3rd ed. by The Culinary Institute of America, p. 338
Makes 1 3lb. terrine

2 lb zucchini (about 3)
2 lb. yellow squash (about 3)
1 lb. eggplant (1 large)
2 lb. tomatoes (about 4)
2 Portobello mushrooms

1 fl. oz. olive oil
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. chopped parsley
1 tbsp. chopped chives
2 garlic cloves, minced, sautéed, cooled
2 tsp. chopped rosemary
2 tsp. anchovy paste
½ oz. honey
2 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper

8 oz. fresh goat cheese
1 egg

1. Cut all the vegetables lengthwise into slices 1/8 inch/3 mm thick.
2. Combine marinade ingredients and mix with the vegetables.
3. Lay out the vegetables in a single layer on sheet pans, covered in oiled parchment paper.
4. Roast in 215 F oven for about an hour until dry, but not brittle, then allow to cool.*
5. Combine the goat cheese, egg, and a pinch each of salt and pepper to make a custard.
6. Line a terrine mold (or loaf pan) with plastic wrap, leaving an overhang, and assemble the terrine by alternating layers of vegetables and the cheese mixture until the terrine is filled. Fold the liner over.
7. Cover the terrine and bake in a 170 F water bath in a 300 F oven until the terrine reaches an internal temperature of 145 F, about an hour.
8. Remove the terrine from the water bath and allow it to cool slightly.
9. Weigh the terrine down with 2 lbs of weight, and refrigerate at least overnight, and up to 3 days. Slice and serve, or wrap and refrigerate up to 7 days.

*See details on how to roast in post above

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful recipe ! Did you reheat with Quinoa? or serve cold ?