We're going to make a smoked eel beignet, for that first I’m going to show you how to clean an eel. Then we're going to use the bones to make an eel broth and turn that into a delicious eel jelly and the beignet batter. The hot beignet we're serving with thinly sliced eel, a citrus gel and some caviar.
All the recipes are for around 40 beignets
How to fillet the smoked eel
Take a sharp filleting knife and make an incision behind the head. Then turn the knife horizontal and cut the filet off along the central spine. Apply pressure on the eel and knife to insure you waste as little fish as possible. Then take the fillet of the eel and turn it around. Now repeat the same thing we just did on the other side. Keep all the trimmings for later. Once that’s done cut away the belly membrane. This is the dark part. Then use your fingers to gently press the skin of the fish. If necessary, use your knife, but otherwise only use your fingers. Also keep the skin for later. When the skin is removed turn the fillets with the pink side up and use a spoon to scrape away any fat. Now you have some beautiful cleaned eel. Then take a long sharp knife and trim the thin sides. Keep them for later. The remaining thick filets you can portion into thin slices. Then transfer them on a tray and keep them in your fridge for later. All the trimmings you can cut into small cubes also known as brunoise. Keep those as well in your fridge for later.
The eel broth
The eel trimmings
First cut the shallots in half and clean them. Now chop them. Then add a drizzle of oil to a saucepan and glaze the shallots. Meanwhile cut the eel trimmings in smaller pieces and add them to the pan. Pan fry it on a medium heat for a couple of minutes and then deglaze the pan with the fish stock. Also add the bay leaves and then let it simmer for at least 3 hours. After that pass the broth through a fine sieve and let it drip for a couple of minutes to be sure you don’t waste a single drop. Then transfer it back into the pan and reduce it until it’s 350 grams. Meanwhile use a ladle to remove any fat that’s floating on top. You’ll end up with a delicious rich eel broth.
The eel batter
First transfer the Jerusalem artichokes into a pan that’s filled with water and season it with salt. Now boil them till cooked. Then drain the water. After that cut them in half and when still hot gently press the skin off the meat. Transfer the skins on a tray that’s lined with a silicon sheet and let them dry at 60 degrees Celsius. After that deep fry them at 180 degrees Celsius till golden and crispy. I’m not using them in this video, so you have to keep them dry and covered for the main course. Don’t forget to season them with salt. Now back to the batter. Transfer 150 grams of the cooked Jerusalem artichoke meat into a measuring cub and also add the the eel broth, the salt and the eggs. Then blend this till completely smooth. Once it’s smooth pour it into a bowl and add the flour and the corn starch. Mix it till it’s a smooth mixture and then directly stop to prevent too much gluten from forming. Now transfer the batter into a syphon and charge it with two charges. Shake it well and them let it rest in your fridge for at least 4 hours. I always leave it overnight.
The eel jelly
1 leaf or 1.6 grams
First soak the gelatin in cold water. Meanwhile mix the eel broth with the agar powder and bring it to a boil for 1 minute. Then spray a thin layer of oil spray on two metal trays. Once the liquid has boiled dissolve your gelatin and pour 65 grams of the jelly on each tray. If necessary use a blowtorch to remove any air bubbles. Then gently put the trays in your fridge and let them set completely. After, cut the jelly with a small round cutter and keep it covered for later.
The citrus gel
I still had some beautiful citrus in the fridge, but you can use any mix you like. Here I use Sudachi, Chinotto, Shikwasa and Tiger lemon. In total you’ll need 150 grams of juice. Then also add the water, the ginger syrup, the sugar, the agar powder and the gellan powder. Now mix this well and then bring it to a boil for one minute. Then pour it in a bowl and let it cool down completely. After that transfer it into a blender and blend it till it’s a smooth gel. Then keep it in your fridge for later.
How to finish the amuse
First let a small ladle heat up in some oil that’s 180 degrees Celsius. Then fill the ladle halfway with the batter. Add a teaspoon of the eel brunoise and cover it completely with the batter. Then submerge the ladle completely and let the beignet deep fry till golden brown on both sides. You can fry a couple of beignets a time, just be sure the ladle doesn’t become to cold, otherwise the beignets will stick to the ladle. You can also prefry them and heat them up at 190 degrees Celsius for 3 minutes when you want to serve them, but it’s best to deep fry them just before serving. Now lay a beignet on the small plate and drizzle some citrus gel on top. Then place three slices of the eel on there and cover it with the eel jelly. This is optional, but you can add a nice dot of caviar as well. Then pipe three small dots of the gel on there and it’s ready to be served!