"Kathi Littwin"
Sunchokes, Hazelnuts & Alpine Cheese
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Sunchokes, Hazelnuts & Alpine Cheese

Justin Hilbert, Gwynnett St., Brooklyn, NY / March 2013

For 6 servings

Alpine cheese broth:

  • 2 1/4 lb. high-quality alpine cheese, cut into cubes
  • 4 sm. carrots, cut into lg. dice
  • 5 stalks celery, cut into lg. dice
  • 3 sm. onions, cut into lg. dice
  • 1 Tbsp. black peppercorns
  • 2 Tbsps. coriander seeds
  • 1 3/4 Tbsps. fennel seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. mustard seeds
  • salt
  • black pepper, freshly ground

Place round wire rack or old plate in the bottom of stockpot; wrap cheese in a piece of cheesecloth; tie with kitchen twine; place in pot; add remaining ingredients except salt and pepper; add 8 cups water; bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium; simmer 2 hours; remove from heat; strain through fine chinois into clean pot; reserve cheese for another use; discard remaining solids; season broth; reserve (keep warm).

Roasted sunchokes:

  • 2 Tbsps. grapeseed oil
  • 1 lb. plus 1 1/2 oz. sunchokes, scrubbed, cut into uniform pieces, and patted dry
  • salt
  1. Heat oven to 400°F.

  2. Heat oil in large rondeau over high heat; add sunchokes; cook, stirring, until brown all over; place in oven; roast, stirring occasionally and adding a few drops of water to pot as needed to keep sunchokes from sticking and burning, until softened (about 20 minutes); remove from oven; place sunchokes in single layer on wire rack set inside a baking sheet; season; cool; reserve.

Fried sunchokes:

  • 4 cups grapeseed oil
  • 4 sunchokes, scrubbed and shaved on a mandoline
  • salt
  1. Heat oil in deep fryer to 350°F.

  2. Working in batches, fry sunchokes until brown and crispy; remove with a spider; place in a single layer on wire rack set inside a baking sheet; season; cool; place in airtight container; cover; reserve.

Assembly:

  • 1/2 lb. hazelnuts, toasted
  • 7 oz. high-quality alpine cheese, grated on a Microplane
  • 3 sunchokes, peeled and shaved on a mandoline
  • hazelnut oil
  • lemon juice
  • salt
  • wild cress
  • red watercress
  1. Heat broiler.

  2. Grate 1/4 lb. hazelnuts on a Microplane; place in a bowl; add cheese; toss to combine; reserve.

  3. Scatter reserved roasted sunchokes on baking sheet; sprinkle cheese mixture over top; broil until cheese is bubbly and brown; remove from broiler; reserve (keep warm).

  4. Place shaved sunchokes in large bowl; drizzle with oil and juice; season; toss to coat; reserve.

  5. To serve, divide broiled sunchokes among warm deep serving plates; arrange cresses, shaved and fried sunchokes, and remaining 1/4 lb. hazelnuts around; place reserved warm broth in a pot; pour over tableside.

What to drink: Rolet Père & Fils Arbois Tradition 2006