As I was walking through the Fresh Market, I saw sorrel in the herb section. I immediately thought of a recipe I saw at Patrick O’ Connell’s book “Refined American Cuisine”. This recipe I am referring to is “Sorrel Jelly with Lemon Cream and Osetra Caviar”. Now I don’t think I will be spending the money on caviar unless I am sure I could make the whole sorrel jelly thing. I think I’ll just use shrimp for now. I have tried the lemon cream before and it is very easy. All it is, is lemon, sugar, white pepper, salt and equal parts crème fraiche and whipped cream . Never having worked with sorrel before I was not sure how this was going to turn out. To make the sorrel jelly you have to put the sorrel and cream in a blender and process until the sorrel is pureed, to this you add red wine vinegar and lemon. Then you combine it with gelatinized chicken stock, strain and chill for an hour. Before it sets, transfer to individual shot glasses and chill again overnight or for at least 5 hours. When ready to serve; top with the lemon cream and shrimp or if you are generous … caviar. The result is a refreshing and appetizing starter to your meal. It also has a good visual presentation which encourages you to dip your spoon into those layers of cream. Taste wise, I felt the sorrel jelly had too much red wine vinegar and was overly tart so I can reduce this the next time to make it smoother.
I would definitely do this as an appetizer or as my title states, an amuse bouche course which means little bits to tickle the palate. Aside from being relatively easy to make the wow factor is there to impress your guests.
Crème Fraiche is a staple in my kitchen and I usually get this from Ellwood Thompson. It is very yummy and versatile in sauces; I even mix it in scrambled eggs to give it a creamy texture. The challenge is finding the availability of sorrel since I do not see this herb often.