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Le Cordon Bleu News, 11/01/2013
Quail and pistachio pastilla, cinnamon jus, mint and cilantro salad
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About this recipe

Pastilla, a Moroccan pie, is a marriage of sweet and savory, delicate and nutty flavors wrapped in layers of flaky pastry. Traditionally, pigeon and almonds are featured, but here is a modern interpretation with quail and pistachios.

Recipe - Quail and pistachio pastilla, cinnamon jus, mint and cilantro salad

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 1 hour 45 minutes

In this recipe:

  • quails
  • ground cinnamon
  • ground ginger
  • sheets brik pastry
  • pistachios




4 x 8 cm diameter ring molds & 4 x 6 cm ring molds
Quail and pistachio pastilla
4 x 120 g quails
pinch ground cinnamon
pinch ground ginger
freshly-ground black pepper
- - - - -
2 eggs, hard boiled and peeled
freshly-ground black pepper
- - - - -
10 ml olive oil
100 g shelled unsalted pistachios
10 g sugar
pinch ground cinnamon
- - - - -
8 sheets brik pastry (warka dough) *
50 g clarified butter
Cinnamon jus
1 onion, finely chopped
1 cinnamon stick
500 ml veal stock
Mint and cilantro (coriander) salad
pinch saffron threads
4 pearl onions
4 red radishes
4 red cherry tomatoes
4 yellow cherry tomatoes
1/2 bunch mint
1/2 bunch cilantro (coriander)
- - - - -
1 Lebanese cucumber
5 ml sherry vinegar
freshly-ground black pepper
10 ml olive oil

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  1. Quail and pistachio pastilla: reheat the oven to 200°C. Season the quails with cinnamon, ginger, salt and pepper. Transfer to a roasting pan and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the quail from the pan and cool.
  2. Cinnamon jus: Add the onion, cinnamon stick and stock to the roasting pan, scraping the bottom with a wooden spatula to incorporate the pan drippings. Reduce to a syrupy consistency, about 8 to 10 minutes. Strain through a china cap sieve.
  3. Bone the quail, roughly chop the meat and refrigerate.
  4. Grate the eggs into a small bowl and moisten with 2 teaspoons of cinnamon jus. Season with salt and pepper, stir to combine. Heat the olive oil in a pan, add the pistachios and stir/toss until lightly browned. Drain on paper towel. Finely chop one quarter of the toasted pistachios, set aside for decoration. Roughly chop the reminder and combine with the sugar and cinnamon.
  5. Line each 8 cm ring mold with one sheet of brik pastry. Arrange a layer of egg, then quail and finally pistachio. Seal the pastilla with a second sheet of brik pastry and brush all over with clarified butter. Repeat to make 4 pastillas. Place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
  6. Mint and cilantro salad: Fill a small saucepan with water, add the saffron and bring to a boil. Slice pearl onions into rings, add to the saffron water and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold water. Slice the radish into rounds, quarter the red and yellow cherry tomatoes. Remove the mint and cilantro leaves from stalks. Slice the cucumber lengthways into thin 2 to 3 mm slices.
  7. Prepare the vinaigrette. Dress the radish, tomatoes and herbs with the vinaigrette.
  8. To serve: Shape the cucumber slices into a 6 cm ring mold placed on a plate and arrange the dressed salad in the center. Carefully remove the ring mold. Cut the pastilla in half and place next to the salad. Decorate with reserved finely chopped pistachios and cinnamon jus.

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