Spice-rubbed Quail, Chickpea-Carrot Purée, Herb Salad, Yogurt, and Tempura Squash Blossom

Adapted by StarChefs.com
Yield: 4 servings

INGREDIENTS:

Spice-rubbed Quail
1 teaspoon thyme, thinly chopped
1 teaspoon parsley, thinly chopped
1 teaspoon oregano, thinly chopped
1 teaspoon rosemary, thinly chopped
½ cup Texas extra virgin olive oil
4 Texas Hill Country quail, whole and semi-boneless
Spice Rub
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon dark ancho powder
1 teaspoon light ancho powder
1 teaspoon cayenne powder
1 teaspoon habanero powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
Chickpea-carrot Puree
1 yellow onion
6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 cloves black garlic, peeled and chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 cup raw chickpeas (soaked in water overnight)
¼ cup tahini
Texas olive oil
Fresh lemon juice
salt
Squash Blossom Tempura
1 egg yolk
¼ cup canola oil
1½ cups chilled soda water
1 cup all-purpose flour
Herb Salad
¼ cup flat leaf parsley leaves
¼ cup celery leaves
¼ cup chive sticks (1 inch in length)
¼ cup cilantro leaves
¼ cup mint leaves
1 cup brunoise of cucumber, peeled and seeded
To Assemble and Serve
8 squash blossoms
oil for frying
salt and pepper
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup strained Greek style yogurt, seasoned with salt and pepper

METHOD:

For the Spice-rubbed Quail:
Whisk the thyme, parsley, oregano, and rosemary together with the olive oil. Thoroughly, but gently, toss the quail in the marinade, then refrigerate.

For the Spice Rub:
In a dry bowl, mix together the ancho powders, cayenne, habanero, cinnamon, nutmeg, and paprikas with a whisk and reserve.

For the Chickpea-carrot Purée:
In a sauce pot, sweat the onions, garlics, and carrots. Add the drained chickpeas and cover with water. Simmer until the chickpeas and carrots are fairly mushy. Drain, reserving the liquid. Blend the chickpeas and vegetables until they are very smooth, adding liquid as needed. Pass the purée through a tamis. In a mixing bowl, use a whisk to combine with the tahini, olive oil, and lemon juice. Salt to taste.

For the Squash Blossom Tempura:
Place the egg yolk in a small bowl and whisk in the canola oil and soda water. Lightly whisk in the flour. The batter should be fairly thick and slightly lumpy. Reserve, refrigerated.

For the Herb Salad:
Mix the parsley, celery leaves, chive sticks, cilantro, mint leaves, and cucumber together and reserve.

To Assemble and Serve:
Drain the quail and rub with the Spice Rub and more salt. Grill to medium to medium-well.

Dip the squash blossoms individually into the Squash Blossom Tempura and carefully drop into fryer at 350°F. Fry until golden brown and crispy, drain on paper towels, and season with salt and pepper.

Slowly reheat the Chickpea-carrot Purée until just hot. Place the purée on the plate and arrange the Spice-rubbed Quail and Squash Blossoms neatly around it. Top with the Herb Salad and tomatoes, and dot the plate with the yogurt.