Food and Lifestyle Expert Laura McIntosh visits Art Perry in a butternut squash field to learn about different types of winter squashes. From the farm to the kitchen, Laura meets up with Nash Cognetti from Tra Vigne Restaurant in St. Helena. Together they create a Budino (Italian for pudding) using butternut squash topped with broiled quail.
Broiled Quail with Butternut Squash Budino and Saba Recipe
Saba is made from the mosto of sangiovese grapes and is aged through a process very similar to balsamic vinegar. Unlike balsamic, however, the flavor of saba greatly changes between different producers because they are all made according to old family recipes. Some family’s saba tastes like apples, others like oak and cloves. At the restaurant we use one that has been aged for eight years and has an incredible viscosity and wonderful acid which cuts through the richness of the cheese and balances the sweetness of the squash in this dish. The budino is great enjoyed on its own as well, and our cooks eat it for breakfast with a fried egg and grilled bread.
4 Semi-Boneless Quail
1 Bunch Thyme
6 tbl Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Butternut Squash - Peeled, Seeded, Diced
6-7 Sage Leaves - Chopped
¼ Cup Butter
¼ Cup Flour
2 Cups Whole Milk
1 Cup Parmesan Cheese- Freshly Grated
1 Cup Pecorino Cheese- Freshly Grated
8 Egg Yolks
½ Tsp Nutmeg- Freshly Grated
4 tbl Saba
Begin by marinating the quail in a non-reactive dish with the thyme, olive oil, and a generous seasoning of salt and pepper.
In a heavy saucepan (6-8 quart size) add the butter and cook over medium heat, whisking frequently, until the butter begins to foam. Once the foam subsides the butter solids should be browned and have a nutty smell. Remove from the heat and very carefully add the sage a little bit at a time. The butter will foam and pop when this happens from the water in the sage so keep a whisk handy and beat feverishly to prevent the butter from overflowing.
Immediately add the squash, season with salt & pepper, reduce the heat to medium-high, and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the flour and toss through then add the milk and season aggressively with salt & pepper. Slowly bring the milk to a boil, whisking constantly to prevent from burning, and boil the now very thick mixture for 2-3 minutes to cook the flour. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cheeses, nutmeg, and egg yolks.
Prepare 4 medium size ramekins or 1 small baking dish with butter or nonstick spray, pour the budino mix inside, cover with aluminum foil, and bake in a water bath at 325 degrees until set (about 25 minutes). Remove from the oven, set aside, and turn the oven to broil.
Remove the quail from the marinade and place, breast side up, on a roasting rack with a baking tray underneath. When the broiler becomes very hot stick the birds inside as close to the flame as you can get them because crispy skin on the quail is very important. Cooking time on the quail will vary depending upon the oven, but they should be cooked to medium.
Remove the quail, allow to rest, and place the budinos underneath the broiler. Once the budinos are golden brown remove them from the ramekins and place on awaiting plates. Place the quail on the plates and garnish with a copious drizzle of the saba.
Bringing It Home
1050 Charter Oak Ave.
St. Helena, CA 94574
rest of Episode 913