frog mallow cress

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frog mallow cressAn excuse to go frogging, this is an ode to the setting where frogs are found: a murky pond replete with scum from wild mallow. The thickening power of mallow, the original ingredient of marshmallows, has been utilized for centuries.

  • Yield: 8 Servings


  • 16 | frog legs
  • 35 grams | 1 ounce flat-leaf parsley sprigs
  • 40 grams | 1.3 ounces morning glory sprigs
  • 25 grams | 2 ½ tablespoons sliced shallot
  • 1 kilogram | 4 ¼ cups water
  • 30 grams | ½ cup watercress leaves
  • kosher salt
  • 35 grams | 2 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 60 grams | ⅓ cup sliced shallots
  • 450 grams | 1 pound borage leaves
  • kosher salt
  • 9 grams | 2 teaspoons guar gum
  • 590 grams | 2 ½ cups water
  • 45 grams | ½ cup dried mallow root
  • 60 grams | about 2 egg whites
  • 50 grams | ¼ cup sugar
  • 150 grams | ⅔ cup braised borage
  • kosher salt
How to Make It
  1. FOR THE FROG BROTH: Cut off the lower leg muscles from each frog leg and store in a container in the refrigerator. Remove the leaves from both the parsley and the morning glory, reserving both the leaves and the stems. Combine the upper frog leg portions, shallots, parsley stems, morning glory stems, and water in a pressure cooker and cook on high pressure for 40 minutes. Strain through a very fine cloth filter into a saucepan, place over high heat, and cook for 1 to 2 hours, until reduced by about one-third. Remove from the heat, add the watercress and the reserved parsley and morning glory leaves, and let steep for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath. Remove the leaves from the broth, season the broth with kosher salt, and nest the pan in the ice bath until the broth is cold. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.
  2. FOR THE BRAISED BORAGE: Warm the olive oil in a large rondeau over medium heat. Add the shallots and sweat for about 3 minutes, until translucent. Add the borage, increase the heat to high, and cook for about 4 minutes, until the leaves have wilted and released their natural juices. Season the leaves with kosher salt, drain in a colander for 30 seconds, then transfer to a sheet pan and cool in the refrigerator for about 1 hour. Transfer the leaves to a cutting board and mince to a very fine paste. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  3. FOR THE BORAGE MALLOW: Whisk together the guar gum and 295 grams (1 ¼ cups) of the water in a bowl. Combine the mallow root and the remaining 295 grams (1 ¼ cups) water in a saucepan over low heat and bring to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes to extract the thickening properties of the mallow. Strain through a very fine cloth filter into a clean saucepan. Add the guar gum gel, place the pan over high heat, and whisk together the mixtures. Set the pan aside in a warm place.
  4. Put the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment and whip on medium speed until soft peaks begin to form. Slowly add the sugar and continue to whip until a meringue forms and begins to thicken. Meanwhile, return the pan holding the mallow gel to high heat and bring to a boil. When then gel is boiling rapidly, remove it from the heat, add it to the meringue, and mix on high speed for about 3 minutes, until the gel is fully mixed with the whites. With the mixer running, add the braised borage and mix until well incorporated. Season with kosher salt. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a small round tip and refrigerate until ready to use.
  5. FOR THE FROG RAVIOLI: Prepare an ice bath. Combine 340 grams (12 ounces) of the frog meat, 30 grams (about 1 white) of the egg whites, and the sodium phosphate in a food processor and mix for about 30 seconds, until the egg white has been completely absorbed by the frog meat. Slowly add the cream until a light, uniformly textured mousse forms, stopping to scrape down the sides of the processor bowl as needed. Pass the mousse through a tamis into a metal bowl, then nest the bowl in the ice bath to cool the mousse. Mince the remaining 110 grams (4 ounces) of frog meat, fold it into the mousse, and season with kosher salt. To test the mousse for salt and texture, drop a small amount into salted boiling water and leave for about 45 seconds. Remove and let cool slightly in a small bowl nested in an ice bath. The mousse should taste fully seasoned and be slightly spongy. Transfer the mousse to a piping bag fitted with a small round tip and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  6. To make the pasta dough, combine the flour, egg yolks, the remaining 30 grams (about 1 white) of egg whites, and the borage in the food processor and mix for about 2 minutes, until a smooth dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until the dough is uniform. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. To assemble the ravioli, divide the dough into 4 equal portions and keep the unused portions covered to prevent drying. Working with 1 dough portion at a time, press the dough into a flat disk (about 1 inch/2.5 centimeters thick) and pass through the rollers of a pasta machine set at the widest setting. Lightly flouring the dough before each pass and gradually narrowing the rollers, continue to pass the dough through the rollers until it is about 1/16 inch (2 millimeters) thick. Lay the dough sheet on a lightly floured work surface and cut lengthwise into strips about 10 inches (25 centimeters) long by 3 inches (7.5 centimeters) wide. Pipe a line of the mousse about ½ inch (12 millimeters) wide and about ¼ inch (6 millimeters) in height down the center of a dough strip, then brush the edges of the strip with the egg wash. Starting from a long side, roll the dough around the mousse to form a loose cylinder, pressing to seal the long edge and the ends of the cylinder. Repeat with the remaining dough and mousse until you have 8 cylinders. Prepare an ice bath. Bring a large pot of salted water to a gentle boil, add the filled pasta cylinders, and cook for 6 to 7 minutes, until the pasta is tender and the filling is cooked through. Carefully transfer to the ice bath to cool for 1
  7. minute, then transfer to paper towels and pat dry. Cut each cylinder crosswise into 6 pieces ½ inch (12 millimeters) wide for a total of 48 pieces. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator until ready to use.

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