Kalbshirn in Muscheln

CALVES’ BRAIN PUREE IN SCALLOP SHELLS

An unusual first course for a dinner party, Kalbshirn in Muscheln (kalbs-heern in moosh-ehln) much more delicious than it sounds. It is easier to prepare this delicacy with an electric blender but it is possible to make it with a pestle and mortar.

2 sets of calves’ brains, soaked, poached and finely chopped

1 teaspoon lemon juice

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

2 fl. oz. chicken stock

1 tablespoon brandy

1 oz. butter

1 tablespoon flour

4 scallop shells

1 tablespoon dry breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 400°F (Gas Mark 6, 200°C).

Put the brains, lemon juice, salt, pepper, chicken stock and brandy in an electric blender and blend for 2 minutes, on and off, or until the mixture is smooth. Alternatively, pound the ingredients in a mortar with a pestle until the mixture is smooth.

In a medium-sized frying-pan, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, stir in the puree and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Stir in the flour and cook for a further 2 minutes, or until the mixture is smooth and well blended.

Remove the pan from the heat and divide the mixture equally among the scallop shells. Sprinkle a little of the dry breadcrumbs over each shell.

Place the shells on a baking sheet and place them in the oven. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the tops are lightly browned.

Remove the shells from the oven, sprinkle them with the parsley and serve at once.

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