Patrick Fritz, what is the history of the friend Fritz and the Maison Massenez?
P.F: It goes back 50 years. At that time Gaby was already coming to the restaurant to taste Alsatian products and knew the family (father and grandfather) well. They were already customers of the Massenez House due to its good reputation especially with the wild raspberry, the Williams pear… they became friends. When Gaby used to come, he liked to taste the pike quenelle stuffed with crayfish as well as the emblematic dishes of Alsatian cuisine (simple and tasty dishes) and dry wines. He was a lover of frank, tasty and uncomplicated products.
One fine day, he arrives with a special bottle?
P.F : He arrives with a bottle of old prune. Forty years ago, it was the novelty, he asked Patrick Fritz to make a recipe with it to be able to market it. Starting with a perfect ice-cream at Grand Marnier. He modified and adapted the recipe to make it lighter and that’s how the old plum iced soufflé was born, which has become a signature dish at L’Ami Fritz. This dish has evolved (sweeter at the beginning), in terms of taste but also in terms of presentation (at first in terracotta bowls and gratiné) and today in a more graphic and sober presentation.
What is the secret of this soufflé so good?
P.F : First of all, the old prune! The secret lies in the quantity, the mixture… Ours has a particularity, it is always smooth, almost everyone finds it good. The right balance between the different ingredients, the dosage is important.
Pike quenelles with crayfish tails red legs
Ingredients for 6 persons
1 kg of live crayfish
Aromatic bisque filling
Make the panade, boil the milk, salt and butter, off the heat add the flour and dry.
Add the eggs one by one. Cover and keep in a cool place.
Fillet the pike, remove the skin, cut into small pieces and keep in the freezer for a good quarter of an hour.
Also cool the cutter, add the pike meat, salt immediately to lower the temperature of the stuffing, chop finely, add the egg whites, cream, softened butter and the cooled breadcrumbs.
Adjust the seasoning, salt, pepper and ground nutmeg.
Leave to rest for 1 hour in the fridge.
Castrate the crayfish and cook them in boiling salted water.
At the end of their cooking, refresh them and drain them.
Shell them, reserve the flesh and fry the rest of the carcasses regularly with butter, add the shallots, split garlic, button mushrooms, thyme, bay leaf, tarragon, parsley, fresh tomatoes, tomato paste, add the flour, ape, flambé with cognac, wet with white wine, fish stock, and leave to boil gently, infuse for 2 hours.
Strain through a sieve, reduce to the desired consistency, cream, whip in butter at the last moment, and add a little whipped cream to lighten the sauce. Adjust the seasoning, salt and cayenne pepper.
Chop the crayfish flesh, mix with the quenelle mixture, adjust the seasoning, spoon onto greaseproof paper on a grid and poach in simmering salted water.
Drain on a clean cloth.
Finishing and dressing
Arrange on a plate, accompanied by spinach branches previously soaked in butter and garlic, seasonal vegetables and homemade noodles.
Chef’s little extra
Leave the dumpling machine overnight, the dumplings will be more airy.