My seafood sausage, an homage to Chanterelle

This past weekend was my brother’s and his wife’s birthdays; they share the same birthday. They also happened to have gotten married on their birthday last year. So, for their first anniversary and combined birthdays, I planned a small feast for them.

I knew right away that one course would be built around Vietnamese pho. My brother is a bit of a pho-addict. But I didn’t want to just make the traditional dish; instead, and with help from my always meticulous wife S, I made a hoisin packed oxtail ravioli (with a homemade hoisin sauce), that would be served with Thai basil leaves (grown on our terrace) and with a pho broth, that I made also, loosely based on a recipe from The Red Lantern Cookbook.

For my main course, because both my bro and his wife are beef eaters, I prepared a duo of beef–a 48-hour slow cooked short rib à la Momofuku and a seared steak of Kagoshima wagyu ribeye. This was served with chilled white asparagus and some homemade pickles.

Because these two dishes were both very beefy, I wanted to prepare something lighter, made with seafood, to kick start the meal. Also, my parents would be joining us for dinner, so I needed to add at least one course that was seemingly healthy to keep them placated.

In the end, I decided to try making my own version of a seafood sausage, based on a recipe from the Chanterelle cookbook. Having grown up in Manhattan in the 1970s and early 1980s, and having gone to college there in the early 1990s, I still regard David and Karen Waltuck’s Chanterelle as one of the greatest restaurants that has ever existed. It certainly had the best service in New York City, and some of the best, most imaginative, and elegant Franco-New American fare I’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting.

I purchased David Waltuck’s hefty cookbook as soon as it was released back in 2008. And while I’ve lovingly thumbed its pages for years, I’d yet to cook from it.

Of all of Chanterelle’s dishes, its single most celebrated dish was a seafood sausage, made with lobster, scallops, prawns, and seabass. Waltuck’s version was stuffed into pork casing, poached then grilled, and then served with beurre blanc.

I decided to change the ingredients, both based on what I could pick up at Huber’s Butchery and what would be a tad more cost effective. I also decided against a casing, deciding to use cling film to shape the sausage and poach it while wrapped up tightly. I made my sausage with scallops, prawns, halibut and crabmeat.

Thinking the sharp saltiness of bacon would contrast perfectly with the sweet sausage and the beurre blanc, I also decided to serve my version with some small chunks of homemade whiskey-maple bacon.

With the sausage, I served a 2006 Chateau de Puligny-Montrachet Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru “Les Folatieres”, which was perfect. The butteriness of the wine came through marvelously, and the flavours of the dish actually helped bring out a delightful sweetness in the wine.

The dish went over really well. My mother has hinted very strongly that I should make this sausage in bulk and freeze them so that “we” can have them whenever “we” want. S suggested we use my recipe and get Huber’s to mass-produce these as Christmas gifts for friends–Huber’s will make any custom sausage a customer wants, so long as you order a minimum of 5kg worth of it. And judging from the exclamations and “mmmm”s from my brother and his wife, I think they also enjoyed it. It was an experiment that turned out very well.


About Aun Koh

Aun has always loved food and travel, passions passed down to him from his parents. This foundation, plus a background in media, pushed him to start Chubby Hubby in 2005. He loves that this site allows him to write about the things he adores--food, style, travel, his wife and his three kids!