One of my absolute favorite food memories from France is that of Pierre Gaillard's wife making freshwater pike quenelles. For more than forty years, the Gaillard family ha been producing regal Cote-Rotie and Condrieu wines on the sun-soaked slopes along the Rhone river at angles that are treacherous even by mountain-goat standards, yet the wines they yield are soft, subtle, supple and velvety wonders. The risk is worth the reward.
During this particular trip, Pierre's wife procured the fish for the quenelles in one of the most awesome ways I've ever heard. When she went down to the river, she spotted the pike's beady eyes poking out from the water and, in one fell swoop, snatched the fish and plopped it into her other hand, butchering it right then. Back in the kitchen, she turned it into a fine mousse and combined it with some milky white pate a choux she pulled from the fridge. Then, she whipped out the quenelle spoons to form it into the three-ish-sided football that is the characteristic shape. It was incredible.
Here's my homage to those incredible quenelles. Like the Red Wine Vinegar Soubise I make, this tomato sauce is naturally onion-sweet and tastes balanced at every temperature. I would recommend using it as a sauce for any protein, but not on your pasta or pizza. - Chef Jonathon Sawyer
Grilled Out-Of-Season Tomato Sauce