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Hot and Sour Egg Drop Soup with Quail

Chinese Marinade
1/2 c Maple syrup
1 Stalk celery; diced
1 md Carrot; diced
1 md Spanish onion; diced
1 tb Fresh ginger; minced
1 tb Garlic; minced
1/4 c Coriander; chopped
1 ts Crushed black peppercorns
1 tb Dry sherry or Marsala
1 tb Sesame oil
4 tb Soy sauce

3 Quail; deboned
Chinese Marinade; recipe above
Peanut oil for deep frying
1 1/2 c Chicken stock
1 Bulb shallots; cut in thin rings
1 ts Fresh ginger; finely julienned
1 c Black tree ear mushrooms; or wild, finely sliced
1/2 c Shiitake mushrooms; finely sliced
1/2 Roasted red bell pepper; julienned
1/2 c Tomato con casse; (tomatoes peeled, seeded and chopped)
2 Pieces hot red Thai chilis or any Mexican chili
1 ts Sugar
1/2 tb Parmesan; preferably reggiano, grated
2 Whole eggs
1 ts Sesame oil
Balsamic vinegar; good quality
Chives; minced, for garnish
Coriander; chopped, for garnish
1 pn White pepper

Combine all the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Add quail and refrigerate for 2 days.

Remove quail from marinade and pat dry. Heat peanut oil over medium heat and deep fry for 8 minutes, or until outside is brown and crispy. Remove from oil. Drain and cut quail into pieces and set aside.

To make soup: Combine all ingredients, (except cheese, eggs, sesame oil and garnish) in a heavy bottomed pot and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes. Bring back to a boil. Whip together Parmesan cheese and eggs, and drop into soup along with quail. Gently stir. Garnish with sesame oil, vinegar and herbs.

Yield: 4 servings.

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