A verrine is an appetizer or dessert that consists of a number of components layered artfully in a small glass. (The word verrine refers to the glass itself; literally it means "protective glass.") Intriguingly composed, they're a study in textures, flavors, colors and temperatures. A beautiful glass might be filled with a layer of mushroom flan, sautéed wild mushrooms, a julienne of prosciutto, parsley gelée, wild mushroom emulsion and topped with a potato and prosciutto galette. Another will have clementine and mint syrup, fresh clementines and a gingerbread "crumble." American chefs are just starting to catch on to the verrine. But in France it's a culinary trend that's captured just about everyone's imagination — including home cooks.
If verrines sound like something you might like to try out for a fancy dinner at home, Hallock includes three recipes, two of them savory and one sweet; the latter is adapted from the emotion exotic created by the celebrated pâtisserie chef Pierre Hermé.