Quenelles are small French dumplings about the size of a teaspoon made from meat or fish.
The meat is pounded or ground, then lightly seasoned, and bound with eggs, cream or fat or a flour or breadcrumb paste. The mixture is then pressed between two teaspoons to form the dumpling.
The shape can be large or small, or round or oval, but classically it is teaspoon-shaped and sized.
The are usually cooked through simmering in a broth or fish stock, and served with a sauce.
They can be used as a side garnish, or as a course. They are often used for the classical French garnishes, such as à la financière, etc.
The word “Quenelles” is now also used to describe teaspoon-shaped bits of food, such as Quenelles of ice cream, sorbet, cream cheese or goat’s cheese
Quenelles possibly comes from the Anglo-Saxon word “knyll”, which meant to pound or grind, referring to the meat.