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Oil as an ingredient.

Wild olives of the ancients were virtually unknown in the New World until they were introduced by European explorers. However, even in the homes of old world cooks, the use of olive oil in Europe was restricted to the most lavish homes, as olives were a pricey ingredient, enjoyed only by those who lived the life of luxury. Pork fat was the cooking medium of choice in the Mediterranean and the rural areas of Europe until the early 1900s. In pre-Biblical days, the Greeks permitted only virgins and chaste men to process olives. The oldest method of crushing was done with a stone mortar shaped like a wheel, or with a heavy, oblong stone pushed by hand over the olives. Multi-tiered racks layered with the cracked olive paste were tightened to extract the oil. Oil from the first press with a mild almost nutty character is known as "extra virgin olive oil" and is ideal for uncooked preparations, where its subtle flavor can be fully enjoyed. Refined oil from subsequent pressings is less flavorful and better suited to cooking. It wasn't until the world became a little smaller, oil became more accessible, and health became synonymous with eating habits, that oil found a prominent place at the table, next to salt and pepper.

Redefining the Hot Line

The beginning of nouvelle cuisine was marked by the end of several cooking practices: the use of cream and butter; the arrangement of platters heaping with food; and preparing of fish, meat, and vegetables fully cooked. Not only were these changes a revelation for the palate but for the role of chef. Individual plate presentations allowed a chefs creative as well as technical talent to be broadcast in every dish. Following Japanese suit, symmetry, simplicity, freshness, and season were the guidelines. By 1972, the term "nouvelle cuisine" had been coined and defined by noted food critiques H. Gault and C. Millau. They described a lean, more natural cuisine, one in which chefs eschewed the rich, butter and cream laden recipes of classical French cuisine for the lighter fare of the robust and wholesome countryside and relying on their ripeness for flavor (Montagne 732). Once unearthed, these ingredients were cooked in the simplest and quickest means possible. Rather than coating their purity, light ingredients were used to accent the plate; oil replaced butter, stock reductions and vegetable purees overtook flour and butter thickened sauces. Oil became a new medium for cooking, allowing the flavors of the season to sing.

Redefining the Waste Line

In Why We Eat What We Eat (Summit Books), Raymond Sokolov describes nouvelle cuisine as an offspring of the health conscience 1970s. Famed Chef Paul Bocuse, who shared this notion, regarded his own cuisine as cuisine du marche, that picked from the market and prepared a la minute; meant for, "the new gourmet; a theoretical diner consumed with a passion for great food but preoccupied as well with staying trim" (Sokolov 223). Not far beyond this notion was the cuisine minceur of Michel Guerard. Guerard further addressed the changing needs of dinner guests. His menus were inspired by a "non-fat and fresh" premise. Sokolov points out dishes of the nouvelle era placed flavorful spins on old classics, taking on a character of their own; "scaloppine" was no longer a veal preparation but a dish consisting of a thinly sliced and pounded item; "carpaccio" simply meant the dish was composed of a thinly sliced and usually rare ingredient; "confit," a variation on any item cooked in fat. The rules were the same but the g ame had changed

Re - Nouvelle

In the mid 1980s, disciples of nouvelle's founding fathers began to branch out on their own, among them, Jean-Georges Vongerichten. A student of the ever maturing nouvelle cuisine, he focused on intensifying flavor by utilizing methods devout to three principles, fresh, light, and simple. As a result, Vongerichten's pantry filled with juice reductions, vinaigrettes, flavored oils, and broths. These "building blocks" as he calls them were rooted in his apprenticeship years with Chef Haeberlin at L'Auberge de l'III. To produce lighter vinaigrettes, Vongerichten pureed his ingredients in a blender with salt, pepper, and a small amount of hot water. The blender distributes the oil evenly while the hot water acts as a binder to create a foamy emulsion. Though the emulsion won't last long, the mouth-feel and appearance are rich. Variations of curry vinaigrette, juniper vinaigrette, and mustard oil vinaigrette created a whole new sauce dialogue. These harbingers of flavor replaced butter or cream in marinades, cold and hot sauces, and for basting grilled items. When cooking with oils, keep in mind that the smoke point of oil will drop after its first use.

Canola Oil

Produced from a relative of the turnip, colorless canola, or rapeseed oil as it was once known, was popular among Eastern European countries. Though the French felt it suitable only for machinery maintenance and cattle feed until the 1960s (Toussant-Samat 219). Today canola is touted as a health-wise oil containing the least amount of saturated fat (less than 1 gram per tablespoon) than any oil and a smoke point of 430 degrees. It also contains artery friendly omega-3 fatty acids. A favorite of Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

Coconut Oil

Coconut or "copra" oil is extracted from the coconut fruit. Once grated, the coconut flesh is boiled in a large pot of water. As the oil rises, it is removed from the surface and transferred to a clean container. When the oil coolsit hardens and turns white, evident in its most familiar use: margarine Because it has a high smoke point, coconut oil is ideal for frying or pan searing over high heat. Coconut oil contains about 11.8 grams of saturated fat per tablespoon.

Corn Oil

A relatively colorless oil, it is produced by pressing the endosperm of the corn kernel. Because it has a high smoke point (410 degrees), corn oil is ideal for frying or pan searing over high heat. Corn oil contains about 1.7 grams of saturated fat per tablespoon. A favorite of Martin Yan.

Cottonseed Oil

Neutral cottonseed oil is combined with a variety of vegetable oils to produce commercial margarine, mayonnaise, and salad dressings. As a result of the demand for organic meats and dairy products, organic cottonseed is currently being cultivated in California. Cottonseed oil contains about 3.5 grams of saturated fat per tablespoon. It has a smoke point of 450 degrees.

Grapeseed Oil

A tradition in France, Italy, and Switzerland, the clear oil is extracted from grape seeds. It has become one of the most popular oils among gourmet chefs in search of a mild carrier for their flavored oil infusions. Because of its high smoke point (446 degrees), grapeseed oil is ideal for frying or pan searing over high heat. Grapeseed oil contains about 1.3 grams of fat per tablespoon. A favorite of Charlie Trotter.

Hemp Seed Oil

Virgin, unrefined, hemp seed oil is pressed from hemp seeds. Though mild in flavor, it is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids. Because it has a low smoke point, it is best used for warm preparations and in salads. Hemp seed oil contains 1.2 grams of saturated fat per tablespoon.

Mustard Seed Oil

A product of Eastern France, mustard seed oil is gaining in popularity for its pungent, spicy flavor. Mustard seed oil contains 1.5 grams of saturated fat per tablespoon. A favorite of Rocco DeSpirito.

Olive Oil

The century's old ingredient used to dress vegetables and preserve food. Extra virgin olive oil with its fruity flavor and low smoke point of 250 degrees is best added after cooking. Virgin or light olive oil has a smoke point of 410 degrees and is best for cooking. A favorite of any self respecting Italian cook.

Peanut oil

Golden peanut oil is a by-product of the leguminous plant native to Mexico. American Indians enjoyed the whole and ground nuts as well as the oil they skimmed from a pot of boiling peanuts. India is the largest producer of peanut oil. The oil cakes, which remain after the pressing are often used for cattle feed. Peanut oil has a high smoke point and is often used for frying, Peanut oil contains 2.2 grams of saturated fat per tablespoon. A favorite of Jan Birnbaum.

Pumpkin Seed Oil

This unique forest green oil is pressed from the seeds of Austrian pumpkins. Because of its low smoke point, pumpkin seed oil is best used as a condiment or sauce over warm or cold preparations. Pumpkin seed oil contains only 1 gram of saturated fat per tablespoon.

Sesame Seed Oil

Sesame oil is extracted from crushed sesame seeds. It is available in light gold or deep amber hues; both have a distinct nutty flavor though the dark oil has a slightly more pronounced nut flavor. Brought to the United States by African slaves, sesame oil became popular in Southern cooking. Sesame seed oil contains 1.9 grams of saturated fat per tablespoon and has a smoke point of 410 degrees.

Sunflower Seed Oil

Pressed from the seeds of the sunflower, the oil is most popular in Eastern Europe, especially Russia. Sunflowers however, and their artichoke relatives are native to North America. Comparatively, sunflower seed oil has a low smoke point (392 degrees) and is best used for low heat cooking or in salads. Sunflower seed oil contains 1.4 grams of saturated fat per tablespoon.

Walnut Oil

Walnut oil was commonly used in French kitchens during the 1800s. Though highly flavorful, the oil is expensive and very perishable. Walnut oil contains 1.2 grams of saturated fat per tablespoon.

Jan Birnbaum

The Big Dawg was tired. A late night at the airport to make sure his soft shell crabs arrived unharmed, got him back to Calistoga in the wee hours of the morning. These are the first of the season and Chef Jan Birnbaum is the first in The Valley to have them on his menu. Named for the Louisiana state dog, Catahoula Restaurant and Saloon is filled with portraits of ice-blue eyed canines. The restaurant smells eternally of a wood burning barbecue pit.

A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, it has been many miles and twenty-three years since Birnbaum began his apprenticeship under Paul Prudhomme in New Orleans. "I was graduating with an engineering degree from Louisiana State University and decided it wasn't for me," Birnbaum recalls. "I loved cooking, and at 20 years old I was able to say, all right, this is my life, it's not my mom's or my dad's or anybody else's. I'm in charge here." He moved to New Orleans and basically talked his way into the kitchen. It took about a dozen interviews he admits, "I didn't look the part either; I was driving my Volvo, was dressed nice and looking pretty good, and I remember Prudhomme saying, 'Look at you--you're not a chef you're something else, this wont work for you.' I think it was my persistence that allowed him to see something in me and finally let me in the door. After seven years at K-Pauls, I figured I had a good foundation; the way to get good was to go somewhere, work it hard, do it for two or three years, put m yself a little over my head-but not too far, and somewhere where I could change things as drastically as possible and still get away with it." Birnbaum realized that there were about six or seven chefs, the 'Rat Pack' as he refers to them that were turning American's heads and making cuisine something incredibly more important than it had ever been before. "One of the places Chef Prudhomme introduced me to was NewYork and The Quilted Giraffe," Birnbaum recalls. "I went, on a cook's salary and had my S 350 dinner and experienced what it was. Birnbaum introduced himself to owner Barry Wine and was hired as Executive Chef of The New Quilted Giraffe. "It was an amazing leap for me. I went from the Big Easy where the food is about intensity of flavor to The Big Apple and hand painted plates. At that point I was beginning to see my twenty year plan." Though the press thought his several years in New York were a success, Birnbaum felt he was way over his head and left for a line cook position in Denver. "I had to learn that if I woke up every day and tried to fake my way through it, or convince the people around me that I knew what I was doing about every part of it, then not only would I fail but I'd drive myself crazy. I had to be able to say, 'I don t know, show me."' Since then, Birnbaum has built his career on small steps-smart steps. "Eight years ago when we opened Catahoula, we were pioneers," he recalls of his move to Northern California . "But I'm a guy who's in it for life. It made sense from a business standpoint to come to Calistoga-to be a big fish in a small pond, have a sure success, and at 36 years old, I could do my own thing. My cooking style has changed a lot from my first years with Paul Prudhomme. Because Prudhomme has done such a great job of defining what he does, when you touch him, you become him. Especially after seven years. I try real hard to make sure that people know what we do is far from Cajun or Creole." Birnbaum describes his cooking as, "Purposely and ambiguously southern inspired American."

His newest project is part of a life long dream, "For eight years I've been practicing," he says of his Catahoula ownership. "Because I started there, I'm able to do what I'm doing in San Francisco and in a much more grand way. I tell most people; unless you can't keep yourself from cooking, you should do something else. That's the real reason to be a chef."

Sam DeMarco

There is a huge energy to Executive Chef DeMarco, as if he has thrown himself head first into his career choice, "I went to a no frills culinary school because I didn't have great grades in high school; I applied to go to CIA (The Culinary Institute of America) but didn't get accepted. I went back to school only because I thought it would help me get into CIA. When I finally did get in the following year, I was already halfway through the New York Tech Culinary program," he begins. "I mean, I grew up in an Italian home, food was always part of my family; all they do is feed you and squeeze your cheeks. So, I was never a stranger to food." After culinary school DeMarco worked for David Burke at The River Cafe for several years. The pace and atmosphere were demanding, but he built a solid repertoire of skills and left for a job at Adrienne in the Peninsula Hotel, Manhattan under Executive Chef Grey Kunz. The structured atmosphere of the kitchen was ideal for DeMarco and he remained for three solid years. By th e age of 28, DeMarco was looking to set up a restaurant of his own and joined with noted restaurateur Phillip Suarez of Patria, Jean Georges, Vong, and Mercer Kitchen. In 1993 the two opened First, a casual late night eatery. "First is downtown, and it's a real party place, the daily market menu is reasonably priced. At District," DeMarco continues, "all the fun comes through in the room service, bar menu, and lunch menu. But, at dinner it's...I hate saying more sophisticated- I don't like to sound stuffy, but it's more refined up here than the other two restaurants." DeMarco explains that his ideas are very nostalgic, based on dishes we liked as kids and still like as adults. "I try to have fun with combinations that I know people like. I don't want my guests to be challenged by the food. I want it to make sense in their mouths; they shouldn't have to wonder 'does this taste good?' Though he approaches his menus with an air of common sense and whimsy, he is a steadfast fan of his mentors, "For me, I think there are a few geniuses out there; Grey Kunz, Jean-Georges, Thomas Keller; they have gone out and recreated the wheel. I don't try to do that." Part of his lighthearted attitude is rooted in the "camaraderie" aspect of a meal. Stressing the importance of customers feeling as if they are sharing an experience, this is most likely the first lesson he learned about food from his Italian family.

Lemon Pepper Dumplings with Chanterelle Sauce and Curry Oil

Jan Birnbaum

ingredients

For the curry oil:

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons tunncric

1/2 tablespoon cardamom

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1/2 tablespoon ground allspice

1/2 tablespoon ground white pepper

1/4 tablespoon ground cloves

1 cup light olive oil

For the lemon oil:

1 cup light olive oil

Zest of 3 Meyer lemons

For the dumplings:

8 Yukon Gold potatoes, roasted and hot

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 cups all-purpose flour

4 egg yolks

I tablespoon reserved lemon oil

1 tablespoon Meyer lemon zest

1 teaspoon Meyer lemon juice

1/4 cup cornmeal

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped

1 bunch arugula stemmed

1 bunch radicchio, chopped

1/2 pound black trumpet mushrooms

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Kosher salt and pepper to taste

For thc chanterelle mushroom sauce:

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 pound chanterelle mushrooms

4 shallots, peeled and minced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1 teaspoon chopped rosemary

1 teaspoon chopped thyme

1 cup white wine

1/4 cup sherry vinegar

1 cup vegetable stock

1 cup heavy cream

Salt and pepper to taste

For the garnish:

Shaved Parmesan cheese

Ground black pepper

directions

For the curry oil, in a medium bowl, mix together the cinnamon turmeric, cardamom, cayenne pepper, allspice, white pepper, and cloves anti set aside. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the olive oil to 110 degrees. Remove from the heat and set aside. Place the spice mix in a commercial blender and with the motor running, slowly add the olive oil, and puree until well combined. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside overnight. Strain through a cheesecloth-lined, fine mesh sieve anti set aside.

For the lemon oil, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the olive oil to 110 degrees. Remove from the heat and set aside. Place the lemon zest in a commercial blender and with the motor running, slowly add the olive oil, and purec until well combined. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside overnight. Strain through a cheesecloth-lined, fine mesh sieve and set aside.

For the dumplings, peel the potatoes and rice in a food mill. Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl and form a well Sprinkle with nutmeg, cheese, anti flour and season. Place the eggs, lemon oil, lemon zest, and lemon juice in the center of the well and mix to combine. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface anti knead until smooth, about five minutes. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and set asitle to rest for 20 minutes. Unwrap the dough anti transfer to a lightly floured work surface. Knead for two minutes and form a smooth dough. Divide the dough into four pieces and roll each into long, 1-inch thick strips. Cut each strip into 1-inch pieces and roll each piece against the prongs of a fork to shape. Sprinkle a parchment-lined sheet pan with flour and cornmeal, transfer the dumplings to the sheet pan, and place in the Freezer for 30 minutes. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the dumplings and simmer until they rise to the top. Remove from the heat, strain, and transfer to a medium bowl. Toss with olive oil and set aside.

For the chanterelle mushroom sauce, in a medium saucepan, heat the oil and one tablespoon of the butter over medium heat. Add the chanterelle mushrooms and saute until golden brown, about seven minutes. Add the shallots, garlic, rosemary, and thyme and saute until golden Brown, about five minutes. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, about ten minutes. Add the vinegar, vegetable stock, and heavy cream and simmer until reduced by half, about eight minutes. Remove from the heat, add the remaining butter, and whisk to combine. Transfer to a commercial blender and puree until well combined, about two minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, season, and set aside keeping warm.

To finish the dumplings, in a large saute pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and the dumplings, toss to coat, and saute until golden brown, about three minutes. Add the arugula, radicchio, mushrooms, and lemon juice, toss to coat, and saute until tender, about two minutes. Remove from the heat, season, and set aside keeping warm.

To serve, spoon some chanterelle sauce in the center of the plate and top with some dumplings, arugula, radicchio, and mushrooms. Drizzle some curry oil around the dish and garnish with Parmesan shavings and black pepper.

Ragout of Sweetbreads and Crawfish with a Truffle Oil Emulsion

ingredients

For the sweetbreads:

2 pounds sweetbreads

7 ounces vermouth

3/4 cup white wine

2 cups chicken stock

1/4 bunch thyme

2 tablespoons cracked black peppercorns

1/2 head garlic, quartered

6 tablespoons kosher salt

2 bay leaves

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup semonlina flour

1/2 cup cornmeal

1 cup bread flour

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon Coleman's dry mustard

1 tablespoon paprika

2 teaspoons ground black pepper

2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

2 ounces peanut oil

2 ounces unsalted butter

Salt and pepper to taste

For the braised artichokes:

2 slices bacon, diced

6 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced

1 onion, peeled and sliced

1 carrot, peeled and chopped

1 cup white wine

3 cups chicken stock

1 tomato, chopped

1 bouquet garni (bay leaf, thyme rosemary)

8 globe artichokes, outer leaves removed and stems attached

Salt and pepper to taste

For the traffic oil emulsion:

1 cup chicken stock

1/2 cup reduced veal stock

2 shallots, peeled and minced

3/4 cup white truffle oil

3 tablespoons sherry vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

For the crawfish:

Reserved artichokes

Reserved braising liquid

2 tablespoons lemon juice

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced

1/2 pound crawfish tails, cooked and peeled

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

For the garnish:

Cayenne pepper

Chervil sprigs

directions

For the sweetbreads, in a large saucepan over low heat, bring the sweetbreads, vermouth, wine, chicken stock, thyme, peppercorns, garlic, four tablespoons salt, and bay leaves to a simmer and maintain the heat for 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sweetbreads to a cutting board and discard the cooking liquid. Pat the sweetbreads dry with a paper towel and using a sharp knife, peel the thick outer liquid. Pat Slice, peel the thick membrane and discard, Slice the sweetbreads in to two ounce pieces and set aside.

For the braised artichokes, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large saucepan over medium heat, saute the bacon until golden brown, about two minutes. Add the garlic and saute until golden brown. Add the onion and saute until translucent. Add the carrot, white wine, chicken stock, tomato, and the bouquet garni and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, add the artichokes, cover, and place in the oven until tender, about 25 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the artichokes to a cutting board, strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve, reserving 2 cups for the crawfish. Remove and discard the outer leaves of the artichoke, cut in to large pieces, and set aside keeping warm.

For the truffle oil emulsion, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the chicken stock, veal stock, and the shallots to a boil. Remove from the heat and transfer to a commercial blender. With the motor running, slowly add the truffle oil and sherry vinegar and puree until well combined. Transfer to a bowl, season, and set aside keeping warm.

For the crayfish, in a medium saute pan over medium heat, bring the artichokes, braising liquid, and lemon juice to a simmer. Add the butter and whisk to combine. Add the crawfish tails and simmer until warmed, about two minutes. Remove from the heat, add the parsley, and toss to combine. Season and set aside keeping warm.

To finish the sweetbreads, in a large, deep saute pan, heat the oil and butter over medium heat. Place the buttermilk in a large bowl. In a large, shallow bowl mix together the semolina flour, cornmeal, bread flour, remaining salt, cumin, coriander, mustard, paprika, black pepper, and cayenne. Dip the sweetbread pieces in buttermilk, liberally coat with the seasoned cornmeal mix and sear on all sides until golden brown. Remove from the heat, season, and set aside keeping warm.

To serve, spoon some truffle oil emulsion around the plate. Arrange some sweetbreads, artichokes, and crawfish in the center, sprinkle the dish with paprika and garnish with chervil.

"7 Steak" and Crab File Gumbo

Jan Birnbaum

ingredients

For the spice mix:

1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon ground white pepper

1/2 tablespoon ground paprika

1/2 tablespoon ground cumin

1/3 teaspoon chili powder

1/3 teaspoon dry mustard

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

For the soup base:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 onion, peeled and chopped

1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced

1 yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced

3/4 tablespoon file powder

2 1/2 tablespoons reserved spice mix

1/3 pound okra, sliced

3 Roma tomatoes, quartered

1 1/2 tablespoons spice mix

1 quart dark chicken stock, hot

1 quart fish stock, hot

1 smoked ham hock

For the roux:

3/4 cup high gluten flour

3/4 tablespoon reserved spice mix

1/2 cup peanut oil

1 1/2 pounds 7 steak, cut 2-inches thick

1 onion, peeled and chopped

1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and diced

2 poblano peppers, stemmed, seeded, and diced

1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced

1 bay leaf

1 Dungeness crab, chopped

1/4 head garlic, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

For the vegetables:

2 tablespoons peanut oil

1 small red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced

1 small green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced

1 small yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced

1 Roma tomato, peeled, seeded, and diced

1 1/4 cups sliced okra

Salt and pepper to taste

For the dish:

Roasted and diced andouille sausage

Cooked rice

Sliced scallions

Note: 7 steak is cut from the top portion of the chuck. When cut across, the bone resembles the number seven. Available upon request from most butchers.

For the lemon verbena oil:

directions

For the spice mix in a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients, mix to combine, and set aside.

For the soup base, in a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until tender, about five minutes. Add the red peppers and yellow peppers and saute until tender, about five minutes. Add the file powder and spice mix, toss to combine, and saute for two minutes. Add the okra and saute until tender, about five minutes. Add the tomatoes and saute until tender, about five minutes. Add the chicken stock, fish stock, and ham hock, maintain at a simmer, and set aside.

For the roux, in a medium bowl, mix together 1/3 cup of the flour and 3/4 tablespoon spice mix and set aside. In a cast iron saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Season the steak with the flour mixture and sear on both sides until golden brown. Using metal tongs, transfer the steak to the soup base and maintain the hot pan. When the oil is about to smoke, reduce the heat slightly. Add the remaining flour and whisk until well combined with the oil. Maintain the heat until the roux is dark, but not black, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the onion, green pepper, poblano pepper, jalapeno pepper, bay leaf, and crab in a medium bowl and mix to c combine. Add the garlic,, stir to combine, and set aside. Using metal tongs, transfer the 7 steak to a cutting board, dice, and reserve keeping warm.

For the vegetables, in a medium saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat, add all the vegetables, and saute until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, season, and set aside keeping warm.

To finish the gumbo, add the roux to the soup base in several stages, whisking well to combine between each addition. Simmer for 45 minutes. Remove the ham hock, de-bone, dice, and add to the base, Add the roux vegetables, sauteed vegetables, crab, and 7 steak. Remove from the heat and season. Cover and set aside for five minutes.

To serve, spoon some gumbo into a soup bowl and top with some andouille sausage, rice, and scallions.

Fluke and Mackeral Carpaccio with Lemon Verbena Oil

SamDeMarco

For the lemon verbena oil:

2 Cups grapeseed oil

1/4 pound lemon verbena leaves

For the carpaccio:

1 pound fluke, skined and thinly sliced

1 pound Boston mackerel, thinly sliced

1 bunch chives, minced

1 habanero chili pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped

Zest of 2 lemons

1 tablespoon seligris *

Salt and pepper to taste

For the garnish:

Lemon verbena leves

(*.) Available through Marche

Transatlantique at (604) 274-7172.

directions

For the Lemon Verbena oil, in a commercial blander, puree the grepeseed oil and lemon verbena leaves until well combined, about two minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside for 24 hours, Strain through a fine mesh sieve and set aside.

To serve, arrange alternating layers of fluke and mackerel in the center of a plate, drizzle with the lemon verbena oil, and season. Sprinkle some chives, habanero peppers, lemon zest, and sel gris over the dish and garnish with lemon verbena.

Goat Cheese Gnocchi with Roasted Beets and Walnut Oil

ingredients

For the goad cheese gnocchi:

1 cup Coach Farm goat curd

1/2 cup fresh ricota cheese

2 eggs

2 cups pastry flour

1/4 cup clarified butter

For the beets:

1 bunch baby and beets, tops removed

1 bunch baby gold beets, ops removed

1 bunch candy cane bests, tops removed

1/4 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons LeBlanc[R] Walnut oil [**]

3 tablesppons Laposada[R] sherry vinegar [***]

Salt and pepper to taste

For the browned butter:

1/4 cup clarified butter

1/2 cup toasted walnuts

For the dish:

Coach Farm had aged goat cheese grating stick, grated [*]

For the garnish:

Micro beet tops

Orange zest

(*.) Available through Coach Farm at (800) 999-4628.

(**.) Available through Rosenthal Wine Merchant at (800) 910-1990

(***.) Available through Daryland The Chef's Warehouse at (718) 842-8700.

directions

For the goat cheese gnoocchi, in a medium bowl, combine the goat curd, ricotta cheese, and eggs for mix to combine. Add 1 1/2 cupts of the pastry flour and mix to combine. Transferthe dough to a lightly floured work surface, and the remaining flour, and knead until smooth. Divide the dough into six pieces and roll and long 1/4-inch round strips. Using a sharp knife, cut into 1/3-inch pieces, transfer to a purchment-lined sheet pan. Cover with a dry cloth and set aside in the refrigerator.

For the beets, prebest the own to 350 degrees. On a half sheet pan combine the beets and olive oil, and toss to cost. And enough water to just cover the bottom of the pan, season, and cover with aluminum foil. Place in the even and roast until tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to coal slightly. Peel the beets, cut in half, and set aside. In a medium saute pan, heat one telespoon o the walnut oil and one tablespon of the vingar over medium heat. Add the red beets and saute until thick, about one minute. Remove from the heat, season, and transfer to a medium bowl. Season and reserve keeping warm. Repeat with the remaining beets, oil, and vinegar.

To finish the gnocchi, bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the gnocchi and simmer until they rise to the top, about one minute. Remove from he best and strain. In a large saute pan, heat the clarified butter over medium heat. Add the grocchi and saute until golden brown, about four minutes. Remove from the heat, season, and set aside keeping warm.

For the browned butter, in a medium saute pan, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the walnuts and summer until browned, about two minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside keeping warm.

To serve, arrange some grocchi and bests in a soap bowl. Drizzle some browned buter and sherry vinegar around the dish. Arrange some best tups in the center, and growth with grated cheese and orange zest.

Crackling Cod with Cod Liver Oil

ingredients

SamDeMarco

For the brandade:

1 pound salt cod

Whole milk as needed

4 ounces heavy cream

11 garlic cloves, peeled

3 Idaho potatoes steamed, peeled and riced

2 ounces extra virgin olive oil

1 ounce cod liver oil

Salt and pepper to taste

For the cod:

6 Elephant brand rice paper sheets, soaked until soft

1/2 bunch parsley, stemmed

6 4 ounce cod fillets, butterfield

Reserved brandade

1/4 cup clarified butter

Salt and cracked black pepper to taste

For the garlic cream:

8 ounces heavy cream

3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

Salt and pepper to taste

For the parsley puree

4 ounces parsley leaves, blanched

5 ounces extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

For the vegetables:

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

8 ounces sugar snap peas, blanched

1 pound fava beans blanched

1 bunch baby carrots, peeled and blanched

20 baby leeks, blanched

1/2 cup vegetable stock

Salt and pepper to taste

For the dish:

Roasted garlic cloves

Grape tomatoes, quartered

Cod liver oil

Roasted garlic heads

(*.) Available in most health food stores.

(**.) Chef DeMarco recommends Elephant brand rice paper sheets because they are slightly thicker than other rice papers. Available in Asian markets. Any other high quality rice paper sheets may be subsituted.

directions

For the brandade, place the cod in a medium bowl, cover with milk and place in the refrigerator overnight. Remove the cod from the milk, place or a sheet pan, and discard the milk in a large saucepan ocer medium heat bring the heavy cream and the garlic to a simmer and maintain the heat to five minutes. Using a slotted spoon transfer the garlic to a bowl, set aside and maintain the hot saucepan. Add the salt cod and simmer until flaky about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and using a slotted spoon transfer the cod to a medium bowl add the potatoes and using a rubber spatula fold to combine. Add the cream, garlic olive oil and cod liver oil and fold to combine season, and set aside keeping warm.

For the cod place the rice paper sheets on a flat worksurface. Sprinkle some parsies in the center, set a cod filled on top and spread with brandade. Season and fold the rice paper to enclose the cod, Transfer to a paarchment lined sheet pan and set aside.

For the garlic cream, in a medium saucepan over medium heat combine the heavy cream and garlic cloves and season. Bring to a boil, reduced the heat and simmer until the garlic is soft, about 10 ,minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a commercial blender. Blend until combined strain through a fine mesh sleve and iset aside keeping warm.

For the parsley puree, place the parsley in a commercial blender. With the motor running, add the olive oil in a thin steady stream and puree until smooth. Season and set aside.

For the vegetables, in a medium saute pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the peas, fava beans, carrots, leeks, and vegetable stock. Simmer until warmed through, about five minutes. Remove from the heat, season, and set aside keeping warm.

To finish the cod, in a medium saute pan, heat the clarified butter over medium heat. Sear the prepared cod on both sides until golden brown. Remove from the heat and set aside keeping warm.

To serve, arrange some vegetables in the center of a plate and place a cod fi let on top. Arrange some parsley puree, roasted garlic cloves, roasted garlic head, and grape tomatoes around the dish and drizzle some garlic cream and cod liver oil around the dish.

Crisp Fruits de Mer with a Palate of Aioli

ingredients

Sam DeMarco

For the lobster oil:

1 ounce olive oil

1 small fennel bulb thinly, sliced

1 small onion peeled and thinly sliced

1 small carrot, peeled and thinly sliced

1 stalk celery, thinly sliced

1 head garlic, split

1/4 cup tomato paste

2 pounds lobster bodies, crushed to rough paste vegetable oil needs

2 sprigs tarragon

1 tablespoon fennel seeds

For the basil oil

1/2 cup basil leaves blanched and shocked

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil Salt to taste

For the aioli

5 eggs

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

5 clove garlic peeled and chopped

3 cup canola oil

2 cups extra virgin olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

Kosher salt and write pepper to taste

For the lobster oil

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced

2 ounces Pernod[R]

2 ounces cognac

4 ounces white wine

1/4 teaspoon saffron threads

2 sprigs tarragon

1/2 cup reserved lobster oil

1 cup reserved aioli

Kosher salt and white pepper to taste

For the basil aioli

1 cup reserved basil oil

1/4 cup reserved basil oil

Kosher salt and pepper to taste

For the saffron aioli:

4 ounces white wine

1/4 teaspoon saffron threads

1 cup reserved aioli

Kosher salt and white pepper to taste

For the beet and horseradish aioli:

1 red beet juiced

2 tablespoons freshly grated horseradish

Juice of 1 lime

1 cup reserved aioli

1/4 cup canola oil

Kosher salt and white pepper to taste

For the lemon aioli

2 lemons, zest and juice reserved separately

Juice of 1 Meyer lemon

1 cup reserved aioli

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and white pepper to taste

For the fruits de mer:

1 cup all-purpose flour

4 eggs, beaten

3 cups brioche breadcrumbs

18 shrimp, peeled

12 bay scallops

12 2-inch strips squid

12 2-ounce halibut strips

12 2-ounce skate strips

Salt and pepper to taste

directions

For the lobster oil, in a medium saute pan, heat the oil over medium head. Add the fennel, onion, carrot, celery, and garlic and saute until translucent. Add the tomato paste and saute until caramelized, about four minutes. Add the lobster bodies and saute until golden brown about four minutes. Add enough oil to cover and simmer to 200 degrees. Remove from The heat add the tarragon and fennel seed and set aside at room temperature for 12 hours. Strain through a cheesecloth-lined, fine mesh sleve and set aside.

For the basil oil in a commercial blender combine the basil leaves and olive oil and puree to combine about two minutes Season and set aside.

For the aioli in the chilled bowl of a food processor fitted wih the metal blade attachement, combineth eggs, mustrd and garlic and pulse to combine, about one minute. With the motor running solwly add the canola oil and olive oil in a thin steady stream and puree until well combined and smooth transter to a bowl add the lemon juice, season and set aside.

For the lobster aioli, in a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the fennel and saute until translucent. Add the Pernod and simmer until reduced by half, about two minutes. Add the cognac and simmer until reduced by half, about two minutes. Add the wine, saffron, and tarragon and simmer until reduced by half, about two minutes. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve. Transfer to a medium bowl, add the lobster oil, and whisk until well combined and thick. Add the aioli, whisk to combine, season, and set aside.

For the basil aioli, in a medium bowl, whisk to combine the aioli and the basil oil. Season and set aside.

For the saffron aioli, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the white wine and saffron to a simmer, and maintain the beat until almost dry, about five minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. In a medium bowl, whisk to combine the reduced wine and aioli. Season and set aside.

For the beet and horseradish aioli, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the beet juice and horseradish to a simmer and maintain the heat until reduced by half, about five minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Transfer to a medium bowl, add the lime juice and aioli, and stir to combine. Add the canola oil and whisk to combine. Season and set aside.

For the lemon aioli, in a medium bowl, combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, and aioli. Whisk in the olive oil, season, and set aside.

For the fruits de mer, preheat the fryer to 365 degrees. Place the flour, eggs, and brioche crumbs in three separate bowls. Lightly dredge the shrimp in the flour, coat with eggs, and cover with breadcrumbs. Place in the fryer until golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel-lined sheet pan to drain. Season and set aside keeping warm. Repeat with the remaining seafood.

To serve, wrap some crispy fish in parchment paper, place in the center of a painter's palate, and spoon some lobster aioli, beet aioli, saffron aioli, lemon aioli, and basil aioli around the dish.

Banana Coconut Cream Pie with Coconut Oil

ingredients

For the crust

12 ounces all-purpose flour

12 Ounces graham cracker crumbs

6 ounces unsalted butter, diced and chilled

2 ounces whole milk

For the coconut cream:

16 ounces coconut milk

6 eggs

3 ounces cornstarch

4 ounces granulated sugar

4 ounces coconut oil [*]

For the banana crackers:

2 bananas, peeled and diced

1 ounce confectioners' sugar

1/4 cup coconut flakes

For the caramelized bananas:

2 bananas, peeled

1/4 cup granulated sugar

For the caramel sauce:

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup water

1 cup heavy cream, warmed

1 teaspoon unsalted butter

For the coconut oil:

1/2 cup coconut oil

1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

For the dish:

Toasted coconut

(*.) Available in Asian markets.

For the crust, preheat the oven the 325 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, graham cracker crumbs, and butter and mix until just combined, about two minutes. Add the milk and mix until just combined, about two minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator to chill for two hours. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface and roll to 1/4 inch thick. Using a four-inch ring mold, cut out six circles. Transfer each circle to a fluted brioche mold and place on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Place in the oven and bake until browned, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Remove from the molds and set aside.

For the coconut cream, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the coconut milk to a boil. Reduce the heat and maintain at a simmer. In a medium bowl, combine the eggs; cornstarch; and sugar and whisk until smooth. Temper the egg yolks, adding one third of the hot cream while whisking constantly. Whisk the tempered yolks into the hot cream and place over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wodden spoon. When the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon remove from the heat and strain through a line mesh sieve. Set aside in an ice bath until chilled. Add the coconut oil and mix to combine. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a medium round tip and set aside keeping chilled.

For the banana crackers, preheat the oven to 200 degrees. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade attachment, combine the bananas and the sugar and puree until well combined. Transfer the mixture to a silpat-lined sheet pan, shape into 18 triangles, and sprinkle with coconut. Place in the oven to bake for 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

For the caramelized bananas, place the bananas on a cutting board, slice one banana in to thin rounds, and place on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Slice the remaining bananas in to thirds, slice in half lengthwise, and transfer to a sheet pan. Sprinkle with sugar, using a hand-held propane torch, caramelize the sugar, and set aside.

For the caramel sauce , in a small covered saucepan, combine the sugar and water, bring to a boil, and simmer until golden brown. Remove from the heat and slowly add the cream, whisking constantly. Return to medium heat and simmer until smooth. Remove from the heat, add the butter, and stir to incorporate. Reserve keeping warm.

For the coconut oil, in a small bowl, combine the coconut oil and the vanilla bean scrapings. Whisk to combine and set aside.

To assemble the pies, place the graham cracker crusts on a parchment-lined sheet pan and fill with some coconut cream. Sprinkle some toasted coconut on top and set aside keeping cool.

To serve, place three caramelized banana rounds and some toasted coconut in the center of a plate. Place a coconut cream pie on top and set some caramelized bananas and banana crackers in the center. Spoon some caramel sauce, coconut oil, and toasted coconut around the dish.
COPYRIGHT 2001 Culinaire, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Art Culinaire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 22, 2001
Words:7744
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