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The bounty hunter.

THERE'S A NATIVE SAN DIEGAN WHOSE LIFE MAY BE A BEACH, but who fancies himself a hunter. Not a hunter of surf, but of what lives on his turf. Like deer. Quail and duck, too. Carl Schroeder hung up his wetsuit and reached for the rifle after a premature surfing accident that left his brother's surfboard in--not one piece--but two. Better the board than his bro. Must have been a gnarly wave.

For Carl, hunting didn't just mean firing a rifle, he took it two steps further, learning to fabricate and cook his prey. Certainly an in-your-face education. It was during these 'in-the-wild' experiences that Carl's interest in food magnified. Even after earning a degree in business, he couldn't keep himself from the back of the house. Carl decided to enroll in The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.

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While at the CIA, Schroeder worked at La Cremaillere, (Carl probably will always remember that word means "an adjustable hook on which the stewing pot is attached.") That was in Bedford, New York, a world away from his next job at Michael Minna's Aqua in San Francisco. From there it was on to Domain Chandon in Napa Valley and then just 30 miles south, to Larkspur, and The Lark Creek Inn, Schroeder's first experience working with Bradley Ogden.

"My passion just grew as I moved along."

Eventually, Carl wound his way back to his hometown of San Diego. Once again, he and Bradley Ogden would cross paths. Ogden was opening Arterra (under the Lark Creek Group Enterprise) and Carl was named 'Executive Chef'. With a year and a half under his belt, it doesn't look like Schroeder is going anywhere. "I have a lot of his (Ogden's) style in my dishes as well as other influences. I think Bradley sees that when he sits down for dinner; everything is going along as we planned. So, why mess with it?"

He talks about the challenges of the location--inside a Marriott hotel. He calls the experience, "tricky." "Some people don't associate Marriott with good food."

Case in point: There've been times when he's had to explain to a customer who may never have known (or known better) that 'yes' the oysters 'really have just come out of fresh water--not from the can.' It's a good thing this chef has a sense of humor.

"... But we've broken away from that (correlation). We're known for great food and fine dining."

Even though it's Bradley Ogden's restaurant, Schroeder is given free reign.

"It's my menu. I can do whatever I want with it. The only menu item we have to keep is the 'Bradley Caesar'. "After three years of working side-by-side with Ogden, Schroeder looks to him as a mentor.

And having been taught by one of the culinary fathers of California cuisine, Schroeder is a firm believer in the crusade for ingredient-driven menus. That means farm fresh. In fact, he and six other San Diego chefs are organizing a society tentatively named, 'Foragers.' Their touchstone? The chefs will visit local farms, choose produce for their restaurants and familiarize themselves on all aspects of the business. They'll learn how to choose quality produce and how to negotiate for it--fairly and diplomatically. Their goal is to create a clear connection between regional chefs and farmers.

"Most of the chefs in San Diego have worked in great food cities like New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. They just love our weather and lifestyle. I think there's a movement happening down here!"

So now if Carl Schroeder says he's going hunting, he's hot on the trail of a tender, sweet, day-old ... baby carrot. Or sneaking up behind a turnip. Be very, very quiet, Carl, those rutabagas can run!

RELATED ARTICLE: Syrah Braised Short Ribs (Serves 6)

CARL SCHROEDER

directions

For the ribs: Preheat oven to 275 degrees. In a large saucepan over high heat, add oil. Season ribs with salt and pepper and sear until golden brown on all sides. Add bacon halfway through the browning process and render. Remove ribs from pan and add onions, carrot and celery. Cook until onions turn translucent. Add demi-glace, wine, truffle juice, bay leaves, thyme and parsley; reduce by half. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add ribs back to saucepan, cover and place in oven for four hours. Remove from oven and transfer ribs to a plate. Strain sauce through a fine mesh sieve and reduce to a heavy syrup consistency. Add ribs back to sauce to keep warm.

For the grits: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a medium saucepan, melt butter. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add beef stock and bring to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Whisk in grits and return to a boil. Cover saucepan and place in oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and stir in herbs, mascarpone cheese, garlic and cream. Add salt and pepper to taste.

For the mushrooms: In a medium saute pan, melt butter. Add shallots, garlic and mushrooms. Saute until mushrooms release moisture. Add sherry and cook to a glaze. Finish with parsley and set aside, keeping warm. Add salt and pepper to taste.

To serve: Spoon grits on plate and top with truffle cheese and spinach. Place short ribs on top of spinach and drizzle with sauce. Garnish with truffles.

ingredients

For the ribs:

2 tablespoons olive oil

12 short ribs, deboned

4 ounces bacon, chopped

2 onions, peeled and chopped

1 carrot, peeled and chopped

1 rib celery, chopped

2 quarts demi-glace

1 bottle Syrah wine

1 cup truffle juice

2 bay leaves

1/4 bunch thyme

1/4 bunch parsley

Salt and pepper

For the grits:

2 tablespoons butter

1 Spanish onion, peeled and chopped

1 quart beef stock

1 cup white corn grits

2 tablespoons assorted chopped herbs

3 tablespoons mascarpone cheese

1 head roasted garlic, pureed

1/4 cup heavy cream

Salt and pepper

For the mushrooms:

2 tablespoons butter

1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped

8 ounces morel mushrooms, stemmed

1/4 cup dry sherry

1 tablespoon parsley

Salt and pepper

For the garnish:

8 oz. melted Italian truffle cheese*

2 pounds spinach, stemmed and sauteed

White truffle, shaved as needed

* Available through The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills at (800) 547-1515.

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RELATED ARTICLE: Beer-Battered Anaheim Pepper with Lobster (Serves 6)

CARL SCHROEDER

directions

For the sauce: In a medium saucepan, heat oil. Add onion and garlic; saute until translucent. Add coriander, cumin, tomatoes, tomatillos, jalapenos, pepper and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer three-quarters of the mixture to a blender and puree. Pass through a fine mesh sieve. Add cuitlacoche to remaining sauce, simmering until incorporated. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. Pass through a fine mesh sieve. Keep both sauces warm.

For the filling: In a large saute pan, melt butter. Add onions, garlic, pepper and corn. Cook until onion turns translucent. Add stock and bring to a boil. Whisk in grits and add cayenne. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring back to a boil, stirring constantly. Cover and place in oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and stir in mascarpone and cheddar cheeses and cilantro. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside, keeping warm.

For the batter: In a bowl, add flour, cornstarch and baking powder. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients; add egg and beer. Mix until combined; add chives. The batter should be the consistency of heavy cream. Set aside, keeping cool.

For the avocado salad: In a bowl, combine ingredients and mix well. Set aside, keeping cool.

For the peppers: Preheat deep fryer and oven to 350 degrees. Fill each pepper halfway with the filling and lobster. Coat peppers with cornstarch and dip into batter. Fry until golden brown and transfer to oven to finish. Remove from oven and serve.

To serve: Place sauces in center of plate. Place pepper on top of sauce and garnish with lobsters. Garnish with tomatoes, micro cilantro, creme fraiche, and avocado salad.

ingredients

For the sauce:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 onion, peeled and chopped

4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

1 tablespoon ground and toasted coriander

1 tablespoon ground and toasted cumin

2 red tomatoes, grilled and chopped

2 tomatillos, grilled and chopped

2 jalapenos, grilled, seeded and chopped

1 red pepper, grilled, seeded and chopped

1/2 cup chicken stock

2 tablespoons cuitlacoche*

Salt and pepper

For the filling:

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 onion, peeled and chopped

2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped

1/2 green pepper, seeded and chopped

1/2 cup corn kernels

1 cup vegetable stock

1/4 cup white corn grits

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon mascarpone cheese

1/2 cup grated white cheddar cheese

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Salt and pepper

For the batter:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup cornstarch

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 egg

2 cups Pacifico beer

1/4 bunch chives, chopped

For the avocado salad:

2 avocados, peeled, pitted and diced

3 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Juice of 1 lime

Salt and pepper

For the peppers:

6 Anaheim peppers, roasted, skinned and seeded

3 lobster tails, boiled, shelled and sliced

Cornstarch as needed

For the garnish:

Cherry tomatoes, halved

Micro cilantro

1 cup creme fraiche, whipped with lemon and lime zests

* Cuitlacoche is a fungus that attacks ears of corn and makes the kernels swell to 10 times their normal size. It's known to have a sweet-smoky flavor and is sold canned and frozen in gourmet markets.

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RELATED ARTICLE: Lamb, Duck and Rabbit Corn Dogs with a Trio of Chutneys (Serves 6)

CARL SCHROEDER

directions

For the sausages: In a bowl, combine the meat and fat with the dry ingredients and chill. Grind meat mixture through the fine plate of a meat grinder. Place meat mixture in bowl and add remaining ingredients. Mix by hand until combined. Cook a small amount of the mixture in a saute pan until desired doneness. Adjust seasonings accordingly. Using a sausage press, fill hog casings with the meat and twist off at 3-inches. Poach sausages in a saucepan of water until they reach an internal temperature of 150 degrees. Set aside, keeping cool.

For the mango chutney (lamb): In a bowl, combine ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate for two hours.

For the plum chutney (rabbit): In a medium saucepan, combine onion, garlic, gingerroot, brown sugar, cherries, cider vinegar, water, coriander seeds, mustard seeds and red chili flakes. Cook until thickened. Remove from heat and fold in plums. Season with lemon zest and juice, orange zest and juice, balsamic vinegar and pepper.

For the orange chutney (duck): In a medium saucepan, heat foie gras fat. Add shallots and cook until translucent. Add sugar and cook until lightly brown. Add Triple Sec and Grand Marnier and reduce by half. Add orange juice and honey and reduce to syrup consistency. Set in an ice bath until chilled. Add orange segments and set aside.

For the corndogs: In a bowl, soak grits in three-quarters cup of buttermilk for a half-hour. In a bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Stir in remaining buttermilk, egg and soaked grits. Preheat deep fryer to 350 degrees. Place wooden skewers through sausages, dredge in flour and batter. Deep-fry until golden brown. Slice each corndog in half.

To serve: Plate corndogs with corresponding chutneys.

ingredients

For the lamb sausage:

1 pound lamb shoulder meat, cubed

1 ounce pork butt, cubed

1 ounce bacon, cubed

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon chopped rosemary

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 tablespoon ice water

1/2 onion, peeled, chopped and sauteed until golden brown

1 head garlic, roasted

Salt

Hog casings as needed

For the rabbit sausage:

3/4 pound rabbit leg meat, cubed

2 ounces fatback, cubed

5 tablespoons chili powder

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon dried sage

1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

1 tablespoon ice water

1/2 poblano pepper, roasted, seeded and chopped

1/2 onion, peeled, chopped and sauteed until golden brown

2 cloves garlic, peeled, chopped and sauteed

1/2 jalapeno, roasted, seeded and chopped

Salt

Hog casings as needed

For the duck sausage:

3/4 pound duck leg meat, cubed

2 ounces fatback, cubed

1/4 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

1 teaspoon toasted, crushed fennel seed

1 pinch cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

1/4 teaspoon chopped thyme

1/4 cup dried cherries, reconstituted in brandy and chopped

2 tablespoons ice water

1/2 onion, peeled, chopped and sauteed until golden brown

2 cloves garlic, peeled, chopped and sauteed

Salt

Hog casings as needed

For the mango chutney (lamb):

1 mango, peeled and diced

1/4 cup pureed mango

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

1/2 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped

1/4-inch piece gingerroot, peeled and finely chopped

1 tablespoon chopped mint

For the plum chutney (rabbit):

1/4 Spanish onion, peeled and chopped

1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped

1/4-inch piece gingerroot, peeled and finely chopped

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons dried cherries

3 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 tablespoons water

Pinch roasted coriander seeds

1/2 teaspoon roasted mustard seeds

Pinch red chili flakes

3/4 cup chopped plums

Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon

Zest and juice of 1 orange

Balsamic vinegar as needed

Pepper

For the orange chutney (duck):

2 tablespoons rendered foie gras fat

2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 cup Triple Sec

1/4 cup Grand Marnier

2 cups orange juice

1 tablespoons honey

1 cup orange segments

For the corndogs:

1 cup white corn grits

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1 egg

All-purpose flour as needed

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RELATED ARTICLE: Marinated Kobe Beef Flat Iron Steak (Serves 6)

CARL SCHROEDER

directions

For the steaks: In a large container, combine garlic, oregano, thyme, oil and vinegar; mix well. Add steaks, cover and marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

For the foie gras butter: In a small saucepan, heat duck fat. Add foie gras and cook for two minutes. Remove from heat and place in bowl with butter. Mix until combined and pass through a fine mesh sieve. Place in refrigerator to cool and reserve for sauce.

For the sauce: In a large saucepan, add stock and reduce by half. Add truffle juice and continue to reduce to a sauce consistency. Whisk in foie gras butter and salt and pepper. Finish with herbs.

For the grit fries: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Preheat deep fryer to 350 degrees. In a medium saucepan, heat oil. Add onions and cook until golden brown. Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Whisk in grits and bring back to a boil. Add salt and pepper. Cover and place in oven for one hour. Remove from oven and add herbs. Spread onto an oiled sheet pan 1/2-inch thick. Refrigerate for one hour. Spread blue cheese on top of grits and cut into 1/2 X 1/2 X 3 1/2-inch strips. Place strips in flour, egg wash and bread crumbs. Deep-fry until golden brown and season with salt and pepper.

For the vegetables: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium saute pan, heat oil. Add carrots, turnips, potatoes, Romanescos and yellow beans; cook in oven until lightly browned. Finish with butter and herbs. Add salt and pepper.

To finish: Prepare a hot grill. Remove steaks from marinade and season with salt and pepper. Place steaks on grill and cook to desired doneness. Remove from grill and slice thinly.

To serve: Serve steak with vegetables and grit fries. Garnish with carrot and turnip sticks.

ingredients

For the steaks:

5 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped

4 tablespoons dried oregano

1/2 bunch thyme, stemmed

1 cup olive oil

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

6 6-ounce Kobe beef flat iron steaks

Salt and pepper

For the foie gras butter:

1/2 cup duck fat

2 tablespoons foie gras

2 tablespoons softened butter

For the sauce:

2 quarts veal stock

1/4 cup truffle juice

Reserved foie gras butter, cubed

1 tablespoon assorted chopped herbs

Salt and pepper

For the grit fries:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 Spanish onion, peeled and chopped

3 cups vegetable stock

1 cup white corn grits

2 tablespoons assorted chopped herbs

Melted blue cheese as needed

Flour as needed

Egg wash as needed

Bread crumbs as needed

Salt and pepper

For the vegetables:

1 tablespoon olive oil

12 baby carrots, peeled, blanched and halved lengthwise

12 baby yellow turnips, peeled, blanched and halved lengthwise

12 baby potatoes, peeled, blanched and halved

12 Romanescos, blanched*

8 ounces yellow wax beans, blanched

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon assorted chopped herbs

Salt and pepper

For the garnish:

Carrot sticks, blanched

Yellow turnip sticks, blanched

*Romanesco is available through the Chef's Garden at (800) 289-4644.

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RELATED ARTICLE: Grit-Crusted Scallops (Serves 6)

CARL SCHROEDER

directions

For the tomatoes: Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Place tomatoes on a sheet pan, cut side up, using foil to keep in place. Drizzle with olive oil, garlic and thyme. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in oven for two hours; remove and set aside, keeping warm.

For the shellfish emulsion: In a large saucepan, add oil. Add garlic and shallots and cook until translucent. Add Chardonnay, saffron, peppercorns, thyme, parsley and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes. Add mussels and cook covered for 30 minutes. Strain sauce through a fine mesh sieve, reduce by one-quarter and whisk in butter until frothy. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove mussels from shells, chop and reserve for creamed corn.

For the creamed corn: In a medium saucepan, melt one tablespoon butter. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add corn kernels and shrimp; cook for five minutes. Add cream and corn juice. Simmer, stirring constantly until thickened. Whisk in remaining butter; add herbs and mussels. Add salt and pepper to taste.

For the scallops: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, mix grits and parsley. Season scallops with salt and pepper and dip one end into egg wash then into grits. In a small saute pan over medium-high heat, add oil. Place scallops into pan, grits side down. Cook until golden brown. Turn once, place pan in oven, cooking until desired doneness.

To serve: On a plate, layer creamed corn, tomato, scallop and shallot rings. Serve with sauce and garnish with chervil.

ingredients

For the tomatoes:

3 plum tomatoes, halved

1/4 cup olive oil

3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced

2 sprigs thyme, stemmed

Salt and pepper

For the shellfish emulsion:

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

3 shallots, peeled and chopped

1 cup Chardonnay

1/4 tablespoon saffron

2 black peppercorns

2 sprigs thyme

2 sprigs parsley

1 bay leaf

3/4 pound mussels

3 ounces butter, cubed

Salt and pepper

For the creamed corn:

3 tablespoons butter

1/2 Spanish onion, peeled and chopped

2 cups corn kernels

1/2 pound rock shrimp

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup juice, extracted from corn kernels

2 tablespoons assorted chopped herbs

Reserved mussels

Salt and pepper

For the scallops:

1/4 cup finely ground yellow corn grits

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

6 sea scallops

Egg wash as needed

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper

For the garnish:

Fried shallot rings

Chervil sprigs

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RELATED ARTICLE: Strawberry Cornmeal French Toast (Serves 6)

CARL SCHROEDER

directions

For the honeycomb shake: In a small saucepan, bring milk and cream to a boil. In a bowl, whisk together the yolks and sugar. Temper the egg yolk mixture, adding one-third of the hot milk mixture, whisking constantly. Whisk the tempered egg yolk mixture into the hot milk mixture and place over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture coats the back of the spoon. Let cool slightly and pour over honeycomb. Stir gently until honey is completely combined, being careful not to over mix or wax could emulsify into the sauce. Strain through a fine mesh sieve. Set in an ice bath until chilled and freeze in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's instructions.

For the batter: In a bowl, combine ingredients and mix well. Set aside, keeping cool.

For the French toast: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in egg whites and milk. Add butter and orange zest and fold in strawberries. Prepare six 2 1/2 X 2-inch rectangular molds by rubbing the insides with butter and wrapping the bottoms with aluminum foil. Fill molds three-quarters full with batter. Bake until firm in the center, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven, cool and remove from molds. Transfer French toast to a container and cover with the batter. Refrigerate for one hour.

For the strawberry coulis: In a small saucepan over low heat, combine all ingredients and simmer until the berries are soft. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh sieve. Set aside, keeping cool.

For the rhubarb: In a medium saucepan, add rhubarb, sugar and strawberry coulis. Bring to a simmer and cook until tender. In a bowl, combine cornstarch and water to make a slurry. Stir slurry into rhubarb and bring to a boil. Cook for one minute while stirring constantly. Remove from heat and adjust thickness with additional strawberry coulis if necessary.

For the creme anglaise: In a medium saucepan, bring cream and vanilla bean to a simmer and steep for 10 minutes. In a bowl, combine sugar and yolks. Temper egg yolk mixture, adding one-third of the hot cream while whisking constantly. Whisk the tempered egg yolk mixture into the hot cream and place over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture coats the back of the spoon. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and set in an ice bath until chilled.

To finish: In a blender, combine honeycomb ice cream and half-and-half, and blend to desired consistency. In a large saute pan over high heat, melt butter, Remove French toast from refrigerator; add to pan and cook both sides until lightly browned. Cutting on the diagonal.

To serve: Place one serving of French toast on a plate and top with rhubarb. Drizzle plate with creme anglaise and strawberry coulis. Serve with honeycomb shake. Garnish with strawberries and honeycomb.

ingredients

For the honeycomb shake:

10 ounces milk

5 ounces cream

4 egg yolks

1 ounce sugar

5 ounces honeycomb

Half-and-half as needed

For the batter:

7 ounces granulated sugar

10 ounces half-and-half

1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon

6 eggs

For the French toast:

3 ounces cornmeal

2 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour

3 1/2 ounces granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 egg whites

4 ounces milk

Softened butter as needed

Zest of 1 orange

1 pint strawberries, stemmed and chopped

For the strawberry coulis:

1 pint strawberries, stemmed

2 ounces granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon lemon juice

For the rhubarb:

3 cups diced rhubarb

4 ounces granulated sugar

2 ounces strawberry coulis

1/2 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon water

For the creme anglaise:

8 ounces heavy cream

1/2 vanilla bean, split

1 1/2 ounces granulated sugar

3 egg yolks

For the garnish:

Strawberries

Honeycomb

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Arterra, San Diego
COPYRIGHT 2003 Culinaire, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Article Details
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Author:Schroeder, Carl
Publication:Art Culinaire
Date:Dec 22, 2003
Words:3952
Previous Article:True grits: a Southern-Southern California revival.
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