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Charlie Trotter Cooks at Home - Menu 4



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La Belle Cuisine


Charlie Trotter Cooks at Home


Recipe Source:
Charlie Trotter Cooks at Home
by Charlie Trotter, © 2000, Ten Speed Press, Berkeley



“Even though this appears to be a long menu, the food is light and
refreshing. The brochettes can be served alongside the risotto to
lessen the amount of plate washing.”

 Preparation Tips:
¨ For the starters, the stuffed tomatoes can be prepared several hours ahead
and refrigerated.
¨ The chowder can be prepared a day ahead and warmed just before serving.
¨ The marinade can be made a day ahead. The brochettes can be marinated
   for 2 hours, removed from the marinade and refrigerated for several hours.
¨ For the entrée, the spicy herb sauce can be prepared several hours ahead.
The risotto can be cooked three-quarters of the way and finished just
before serving.

 For the dessert, the crème brûlée can be prepared several hours ahead
and caramelized prior to serving.


Goat Cheese-Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes
Serves 4

12 cherry tomatoes

2 ounces soft goat cheese
1 tablespoon chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh chives
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To prepare the tomatoes:  Cut a small x in the bottom of each tomato. Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for 15 seconds and remove immediately. Peel, then cut 1/4 inch off the top of each tomato. Using a melon baler, hollow out the tomatoes.
To prepare the filling
:  Combine the goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, chives and parsley in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Spoon some of the goat cheese mixture into each of the tomatoes and place
in the refrigerator. Remove from the refrigerator 15 minutes before serving.

 Insights:  Nuts should always be toasted before using them. Raw, they are bland
and a little gummy; toasted, they have a wonderful, nutty flavor and a crunchy texture. To toast any type of nut, place them on a baking sheet in a preheated
350-degree F. oven for 10 minutes, or until a light golden brown and aromatic.

 Wine Suggestion:  Choose a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with acidity to
match the goat cheese and a tomato-herb flavor to match the tomatoes.


Sweet Corn and Shrimp Chowder

Serves 6

10 ears sweet corn
2 bay leaves
4 quarts water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup heavy whipping cream
8 ounces bacon, julienned
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 large potato, peeled and diced
12 ounces shrimp, peeled, deveined,
and cut into bite-size pieces
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

To prepare the broth:  Remove the kernels from the cobs, reserving the kernels and cobs. Place the cobs, bay leaves, and water in a stockpot and simmer over medium-low heat for 1 hour. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and discard the solids. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To prepare the chowder
:  Place half of the corn kernels in a small sauce-
pan with the cream and cook over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, or
until the cream is reduced to about 2/3 cup. Purée the mixture until smooth.
Cook the bacon in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, or until the fat is translucent. Add the onion, potato, and the remaining corn and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring continuously, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the shrimp are
just cooked. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Place the corn purée in a large saucepan over medium-low heat and add the corn broth 1 cup at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Add the sautéed corn mixture and cook for 5 minutes, or until warm. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Ladle the soup into bowls, sprinkle with the chives, and top with freshly ground black pepper.

Insights:  This chowder is also great with lobster in place of the shrimp,
or as corn chowder, with no seafood at all. Any extra corn broth can be
frozen for several months.

Wine suggestion:  A rich, opulent, oaky Chardonnay will complement
the richness of the chowder.


Scallops from Market on Rue Cler, Paris, France
Scallops from Market on Rue Cler, Paris, France
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Moos, Martin
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Grilled Scallop and Vidalia
Onion Brochettes

Serves 4

1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped lemongrass
1/2 jalapeño chile, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

24 sea scallops

1 Vidalia onion, cut into bite-size wedges
2/3 cup white rice
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup chopped scallions
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To prepare the marinade:  Combine the orange juice, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, olive oil, lemongrass, jalapeño, cilantro, scallions and lime juice in
a small bowl.
To prepare the brochettes
:  Alternate the scallops and onion wedges on
eight skewers. Place the skewers in a large, resealable plastic bag and pour
in the marinade. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
To prepare the rice
:  Combine the rice and water in a medium saucepan, cover, and simmer over medium-low heat for 20 to 25 minutes, or until tender.
Cook the scallions in the butter in a small sauté over medium-low heat for
5 minutes, or until the scallions are soft. Add to the rice and cook for 5 minutes, or until warm. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To cook the brochettes
:  Prepare a medium-hot grill. Remove the bro-
chettes from the marinade and season with salt and pepper. Grill for 3 to
4 minutes on each side, or until the scallops are just cooked.
Place some of the rice in the center of each plate and top with 2 bro-
chettes. Top with freshly ground black pepper.

Insights:  I use Vidalia onions in this recipe because the onions will not
cook completely in the time that it takes to cook the scallops, and Vidalias
are sweet enough to eat raw. If Vidalia onions are out of season, use Maui
or Spanish onions.

Wine suggestion:  Choose a Meursault or Chardonnay with a little toasty
flavor to balance the rich scallops and sweet onions.


Spring Pea Risotto with Spicy Herb Sauce

Serves 4

1 bunch flat-leaf parsley
4 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons ice water
2 teaspoons togarashi (see below)
1 tablespoon minced jalapeño chile
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 shallots, minced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup Arborio rice
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup shelled fresh spring peas, blanched

To prepare the sauce:  Sauté the parsley in 1 tablespoon of the canola oil
in a hot sauté pan for 10 seconds. Remove immediately, transfer to a small bowl, and refrigerate until cooled.  Coarsely chop the parsley and purée
with the ice water and 3 tablespoons of the canola oil until smooth. Strain
through a fine-mesh sieve. Whisk in the togarashi and jalapeño and season
to taste with salt and pepper.
To prepare the risotto
:  Cook the shallots and butter in a large sauté
pan over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, or until translucent. Add the
rice and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Slowly add 1/4 cup of
the stock and stir until completely absorbed. Add the remaining stock 1/4
cup at a time, stirring continuously with a smooth, gentle motion until the
liquid is completely absorbed. (The risotto will take 40 to 50 minutes to
cook completely.) Add the peas with the final addition of stock. Fold in
half of the sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Spoon some of the risotto in the center of each plate and drizzle the
remaining sauce over the risotto and around the plate.

Insights:  Togarashi is a combination of spices used in Japanese cooking. It is available in Asian markets, but if you can’t find it, you can make your own:

Grind 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon
dried basil, 1/2 teaspoon ground bay leaves, 1/2 teaspoon Szechuan pepper,
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon dried red chiles, 1/2 teaspoon sea
salt, and 1/2 teaspoon orange zest in a blender for 2 minutes, or until
finely ground.

This can be kept in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Wine suggestion:  Sauvignon Blanc with good texture and
little or no oak complements the herbal risotto.


Vanilla Crème Brûlée with Chocolate Sauce

Serves 6

1/4 cup simple syrup *
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
5 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup milk
1 vanilla bean
Sugar for dusting

* Simple Syrup: Bring 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar to a boil in a small saucepan, remove from the heat, and cool. The syrup may be kept in
the refrigerator for up to 1 month. Yield: 1 1/2 cups

To prepare the Crème Brûlée:  Preheat the oven to 300 degree F. Fill a large bowl halfway with ice and cold water. Combine the simple syrup and cocoa in a small bowl. Place a spoonful of the sauce in the bottom of six
4- to 5-inch diameter ramekins and place in the freezer until ready to use.
Whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, and sugar in a small bowl until smooth. Place the cream and milk in a small saucepan. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and, using the back of a knife, scrape the seeds out into the cream mixture. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Slowly whisk the hot cream mixture into the eggs and mix well. Strain into a medium bowl through a fine-mesh sieve and cool in the ice-water bath.
Pour the custard mixture into the ramekins with the chocolate and place the ramekins in a large roasting pan. Pour in enough hot water to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake in the water bath for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the custard jiggles slightly when shaken. Remove from
the oven, remove the custards from the water bath, and cool slightly. Refrigerate until chilled.
Sprinkle a dusting of sugar over the top of each custard and place in the center of each plate. Using a small handheld blow torch, slowly caramelize the sugar until it is golden brown and serve.

Insights:  If you don’t have a small blow torch, the sugar can be caramelized under a broiler. Place the oven rack as close to the broiler as possible and
watch the custards carefully; they will need to be rotated often to keep the
sugar from burning.

Wine suggestion:  Madeira will complement both the chocolate and
burnt sugar elements.

Chef Charlie Trotter
Charlie Trotter Cooks at Home - Menu 1
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Charlie Trotter Cooks at Home - Menu 3
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