Chef’s Skillet – LGBT Weekly Mon, 24 Oct 2016 00:30:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Now that’s a chocolate cake Thu, 10 Nov 2011 22:10:32 +0000

A Restaurant Insider recipe

Cake ingredients

2 1/2 cups cake flour, unbleached and organic

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon sea salt or fleur de sel

1 1/2 sticks unsalted organic butter, room temperature

2 cups sugar

3 3/4 ounces semisweet fair trade dark chocolate, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla seeds

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups water, chilled

1/8 cup Frangelico liqueur, to drizzle

Dark and white fair trade chocolate shavings, for decoration

1/8 cup flour, unbleached and organic

1/8 cup butter, organic


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy.

Add melted chocolate and vanilla; beat for three minutes.

Add eggs one at a time. Scrape down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula and beat for three minutes. Mix in dry ingredients in two batches, alternating with cold water. Beat for 1.5 minute after each addition to incorporate the ingredients, mixing until a smooth batter has been achieved. Coat two 9-inch-round spring-form cake pans with butter and dust with flour.

Cut two circles of parchment paper to fit the pan bottoms and place them inside the pans; then butter the paper just because. Pour batter into pans, smooth the surface with a spatula. Pans should be 2/3 full. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

Cool 40 minutes. Turn cakes out of pans, remove paper. Drizzle with a few tablespoons of Frangelico.

With a spatula, spread 1/2 cup butter cream on top one layer. Start in the center and work outwardly, making sure that frosting is evenly spread. Place the second layer on top of first and spread frosting over the top, leaving the sides exposed – not frosted.

Refrigerate 5 minutes before decorating.

With a micro-plane grater, scrape some shavings from, small blocks of dark and white chocolate over the top of the cake.

Chill for 5 additional minutes, remove, cut and serve.

Chef’s tip – Use a bamboo skewer or a small knife to check that the cake is cooked. A little bit underdone is OK and will add some extra decadence to the final product.

Optional – You can use small pastry molds to make mini versions of this cake. Assembly will be identical, just that the molds will be smaller and more numerous.

Additional garnishes may include fresh raspberries, blackberries, or a fresh fruit coulis and vanilla ice cream to round out this over the top chocolate experience.

Chunky chocolate butter cream frosting (Prep time: 10 minutes)

3.5 cups powdered sugar

8 tablespoons hot water

4.5 ounces 70% fair trade dark chocolate, melted and slightly cooled

1 teaspoon fresh vanilla seeds

1/2 stick unsalted organic butter, at room temperature

1/4 cup fair trade dark chocolate chunks, chopped

In the bowl of an electric mixer, dissolve the sugar and water at low speed. Beat in dark chocolate and vanilla. Add butter in small bits. Mix thoroughly. Using a spatula, fold in the chopped chocolate. Remove and reserve to frost the cakes.

]]> 0
Grilled swordfish tacos Fri, 09 Sep 2011 16:18:32 +0000

8 two ounce pieces of swordfish, 1.5”x3.5”
2 ounces lime juice
4 tablespoons Cajun seasoning, use your favorite brand
4 ounces red cabbage, shredded
8 ounces salsa fresca, se recipe below
8 ounces ranch salad dressing
8 corn tortillas
4 lime wedges, for garnish
2 ounces grated cheddar cheese

This is a very easy recipe to prepare, the success comes with buying the best swordfish possible.

1. Marinate the swordfish with lime juice for 20 minutes. Dry the swordfish and dust with the Cajun seasoning and grill two minutes on each side.

2. Heat the tortillas in a pan, using as little oil as possible.

3. Place two tortillas on a plate and top with the red cabbage, salsa fresca and ranch dressing. Place two pieces of fish on top and finish with the grated cheddar cheese. Repeat set up for the other plates.

4. Place a lime wedge under one end of the tortilla. Serve!

Salsa fresca

1 pound tomatoes, chopped
2 ounces onion, chopped
1 ounce green onion, chopped
1 ounce cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon salt

Mix well and serve.Serves 4

Executive Corporate Chef
Brigantine Seafood
Seven locations throughout San Diego

]]> 0
Three cheese mac and cheese Thu, 01 Sep 2011 20:00:28 +0000

2 cups heavy cream (or milk)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 yellow onion
2 bay leaves
2 each whole cloves or pinch of ground cloves
Pinch of nutmeg
1/2 pound mascarpone cheese
1 pound cheddar cheese
1/2 pound aged white cheddar
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
Salt to taste

Place onion, bay leaves, nutmeg, cloves and cream in a pot. Simmer for about 15 minutes (without reducing). In a sauté pan, heat butter and add flour to make a roux. Cook for a few minutes and whisk roux into cream mixture and incorporate to thicken. Set the stove to low to thicken without burning the bottom of the pot. Strain through to remove lumps, onion and bay leaves.

Add mascarpone while the cream mixture is still hot. Incorporate all the cheeses and season to your liking.

Executive Chef
The Steakhouse at Azul La Jolla
1250 Prospect Street
La Jolla, CA 92037

]]> 0
Soaking your meat (and fish) Thu, 18 Aug 2011 18:06:46 +0000

Marinated shrimp

Marinating food is the key to getting more intense flavors in the finished product at the table. While all kinds of foods can be marinated, the process is usually associated with meats and fish. The one thing about marinades is that you need to plan ahead. Meats usually require a minimum of two hours for the marinating process, while fish requires at least a half-hour.

There are some essential rules to ensure that you are soaking your meat in something that will ultimately be flavorful. First, there must be an acidic or enzymatic element like citrus, vinegar, pineapple or wine. Then there is an addition of an oil, herbs and/or spices to complete the flavor profile.

Making a marinade allows you to exercise your creativity. You can add garlic, onion, zest, shallots, paprika, cilantro or any herb or spice that you enjoy. You can also use oil that has a flavor profile of its own; try peanut, sesame, walnut, grape seed or even chili oil to add additional flavor.

The most important ingredient in the marinade is the acid because it helps to break down the meat. So no matter what you need – citrus, vinegar, wine or an enzymatic like pineapple, mango or kiwi, once the tissue in the meat has broken down, moisture is absorbed. Therefore you get a much juicier and tender end product from the grill, broiler or sauté pan.

It is important to marinate foods in glass, ceramic or stainless steel containers to ensure that the flavor of the food is not affected by the container. Resealable freezer bags are also a great option. Never marinate foods in aluminum as it will negatively affect the taste of the end product.

Recommended marinating times:

• Fish/shellfish: 30 minutes to one hour

• Boneless chicken breast: Up to three hours

• Pork loin: Up to four hours

• Lamb: Four to eight hours

• Beef: Up to 24 hours

• Full turkey/chicken: Eight to 12 hours

Note: Times should be shorter for smaller cuts of meat and longer for roasts and full birds.

Always cover and refrigerate foods while they are marinating. The food should be completely submersed in the marinade or it will be necessary to turn the food over halfway through to ensure the flavor is getting into all of the meat or fish. Remember, if you marinate fish or shellfish for longer than an hour you will end up with ceviche! The fish begins to “cook” from the acid in the marinade, so be sure never to marinate fish longer than an hour.

It is customary to discard marinades after the food is removed. However, some marinades can be brought to a boil for five minutes and then used to baste the meat, or fish while cooking.

Once you are ready to cook, it should be noted that foods that have been marinated may have shorter cooking times than foods that have not been marinated. So check on your meat or fish frequently to avoid overcooking.

lgbt weekly recipe

No fuss marinated grilled chicken

4-6 boneless chicken breasts
1 bottle of Girard’s Champagne Dressing (Yes, it’s cheating but it works great!)

Place chicken in a glass, ceramic or stainless steel bowl. Cover with champagne dressing. Marinate up to three hours, but a minimum of one hour. Grill. Enjoy!

Easy pork chop marinade

1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons distilled rice vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
3/4 cup olive oil
2 green onions, chopped
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
4 six ounce pork chops

Mix all the ingredients, except pork chops, in a glass, ceramic or stainless steel bowl. Place meat in a large resealable bag. Pour in marinade. Place in the refrigerator for 4 hours, turning the bag over halfway through. Grill to your desired doneness. Chow down!

]]> 0
Chilled roast vegetable salad Thu, 18 Aug 2011 18:00:43 +0000

8 ounces fresh mozzarella pearls (no liquid)
6 ounces shelled, blanched edamame
6 ounces sliced roasted or canned artichoke hearts or bottoms
2 ounces sliced red onion
4 ounces roasted, seeded yellow tomato wedges
4 ounces roasted, peeled red bell pepper strips
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 ounces olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Combine all ingredients. Serve over fresh spinach leaves.

(Serves 4-6)

Executive Chef
Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza
Locations throughout San Diego

]]> 0
Thai one on Thu, 11 Aug 2011 19:34:02 +0000

The San Diego food scene has quite a few Thai restaurants. I would say more than most cities, which is an indication of our large Asian/Pacific Islander population and more importantly, how great Thai food tastes.

Thai cuisine is from the country of Thailand and is known for its strong aromatic components like basil. Thai food is also noted for its spiciness, which can be super hot or mildly spicy dependent upon your need for heat. The other prominent flavors are sweet, sour and salty.

It is always a joy to experiment in the kitchen, but cooking Asian dishes can be somewhat intimidating. Over the years, I have found that you can make easy, delicious Thai dishes with a tolerable amount of effort and a few exotic staples from the Asian section of the local grocery store. As you get more adventurous and comfortable with the cuisine, there are a myriad of Asian grocery stores in San Diego where you can easily find unusual ingredients like fresh coriander or curry leaves.

Of course, just like with any cuisine there are very complex Thai dishes. However, there are also elegant dishes that have a manageable amount of ingredients and can be made in 20 minutes or less. The first time that you make a Thai dish, you are making an investment in Thai kitchen staples.

For example, many recipes require oyster sauce, fish sauce or curry paste. Once purchased, these stock items can be used over and over again when preparing Thai dishes. So don’t be concerned about buying a bottle of fish sauce, you will get many meals out of it.

For the beer drinkers out there, Thai food is made for you. Beer is the perfect complement for a Thai meal. If you can find a beer like Singha, go for it … it is what many Thai natives drink.

A wine pairing can be difficult to choose due to the complexity of Thai flavors. Generally, a Pinot Grigio/Gris or Sauvignon Blanc works well with the sweet and spicy components of Thai dishes. However, red wines are quite popular in Thailand and offer some good pairings. Always consider a nice Pinot Noir or Merlot when choosing a red wine.

So if you are ready, let’s Thai one on with the following delicious shrimp recipe!

lgbt weekly recipe

Thai red curry shrimp

13 oz can of coconut milk unsweetened
1 tablespoon red curry paste
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup Thai, or regular, eggplant cubed
1 Thai chili or Serrano chili thinly sliced (optional)
Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 pound shrimp
2 tablespoons basil

Shake the can of coconut milk, open and pour into a large saucepan. Add red curry paste and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 8 minutes. Red curry paste and coconut milk should be completely smooth with no visible chunks. Add fish sauce, brown sugar, Thai chili, eggplant and 1/3 cup water or chicken stock. Simmer until eggplant is soft. Taste the mixture for heat. If not hot enough, add a pinch of red chili flakes. If too hot, add 1/3 cup water or chicken stock.

Add 1/2 pound uncooked shrimp. Cook until all shrimp have turned pink. Stir in basil. Serve immediately over rice, preferably jasmine rice.

]]> 0
Thai crispy calamari Thu, 21 Jul 2011 19:19:47 +0000

2 clean tubes squid, sliced 2” by 2”
Gogi flour (Thai tempura flour)
2 tablespoons sweet Thai chili sauce
1 tablespoon vinegar
Fried red onion (thin sliced)

First, make the sauce by mixing the Thai chili sauce with the vinegar. The Thai chili sauce has a sweet and spicy flavor while the vinegar adds some sour flavor on top. Adjust the ratio as you like.

Mix the squid with the flour. Then fry in hot oil until it is cooked. Set it on a pan.

Cook the squid with the pre-mixed sauce in the pan until they are well mixed in.

Garnish with fried onion and crispy Thai basil leaves as you like.

Chedi Thai Bistro
737 Pearl St., Ste. 110
La Jolla, CA 92037

]]> 0
Pistachio bread pudding with warm caramel sauce Thu, 30 Jun 2011 19:17:14 +0000

Great for a dinner party. (Serves 12)

For the pudding

1 quart manufacturing cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup granulated sugar
5 whole eggs
3 egg yolks
1 cup coarsely ground pistachios
1 brioche bread loaf
Pinch of salt

In a pot bring the cream, vanilla and half the sugar to a boil. In a separate mixing bowl combine the eggs and the remaining half of the sugar and salt. Grind the pistachios and dice the bread.

Combine all the ingredients in a half hotel baking pan and incorporate all the ingredients. Bake at 350 degrees, covered with foil, for up to an hour. Pick the custard to readiness it should come out clean. Cool for three hours before cutting.

For the caramel sauce

You will have extra but I assure you this is the perfect sauce!
1⁄2 cup water
35 1⁄4 ounces granulated sugar
1 quart manufacturing cream
3 1⁄2 ounces unsalted butter
1⁄4 ounce Grand Marnier
2 big pinches of salt

Place the water into a pot and evenly pour the sugar on top. Cook at mid-high on the range. The sugar takes two forms- first it crystallizes then cooks back down (changing in color). You can briefly shake the pan to ensure even cooking but do not stir! Let it do its thing! Once you start to get an even golden color (shaking the pot in a circular motion) and all of the sugar crystals are dissolved and it looks like a caramel sauce, then add your hot cream. Do not add cold fat to hot sugar! Whisk and let it steam out the water from the cream. By then it should look even and no longer bubbling. Finish with butter, Grand Marnier and salt.

Executive Chef
West Coast Tavern
2895 University Ave.
San Diego, CA 92104

]]> 0
Seared macadamia nut-crusted ahi tuna Thu, 16 Jun 2011 17:35:07 +0000

Seared macadamia nut-crusted ahi tuna

For the tuna

4 ounces ahi tuna
Handful of salted macadamia nuts

Press crushed nuts into filet and sear evenly.

For the yam

1 sweet yam boiled, ice bathed

For the salsa

1 mango, diced
1/4 cup of julienned red onion
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1 habanero chile, finely julienned sliced, use half or to taste
4 tablespoons of lemon juice
Salt to taste

Mix all ingredients

Slice sweet yam into two spears and line down center of plate. Add a small mound of mixed greens of choice on top of spears.

Slice seared fish in two, revealing raw tuna to exterior of plate. Spoon salsa over fish. Add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (or premium extra virgin olive oil) and soy sauce. Sprinkle fresh black pepper over top.

Pair with a lean, austere white wine of choice. Stand back and watch the sparks fly.

Wet Stone Wine Bare
1927 Fourth Ave.
San Diego, CA 92101

]]> 0
Slow roasted lamb with Moroccan couscous Thu, 09 Jun 2011 17:10:01 +0000

Slow roasted lamb with Moroccan couscous by Executive Chef Nicolas Bour

Serves 6

For the lamb

2 boneless lamb loins (preferably domestic) tied with butchers twine
6 teaspoons fresh peeled garlic finely chopped
6 teaspoons fresh peeled shallots chopped
2 tablespoons toasted cumin seeds
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 stalks fresh rosemary rough chopped
3 stalks fresh thyme de-stemmed and rough chopped
1 pepper mill with tellicherry peppercorns

Mix the oil, garlic, shallots, cumin, rosemary and thyme with the oil. Place the lamb loin in a glass baking dish and pour the marinade over the lamb. Grind some fresh black pepper to lightly coat the loin.

Cover tightly with plastic and refrigerate for four to 24 hours.

(Chefs tip: Never use salt in a marinade for red meat, as it leeches out the moisture and makes the protein tough.)

Cooking the lamb: Remove the lamb from the marinade and ensure that all the herbs, garlic and seasoning are removed, as they will burn in the pan.

Preheat an oven to 250 degrees.

Heat a thick bottomed frying pan to medium high heat; sear the lamb on all sides until golden brown. Roast the lamb loin in the 250 degree oven for 18-20 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 125 degrees on an instant read thermometer.

Slice the lamb and arrange on a plate with the couscous and sausages. A lamb jus or yoghurt sauce can be made for this dish.

For the couscous

3 cups Moroccan style couscous
3-1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
3 teaspoons finely chopped mint
2 tablespoons toasted marcona almonds
1 tablespoon golden raisins and dried red currants mixed
Kosher salt
2 links of grilled merguez (spicy lamb sausage) cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Plastic wrap

Place the couscous in a metal mixing bowl and add the raisins and currants. Meanwhile in a small saucepan, bring the stock to a boil. Pour the hot stock over the couscous and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow enough time for all the stock to absorb into the grains; this usually takes around five minutes. Remove the plastic wrap and using a fork loosen up the grains until the couscous is fluffy. Warm up the grilled merguez and mix in along with the almonds.

Executive Chef
El Bizcocho At Rancho Bernardo Inn
17550 Bernardo Oaks Drive
San Diego, CA 92128


]]> 0
Ancho chili veal skewers with jicama-chayote slaw Thu, 02 Jun 2011 20:09:29 +0000

Satisfy summer barbecue cravings with Chef Sean Magee’s tender ancho chili marinated veal skewers. Prepped in advance and easy to cook, this savory, seasoned skirt steak recipe kicks things up a notch with added spice. Paired with a crisp jicama-chayote slaw, this combo keeps it cool and simple yet skillful enough to please even the most refined palates. (Serves 4)

For the skewers

3 lbs. veal skirt steak (beef skirt can be substituted)
48 cherry tomatoes
48 crimini mushrooms
16 10-inch wood skewers (soaked in water for 12 hours)

For the marinade

1 lb. ancho chiles
3 shallots
6 garlic cloves
1 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon salt

For the slaw

1 large jicama
2 chayotes
2 yellow peppers
3 carrots
1 medium red onion
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt

First, remove the stems from the ancho chiles and discard. Chop up the chiles (rough chop), shallots and peeled garlic cloves and put into a blender cup. Pour in the olive oil and salt, cover and blend on high speed until the ingredients become a rough paste (approximately 90 seconds). Remove and reserve.

Cut the skirt steak into 1 ounce pieces (roughly 1-1/2 inch long) and mix with the marinade. Wash the tomatoes in cold water, brush off the mushrooms as needed. Begin making the skewers by alternating a tomato, piece of veal and a crimini mushroom on each skewer. Each one should end up with three tomatoes, three mushrooms and three pieces of veal. Repeat this process until you have 16 skewers completed. Place skewers into a container with a lid and into the refrigerator.

While the skewers continue to marinate, prepare the slaw as follows:

Peel the carrots and jicama, remove the stems and seeds from the peppers. Julienne the peppers, jicama, red onion and carrots. Place into a large mixing bowl and add the mayonnaise, Dijon, vinegar and salt. Gently toss the ingredients until the slaw is mixed well. Cover and refrigerate.

Fire up the barbecue; clean the grill and let it get really hot. Place the skewers on the grill and cook to your desired degree of doneness. While the skewers are cooking, garnish four plates with the slaw and cross the skewers over the top of the slaw before serving.

Executive Chef
Proper Gastropub
795 J Street
San Diego, CA 92101

]]> 1