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Sneak a Taste of Chicago Toast of the Town

Monday, April 27th, 2009 at 4:25:18 PM
by Erika S., Wine Enthusiast Companies

We are only a few days away from our exciting Toast of the Town Chicago, this Thursday at the Field Museum. To whet your palates, we’ve asked some of the chefs from participating restaurants to send us recipes and photos of some of the featured dishes they will be serving. Today we have seared scallops with artichokes in 3 styles from Lockwood Restaurant and roasted vegetable, hearts of palm and carrot mousse terrine with caramelized popcorn coulis from Carlos’. Give these recipes a try at home, then taste the real thing this Thursday! Tickets are still available, $75 for a limited time.

 Scallop with Artichokes in 3 Styles from Lockwood Restaurant
2 PortionsScallop with Artichokes from Lockwood
1# (8-10 ea)        U-10 sea scallops; sushi grade (or dry pack); mussel removed
2 oz            brown butter (recipe follows)
½ oz          almonds; blanched and sliced
½ oz          golden raisins
½ ea          lime; segmented and diced
to taste      kosher salt
to taste      white pepper; freshly ground
2 oz            artichoke puree (recipe follows)
1 recipe      baby artichokes (recipe follows)
1 recipe      artichoke chips (recipe follows)
1 recipe      almond foam (recipe follows)
to garnish   micro peppercress

Ingredients for the Artichoke Puree:
12 ea    artichokes; medium sized (see below for cleaning)
1 ea            lemon
2 oz            extra virgin olive oil
1 ea            shallot; peeled and rough cut
5 cloves     garlic; peeled and crushed
2 oz            dry white wine
1 cup          vegetable stock; hot (water can be substituted)
to taste      salt
to taste      white pepper; freshly ground

Note: This recipe makes more than the required amount, but it is too difficult to make less… besides, the remaining puree can be frozen and is great as a soup or ravioli base!

Ingredients for the Baby Artichokes:

3 ea            baby artichokes (see below for cleaning)
½ ea          lemon
1 oz            extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp           garlic; peeled and chopped
2 oz            dry white wine
4 cup          vegetable stock; hot (water can be substituted)
to taste      salt
to taste      white pepper; freshly ground

Ingredients for the Artichoke Chips:
2 ea            baby artichokes (see below for cleaning)
for dusting  Wondra (or all purpose) flour
for frying    olive-canola blended oil (can substitute with canola oil)
to taste       kosher salt

Ingredients for the Almond Foam:
¼ cup            almonds; whole
1 cups            water
1 Tblspn        soy lecithin (available at nutritional stores)
pinch            kosher salt

Lockwood Restaurant

Preparation for Cleaning Artichokes:
•    Eliminate the outer leaves, bending them and snapping them off, until you reach leaves that are half yellow (toward the base) and half green (toward the tip). Greener, tougher leaves are not edible.
•    Cut off the end of the stem, leaving it about 1 inch (2.5 cm) long.
•    Cut off the tip of the central cone, to eliminate the tougher green end of the leaves and obtain a flat surface.
•    Clean the outside of the stem, peeling it with a sharp knife. Uniformly pare the base of the leaves.
•    Small “baby” artichokes should be fully edible. Unfortunately, especially when bigger artichokes are used tough inedible “chokes” are present. If necessary, scoop away the inside chokes with the tip of a knife or a small spoon, until you reach the tender part of the artichoke.
•    After cleaning each artichoke, rub the outside of the artichoke with half-lemon and then place the artichoke in a bowl filled with lemon water. Placing the artichoke in lemon water will prevent it from discoloring. For baby artichokes, cut in half, slice into eighths and return to acidulated water.

Preparation for the Artichoke Puree:
•    In a non-reactive sautoir, heat the extra virgin olive oil over medium high heat.
•    Drain the artichokes, pat dry with a towel, and carefully add to the olive oil off of the heat to avoid igniting.
•    Return to heat and add the garlic and the shallots. Season with salt.
•    Cook for a couple of minutes to awaken the flavors of the garlic and shallot.
•    Deglaze the pan with the white wine and reduce until the alcohol has evaporated or until reduced by about ¾.
•    Add the hot vegetable stock (or water) and bring quickly to a boil.
•    Simmer strongly for about 12-15 minutes or until artichokes are tender.
•    Strain and reserve liquid.
•    While still hot, place in Vita-Mix blender and blend on medium speed while slowly adding the reserved liquid to create a smooth and ‘spoonable’ consistency.
•    Pass through a fine meshed sieve and reserve warm.

Preparation for the Baby Artichokes:

•    In a non-reactive sautoir, heat the extra virgin olive oil over medium high heat.
•    Drain the artichokes, pat dry with a towel, and carefully add to the olive oil off of the heat to avoid igniting.
•    Return the pan to high heat and add the chopped garlic. Stir to awaken.
•    When the pan has reached a high temperature – but without browning the artichokes – add salt and white wine. The white wine should create a loud ‘pop’ when hitting the pan.
•    Reduce the wine until the alcohol evaporates or by about two-thirds.
•    Add the hot vegetable stock or water to cover the artichokes.
•    Return to a boil as fast as possible and lower the heat to a strong simmer.
•    Cook for about 10-12 minutes or until fork tender.
•    Reserve warm.

Preparation for the Artichoke Chips:

•    Heat the canola-olive oil blend to 275˚ F.
•    Remove the cleaned baby artichoke from the acidulated water, cut in half lengthwise and slice as thin as possible with a French knife.
•    Lightly dust with the Wondra or all purpose flour. Shake off excess and place in the oil blend.
•    When the artichokes begin to turn light golden brown, remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and spread out over paper toweling.
•    Immediately season with salt and set aside.

Preparation for the Almond Foam:

•    In a Vita-Mix blender, combine all ingredients and process on high speed for about 2 minutes until well blended.
•    Transfer to a non-reactive sauce pot or bain marie. It is important that the mixture does not come up more than half way up the vessel. Heat to about 120˚ F. Keep warm.


•    In a heavy gauged sauté pan, heat the brown butter to the smoking point.
•    Season the scallops on both sides with the salt and white pepper and sear in the pan to a deep golden brown. Be sure that the pan being used is large enough and that the scallops fit comfortably.
•    Flip each of the scallops and cook the second side to a deep golden brown.
•    Transfer to a pan or plate fitted with a wire rack. The scallops should be cookd no more than medium rare.
•    Remove the baby artichokes from its cooking liquid and dry on paper toweling and add to the pan away from the heat.
•    Return the pan to the heat and add the sliced almonds. Allow to toast while constantly stirring.
•    Add the golden raisins and lime segments, adjust seasoning and keep warm.
•    To serve, draw a straight line down the middle of a square plate with the artichoke puree.
•    Place the baby artichokes across the length of the puree.
•    Next place the scallops across the length of the puree and baby artichokes.
•    Top each scallop with the golden raisins, almonds and diced lime. Lightly spoon some of the brown butter around the dish.
•    Barely submerge a hand held blender into the top of the almond foam and process for about 5 seconds. Remove the hand blender and a foam should hold at the top of the mixture.
•    Using a spoon, remove some of the foam from the top and spoon across the scallops.
•    Garnish the foam with leaves of peppercress and the artichoke chips.


Roasted Vegetable, Hearts of Palm and Carrot Mousse Terrine with Caramelized Popcorn Coulis from Carlos’ Restaurant

Serves 6

3    Zucchini, sliced thin and roasted
4    Yellow Squash, sliced thin and roasted
2    med.  Sweet Potato, sliced thin and roasted
6    Purple Potatoes, sliced thin and roasted
8    Carrots
1    can Hearts of Palm
-cook carrots in water with a little salt and butter until tender
-puree in food processor and add gelatin, check seasoning
-take out the center of the hearts of palm and pipe the carrot mousse in the
-layer vegetable alternately in bottom of terrine mold lined with plastic wrap
-when terrine is half full place hearts of palm down the middle
-continue layering vegetables until full and cover with plastic wrap
-place a sheet pan on top of terrine and weight it down with canned goods
-cool for 4 hours

1       quart of popcorn
½      cup of sugar
1    cup of milk
¼      cup of red wine vinegar

-caramelize sugar in pan, add vinegar and popcorn
-add milk reduce to desired consistency
-puree in blender and season
-season and add 2 drops of tabasco sauce

Caramelized Carrot Mousse
4    lg.            Carrots, cooked in water, butter and sugar
4    lg.            Carrots, juiced
5                Gelatin sheets, softened in warm water
Puree carrots in blender and add carrot juice.
Add gelatin.
Season to taste.

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