Today's story by Rachel Hammel, "Hail to the Chef" features interviews with respected San Francisco chefs who lead the helm at four renowned restaurants. Matthew Dolan (25 Lusk), Mark Dommen (One Market Restaurant), Matthew Accarino (SPQR), and Jason Berthold (RN74) each provided recipes with Rachel to share with you. We hope that you'll give each one of these recipes a try.
Spaghetti with peas, sea urchin and horseradish by Matthew Accarrino
Cook spaghetti in boiling salted water, add peas and or sugar-snap peas into the water in the last few minutes. Drain and transfer to a pan reserving a bit of the cooking water. Melt in a pat of butter, add some sea urchin, and break up into the pasta. Over the flame, add a bit of pasta cooking water. Bring the sauce together and finish with a squeeze of lemon and a grating of fresh horseradish.
Braised Short Ribs of Beef by Matthew Dolan
Serves 4 (depending on ratio of meat to bone. Ask your butcher for 2” cut meaty ribs closer to the sixth rib with the least amount of connective tissue – they originate from the sixth between the tenth, and he will charge you the same price for those that are mostly bone and tissue. Ask to pick them yourself and go for the meatiest ones as they shrink in size significantly)
4 lb beef short ribs as previously described
6 qts veal/beef stock (sodium-free if possible)
500 ml red wine
100 ml sherry vinegar
2 carrots, peeled and roughly cut
2 stalks celery, peeled and roughly cut
2 yellow onions, peeled and roughly cut
1 bulb of garlic, simply sliced in two horizontally
2 sprigs of thyme
¼ lb mushrooms
2 sprigs of parsley
1 bay leaf
10 black peppercorns
Cooking oil (not olive oil – anything else is fine as olive oil burns easily)
½ cup cornstarch (if veal/beef stock is not very gelatinous)
Tools: aluminum foil, sauté pan, deep baking or roasting pan, fine mesh strainer, wooden spoon, tongs, tasting spoon, whisk, mixing bowl, measuring cups
· Season ribs with salt and sear in a sauté pan using a generous amount of cooking oil and coloring all sides, until they are a dark brown. Place in a deep baking pan
· Reserve the sauté pan but discard the cooking oil. While it is still hot, add the sherry vinegar and reduce by half.
· Add the red wine and simmer until the alcohol has been removed. Let this liquid cool
· Preheat oven to 300⁰F
· Place all of the above ingredients into the pan with the seared ribs except for the salt and cornstarch (cut veggies, mushrooms, wine/vinegar mixture, herbs, peppercorns, etc.).
· Note: if you are using a store-bought beef broth or stock, do not add any salt to this pan of meat and veggies, as the store bought stuff usually contains a lot of salt. If you have a butcher shop, Whole Foods, or make it yourself, add 1Tblsp of salt.
· Now your oven is hot and you have a pan full of beef, veggies, stock, and everything else. Remove a half-cup of the liquid while it is cool and mix cornstarch into it until it forms a paste – you will need this paste later.
· Cover the pan with foil and place in the over for about six hours. Depending on the type of beef the time could vary, but nothing less than six hours.
· Check the pan every 30-45 minutes. If the oven runs hot and the liquid seems to be evaporating quickly, add a cup of water and lower your temperature.
· The ribs are ready when they appear to be very soft and easily shredded from the bone
· When they are done, allow to cool for 20 minutes, and then gently remove the ribs from the pan leaving everything else behind
· Using a mesh strainer, strain the liquid into a pot and discard the solids
· Reduce this liquid slowly, and taste it to see if the flavors need to be further concentrated
· Using a whisk, incorporate the original liquid and starch paste into the reducing liquid and allow it to thicken – gelatin from the ribs will also thicken, so you may want to add this slowly. If it gets too thick, a little water will thin it out.
· Now season this with the desired amount of salt, add a splash of sherry vinegar (or more if you wish) and pour this over the ready ribs
· Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 10 days
Beer Can Chicken by Mark Dommen
For the beer-can chicken, first take a can of beer, open it and enjoy about half the beer. Then take a chicken, I like a Rocky Jr.’s, and season the chicken with salt and pepper on the inside and outside. I usually pick some fresh thyme and savory from my garden and stuff the cavity with it. Then I push the beer can with the top up into the cavity of the chicken and becomes like a tri-pod so the chicken can stand up. Two legs and the beer can. Build a wood or charcoal fire in your BBQ; when hot, push the hot coals to one side place the chicken standing up on the beer can onto the grill with the breasts facing the hot coals. Cover the grill with the lid. Takes about 45minutes to an hour to cook the chicken at around 325-350 degrees. It doesn’t take that big of a fire to heat a grill to that temperature.
Grilled Mahi with Salsa Verde by Mark Dommen
Serves 4 people
4 x 6 oz portions of mahi
1 cup capers
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1-2 lemons, zest
Lemon juice, to taste
Sugar, to taste
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon chili flake, or to taste
½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
Sherry vinegar, to taste
Herbs to finish (A nice combination works great):
Heat the grill and make sure it has been cleaned. Brush the mahi with olive oil and season with salt and pepper just before you place it on the grill. If you season it too early, the salt will draw some of the moisture out of the fish and this will cause the fish to stick to the grill.
For the vinaigrette, sweat the shallots in the olive oil. Allow the shallots to cool and to that, add the rest of the ingredients. Make sure that it is seasoned well and the flavors in balance. Finish the sauce with a nice mixture of chopped herbs.
Grill the mahi to a nice medium, still slightly opaque in the center, and serve with the salsa verde on the side.
Country bread with fromage blanc, apriums, wild arugula and elderflower syrup by Jason Berthold
Serves 2 people
2 pcs country bread
6 oz fromage blanc, goat cheese, burrata, or ricotta
6 oz apriums, or apricots
2 oz wild arugula
1 oz elderflower syrup
· Season the bread with olive oil, salt and pepper and grill on both sides, then cut into bite size pieces
· Remove the pits from the apriums and cut into quarters or eights depending on size.
· Place some of the cheese on each piece of grilled bread, then the apriums on top.
· Drizzle with Elderflower Syrup and top with wild arugula.
· Mix together 300g sugar & 400 g white verjus, warmed just enough to dissolve sugar. Add as many elderflower blossoms as you can find (ideally 2 ounces). Allow to steep a minimum of two weeks.
Halibut with porcinis, steamed asparagus and sunchokes by Jason Berthold
Serves 2 people
Two 6 oz pcs Alaskan halibut
8 oz fresh porcini mushrooms, cut in half
10-12 pcs California asparagus, peeled
8 oz sunchokes, scrubbed clean, cut into ½” pieces
8 oz butter
10 sprigs thyme
4 ea garlic cloves
6 T. crème fraiche
3 ea egg yolks
4 oz vin jaune or Fino sherry
4 oz clarified butter
· Place the sunchokes in a pot covered with cold water, a pinch of salt, one sprig of thyme, and small bit of butter. Simmer on medium heat until the sunchokes are cooked tender, about 20 minutes.
· To make the sabayon, place the egg yolks, wine, and a pinch of salt in a mixing bowl set over simmering water. Whisk vigorously until the mixture changes to a pale yellow color, thickens and aerates. Slowly stream in the clarified butter with the heat off. Season with lemon juice and a splash more of the wine. Keep in a warm place.
· To finish the sunchokes: remove the thyme and pour off any excess water. Heat over medium high heat and add the crème fraiche to the pan and mash with a fork. Keep warm.
· To roast the mushrooms: heat a sauté pan with canola oil until almost smoking, place the mushrooms cut side down in a single layer and cook over medium high heat until they begin to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Lower the heat and add in 2 tablespoons of butter, two whole garlic cloves, and 4 sprigs of thyme. Baste the mushrooms as the butter starts to melt and season with salt and pepper. Once the mushrooms are cooked pour, off the excess fat and discard the garlic and thyme. Keep warm.
· To roast the fish: heat a sauté pan with canola oil until almost smoking, place the halibut in the pan over medium high heat until it begins to caramelize, about 5 minutes, depending on thickness. Lower the heat and add in 2 tablespoons of butter, two whole garlic cloves, and 4 sprigs of thyme. Baste the halibut with the foamy butter until it is cooked about 75% of the way through on the first side. Carefully flip the fish over and allow to rest in the warm fat until cooked to your desired degree of doneness.
· Steam the asparagus as the fish is nearly finished cooking. Keep warm.
· To assemble: Place the crushed sunchokes on the plate, arrange the asparagus and mushrooms around, fish on top, and sauce on the plate.