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Charlie Trotter Cooks at Home

Recipe Source:
Charlie Trotter
Cooks at Home

by Charlie Trotter, © 2000,
Ten Speed Press, Berkeley


“This is a wonderful spring or summer menu, light, and simple to
prepare. It is one of those meals that is great shared among friends.
The timing is not crucial, as much of the meal can be prepared in
advance, and conversation can rule the evening.”


Shrimp with Spicy Fruit Salsa
serves 4

1/2 cup diced mango
1/2 cup diced papaya
1/2 cup diced fresh pineapple
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 Thai chile, seeded and minced

8 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil

To prepare the Salsa:  Combine the mango, papaya, and pineapple in a medium bowl. Whisk together the orange juice, lime juice, cilantro, olive
oil and Thai chile in a small bowl and pour the mixture over the fruit.
Toss lightly to coat the fruit.
To prepare the shrimp
:  Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and
cook in a very hot sauté pan with the canola oil for 1 to 2 minutes on
each side, or until just cooked.
Spoon some of the fruit salsa onto each plate and top with 2 shrimp.

Insights:  Thai chiles are small, dark green peppers with a lot of heat.
They are available in many grocery stores, but if they aren’t available
in your area, use jalapenos instead.

Wine Suggestion:  Spätlese Riesling offers a sweetness to complement
the fruit and foil the spice.


Olive Oil-Poached Cod with Roasted
Tomatoes and Broccoli Rabe
serves 4

3 large tomatoes
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar *
2 sprigs thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 bunch broccoli rabe, cleaned and blanched
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 cups extra virgin olive oil
Four 5-ounce cod fillets, skinned

* Balsamic vinegars are aged for varying lengths of time, and their virtues increase with age. Some balsamic vinegars are aged for as long as 100 years. The longer
it is aged, the smoother and more syrupy the vinegar will be. Most grocery stores carry 5- and 12-year-old balsamic vinegars, with the older varieties usually sold
in gourmet food stores. It is worth the money to buy, at minimum, the 12-year-old variety. It will make an enormous difference in the final flavor of any dish.

To prepare the tomatoes:  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bring a
large pot of water to a boil. Blanch the tomatoes in the boiling water for
30 seconds and then peel off the skins. Cut each tomato into 8 wedges,
place in a small roasting pan and toss lightly with the garlic cloves, olive
oil, balsamic vinegar, and thyme. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft. Remove the tomatoes from the pan, season to taste
with salt and pepper, and keep warm. Strain the cooking liquid through a
fine-mesh sieve and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Keep warm.
To prepare the broccoli rabe
:  Cook the broccoli rabe in the butter in a
small sauté pan over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until warm. Season
to taste with salt and pepper.
To prepare the cod
:  Warm the olive oil in a medium saucepan over a
very low flame to 120 degrees F. Season both sides of the fish with salt
and pepper and place in the warm oil. The oil should cover the fish. Cook
for 9 minutes, turn the fish over and cook for an additional 9 minutes, or
until just done.

Place some of the roasted tomatoes in the center of each plate and top
with a piece of fish. Arrange the broccoli rabe around the plate and
drizzle the tomato cooking liquid over the fish and around the plate.

Insights:  Poaching in oil may sound like it would produce oil-soaked fish,
but it actually seals in the juices and results in tender, moist fillet. It is a
good cooking technique for firmer fish such as cod, swordfish, or salmon.
The key is for the oil to be warm, but not hot. Keep the thermometer in the
oil as the fish is cooking, and adjust the heat to maintain a temperature of
110 to 115 degrees F.

Wine Suggestion:  White Rhône, with its characteristic rich texture and
herbal flair, will handle the earthy vegetables.


Warm Peach Turnovers with
Almond Ice Cream
serves 6

Ice Cream
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup ground almonds
4 egg yolks
6 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
4 ounces cold cream cheese
4 ounces flour (about 3/4 cup)

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
2 peaches, peeled and cut into 12 wedges each
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup crème fraîche

1 egg, lightly beaten
Confectioner’s sugar for dusting

To prepare the ice cream:  Fill a large bowl halfway with ice and cold
water. Combine the cream and almonds in a medium saucepan, bring to
a boil over high heat, and remove from the heat. Whisk together the egg
yolks and sugar in a small bowl and slowly whisk in some of the hot
cream mixture to temper the eggs. Pour the egg mixture into the cream
and cook over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the mixture coats
the back of a spoon and steam rises from the surface. Strain into a bowl through a fine-mesh sieve and cool in the ice-water bath, stirring
occasionally, until chilled. Freeze in an ice cream machine and keep
frozen until ready to use.
To prepare the crust
:  Using an electric mixer or by hand, combine the butter, cream cheese, and flour in a large bowl until it just comes together
(it should have visible streaks of cream cheese). Remove the dough from
the bowl, pat into a disk, and cover in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at
least 1 hour.
On a floured surface, roll out the dough 1/8 inch thick. Cut into 12
2 1/2-inch squares, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.
To prepare the filling
:  Cook the sugar and water in a medium sauté
pan for 10 minutes, or until golden brown and caramelized. Do not stir
the sugar while it is over the heat, or it may crystallize. If it is heating
unevenly, swirl the sugar in the pan a couple of times to even it out,
but don’t stir until it is off the heat. If it does crystallize, throw it away
and start over. Add the lemon juice and crème fraîche and stir well.
Gently stir the peaches into the sugar mixture, remove from the heat,
and cool in the pan. Using a slotted spoon, remove the peaches from
the pan, reserving the sauce.
To prepare the turnovers
:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place
2 peach slices on each dough square. Fold the dough over the peaches
to form a triangle. Brush the very tip of the dough with the egg and
press firmly to seal. Place the turnovers on a baking sheet. Brush the
tops of the turnovers with the egg and bake for 30 minutes, or until
golden brown. Cool slightly and dust with confectioner’s sugar.
Place 2 turnovers back-to-back on each plate and top with a small
scoop of almond ice cream. Drizzle the sauce over the turnovers and
around the plate.

Insights:  These turnovers are fantastic when served warm, but they could
be made ahead and served at room temperature with warm sauce. Plums,
figs and apples would also be delicious.

Wine Suggestion:  Sémillon-based wine, particularly Sauternes, will
mirror the fruit and nut flavors.

Chef Charlie Trotter
More from Charlie Trotter Cooks at Home
Charlie Trotter Cooks at Home - Menu 3
Charlie Trotter Cooks at Home - Menu 4
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