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Five Great Recipes from the City's Best Chefs

Sara Deseran | October 18, 2013 | Story Ingredient

Lolinda’s Chimichurri
Though this classic Argentinean sauce goes well with just about any grilled meats or seafood, Alejandro Morgan serves his take on it with matambre, rolled flap steak stuffed with pickled carrots and spinach. Olive oil makes a fine substitute for the canola oil, should you want to have something with even more flavor. Makes about 1 ½ cups.

1 large bunch Italian parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
1 ½ teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 cup canola or other mild oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Remove the parsley leaves from the stems. Finely chop the leaves and set aside. In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients, barring the oil. Now, using a whisk, slowly pour the oil in, whisking to incorporate. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Lemon Tart with Blackberry Mousse
Aziza pastry chef Melissa Chou makes the process of assembling this rather complicated but gorgeous tart look like a piece of cake. Blackberries are at the tail end of their season, so feel free to use frozen berries in place. If your blackberry puree (made by adding blackberries to a food processor and processing until smooth) is watery, start with 2 cups and reduce it to 1 ½ cups. Makes 1 tart.

3 tablespoons white wine or water
2 ½ teaspoons gelatin powder
1 ½ cups blackberry puree (no sugar added)
1 1/8 cups whipping cream, softly whipped
3 egg yolks
2 1/2 ounces sugar (4 ½ tablespoons)
3 egg whites
3 ounces sugar (6 tablespoons)
Pinch of cream of tartar
Pinch of salt

Bloom the gelatin in the white wine or water. Warm the blackberry puree. Place half of it in a bowl, and dissolve the gelatin in it. In the other bowl (preferably the bowl of a stand mixer), add the remaining half of the puree and then add the yolks and the 2 1/2 ounces of sugar to it. Place this bowl over a bain (a simmering pot of water) and whisk until the mixture reaches 120 degrees F. Place the bowl of blackberry puree, egg yolks, and sugar in the mixer and whip on medium until cool.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the egg whites with a pinch of salt and cream of tartar and the 3 ounces of sugar. Whisk over a bain until 120 degrees F.

When the yolk mixture is finished whipping, place the whites in the mixer and whip on medium low until stiff shiny peaks form. Whisk the puree with the gelatin into the whipped yolk mixture. Gently fold the yolk mixture into the whites, in two additions. Then fold that mixture into the cream in two additions. Reserve in the fridge until set, about 3 hours. To make the tart, gently fold the mousse to loosen and smooth it out and spoon into piping bags.

Lemon Curd with White Chocolate
3/4 cup strained lemon juice
Zest of one lemon
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
5 eggs
1/2 teaspoon gelatin powder
4 ounces chopped white chocolate

Bloom gelatin in about 1 tablespoon of water. Meanwhile, heat lemon juice over a double boiler. Whisk together sugar and eggs. Slowly temper the hot lemon juice into the eggs by whisking while pouring. Return the bowl of the egg mixture back over the double boiler. With the water at a simmer, cook the custard while stirring constantly until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and add the gelatin. Strain through a chinois, or fine meshed strainer, over the white chocolate. Let sit about one minute and then whisk completely to combine. Chill in fridge for at least two hours.

To make the tart: In a prepared tart shell, spread the lemon curd along the bottom, then pipe the blackberry mousse along the top. Garnish with fresh blackberries and maybe some whipped creme fraiche.

A16’s Kohlrabi Salad with Fennel and Fried Capers
A gorgeous and simple fall salad from chef Rocky Maselli of Oakland’s new A16, this would be the star of any Thanksgiving table. Serves 4.

1 kohlrabi, leaves removed, thinly sliced on a mandolin
½ pound arugula
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced on a mandolin
1 shallot, thinly sliced on a mandolin
Freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste
Good quality extra virgin olive oil to taste
Salt to taste
Capers, fried in olive oil
Shaved Grana Padano cheese to finish
Freshly ground black pepper, ground to finish

In a bowl, toss together the kohlrabi, arugula, shallot, lemon juice, olive oil and salt. Plate and top with fried capers, Grana Padano, and black pepper.

Mason Pacific’s Cauliflower with Raisins, Almonds and Pepperoncini
Raisins and pepperoncini give chef Sean McTiernan’s simple cauliflower dish its addictive sweet-and-sour flavor component. If you’d rather skip the process of shredding the cauliflower on a box grater, throw it in a food processor and pulse until the cauliflower is finely chopped but not annihilated. Serves 4.

1 head of cauliflower
1 tablespoon marcona almonds
1 pepperoncini
1 tablespoon golden raisins
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Using a cheese grater, grate the cauliflower and set aside. In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the marcona almonds, stirring to keep them from burning. Remove to a cutting board and roughly chop. Slice the pepperoncini into thin rings.

Place the balsamic vinegar in a small pot and bring to a quick boil. Remove from the heat and add the golden raisins, allowing them to soak up the vinegar and plump up. Meanwhile, chop the parsley, mint, and dill.

In sauté pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the cauliflower and saute until you have a little color. Add the almonds, pepperoncini, raisins, and fresh herbs. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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