Thursday, November 15, 2007
Look no farther than the saffron-lime scented tomato broth in Passionfish’s fish stew to see that Ted Walter can do incredible and inventive. Unsurprisingly, then, when the Weekly asked Walter to furnish a formula for a seasonal treat, he didn’t disappoint. Best of all, his recipe for chorizo-chile stuffing, like the other two offered here, is relatively easy to pull off. (Though Pam Burns’ glorious bourbon apple custard pie looks involved, it can be dramatically simplified by buying a premade crust to fill with gooey goodness – she recommends the French crust offered by Whole Foods.)
With each dish, flavor awaits. “The pie is really delicious,” Burns says. “It’s got a lot of flavor – and a little surprise, having the custard in there. It’s kind of like having ice cream and pie together.”
A creamy cranberry relish from Dave Dildine at the Redwood Grill in Big Sur rounds out the lineup of dishes designed to complement the big bird. Now it’s time to round up the relatives and give thanks for locally spun recipes as fresh as the ingredients in Walter’s fish stew.
For those too lazy to conjure the fresh deliciousness in-kitchen, the pie is available over the counter. And, of course, Passionfish, Redwood Grill and Wild Plum continue to dish out homemade-grade grub daily.
701 Lighthouse Ave., Pacific Grove, 655-3311
Fernwood Resort, Highway 1, Big Sur, 667-2129
Wild Plum Café
731 Munras Ave., Monterey, 646-3109
Bourbon apple custard pie by Pam Burns of Wild Plum Café and Bakery.
2.5 pounds of tart apples
1 cup of sugar with a teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 cup of flour
Juice and zest (optional) of 1 juicy lemon (use two if needed)
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
1/2 ounce bourbon (really good Tennessee whiskey recommended)
Toss together, omitting the butter, and set aside.
1 3/4 cups heated whole milk
3/4 cup of sugar
5 egg yolks
1/3 cup of flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 vanilla bean or 1 tablespoon of vanilla
Dash of salt
Combine sugar, starch, flour and salt and sift. Whisk in egg yolks until mixture is a creamy yellow and falls in a ribbon. Add half of the hot milk and stir well, scraping all sides. Transfer to the top of a double boiler set over low to medium heat. Whisk in the remaining milk, continue to stir frequently until mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla. Return to heat and let mixture come to a bubble. Cook for another couple of minutes and remove from heat. Custard should have thickened nicely. Place in a clean bowl and cool. Refrigerate with a piece of plastic pressed against the top of custard and chill completely.
4 cups flour
3/4 pound (12 ounces) chilled butter cut into cubes (unsalted)
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/3 cup of ice water
Combine the flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer. Stir with paddle attachment. Add butter a couple of cubes at a time until mixture forms a fine meal. With mixer on, pour ice water into mixture in a steady stream just until dough forms a soft ball. Press into a disk, wrap in plastic and chill at least 45 minutes.
2 cups flour
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup of melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Toss together – should not be dry (add more soft or melted unsalted butter to make sure it’s moist). Roll out pie crust in a deep-dish pie pan. Flute edges and chill for 30 minutes. When crust is ready, spoon custard generously into the bottom about 1/4-inch deep. Toss apple mixture and stack apples until they dome slightly above the edge of the crust. Dot with butter and generously cover with crumble. Bake at 375 until pie begins to bubble and juice slightly thickens (about 1 hour and 15 minutes).
The Good Stuffing
Chorizo-chile stuffing by Ted Walter of Passionfish in Pacific Grove.
2 pounds chorizo, out of casings
2 onions, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
6 pasilla chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1 can posole, drained and rinsed
2 pounds Italian bread, cubed and dried
5 cups turkey stock
Combine first 8 ingredients (all but bread and turkey stock) in a covered casserole over medium heat. Cook till vegetables are soft but not browned. Toss with the bread and stock. Stuff the turkey.
Relish from the Redwoods
A gourmet cranberry sauce from Dave Dildine of Redwood Grill in Big Sur.
1 pound package of cranberries, rinsed (with wrinkled berries discarded)
5 cups water
2 cups sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream (or more, to taste)
Combine water, sugar and cranberries and boil (in four-quart sauce pan) until thickened (30 to 35 minutes), stirring occasionally. Toward the end of cooking time use a potato masher to mash all berries. Reduce heat to low add butter and salt; simmer until butter melts, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Cool to room temperature. Just before serving fold in sour cream, mix well.
Second Helping Look for more local chefs’ seasonal recipes in the Dec. 13 issue of the Weekly.