Heaven… Artichokes & Oysters

Inspired by my new housemate Thomas Keller via Masterclass. I learn something new with EVERY interchange. These days, I am talking back to “Chef” as I fondly address him.
  • 1 T avocado oil
  • 1 large fennel bulb, sliced 1/4 inch
  • 1 large shallot sliced thinly
  • 6-10+ garlic cloves, smashed & peeled
  • 1 large carrot, sliced diagonally & thinly
  • 1/2 t sea salt
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1/4 c Sauvignon Blanc
  • 2 C + water
  • Bouquet Garni: 3 thyme sprigs, 8 peppercorns, 2 large bay leaves, parley sprig (Chef puts these in cheesecloth.)
  • 2 cups water with juice of 2 lemons to keep artichokes from browning. (I strained this “lemonade” after use and am drinking it.)
  • 4-6 large artichokes, leaves, stem & thistle removed. Keep in lemon juice & water as you work as they quickly oxidize. Clean the heart that’s left so all of it is edible. (I added the stems that I had trimmed as well but I did compost all of the leaves.)
  • 12 oysters
  • 4+ T Kerry Gold butter, clarified
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • Maldon Salt flakes

In a sauté or saucepan large enough to hold the hearts & liquid to cover them, add oil and sauté the shallots, fennel & carrots with salt until just limp. Add garlic, cook 1 minute. Add bouquet garni, liquids & simmer for about 10 minutes while you prepare the artichokes.

Place the artichoke hearts in the pan. Adjust liquid so it just covers the hearts. Submerge a clean (all natural with no dyes) tea towel over the hearts to keep them moist. Cover.

Simmer on low. Cook until the hearts just yield to a sharp point. I use a toothpick or skewer. It’s easy to overcook these so check frequently. It will take at least 10 minutes but maybe up to 30 depending on your artichokes.

When almost done, remove the hearts & keep warm. (I had a waiting saucepan on low heat & recovered them with the tea towel.)

Add the oysters to the vegetables, cover. Simmer about 2 minutes until the oysters are barely heated. They’ll continue to cook as you shell them. Open the oysters & set aside. (Clams or mussels would be great too!)

Heat the clarified butter. Add the 2 garlic cloves & cook for 1 minute.

Place your veggies on a service plate. Add the artichoke hearts, cut into cubes. Arrange oysters on the side. Drizzle the entire plate with the garlic butter. VERY lightly sprinkle with a bit of Maldon Salt.

I drank the broth. Ate all the garlic & licked the pan.

Hmmmm, maybe a crusty baguette would be a nice addition.

ENJOY!

TREASURE FIND Vegan Bouillabaisse

TRY THIS Faux Seafood Stew – IT IS AMAZING!
Inspired by GENIUS Chef Tal Ronnen. https://www.plantforwardkitchen.org/tal-ronnen
Although they say when you change one ingredient the recipe is yours, this one is definitely MORE Chef Ronnen’s. The ingredient list is long but the recipe is super EASY.
  • STOCK
  • 8 c filtered water
  • 4 Sencha tea bags or 4 t Sencha tea
  • 2 6-inch by 8-inch pieces of dried kombu
  • 2 T avocado oil
  • 1 onion, unpeeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 celery stalk cut into chunks
  • Sea salt or Kosher salt
  • 5 garlic cloves, unpeeled, smashed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 fresh 4-inch thyme sprigs
  • 1/2 t whole black peppercorns
  • 2 large allspice
  • 1/4 c astragalus root pieces
  • 1/2 c Sauvignon Blanc
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Bring the water to a boil. Add tea & kombu. Remove from heat & let steep 15 minutes. Meanwhile heat the avocado oil & sauté the onion & celery with a sprinkle of salt until onion is transparent. Add remaining ingredients, except wine & cook about 1 minute. Add wine & cook 1 minute. Add the stock & simmer for 20 minutes. Strain stock into another pot. Toss or eat the vegetables. Yields 6 cups of stock.

  • SOUP
  • 1 t saffron threads, place in 2 T water
  • 1 T avocado oil
  • 2 c chopped leeks, white & light green parts only (Think 1/4″.)
  • 2 – 3 c chopped fennel bulb (Think 1/2″.)
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb mushrooms cut into largest bite size pieces. THINK DRAMA. (Chef’s recipe called for 1.5 lbs oyster & lobster. I had maitake & oyster on hand. Dr. Andrew Weil http://www.drweil.com/health is a great believer in the immune-enhancing and cancer-protective properties of shiitake, oyster mushrooms, maitake, enoki, etc.
  • 8 artichoke hearts (fresh, frozen or canned) cut into halves
  • 4 Italian parsley sprigs & stems, minced
  • 1 navel oranges, finely zested & juiced (Have a second orange on hand in case you decide you’d like more citrus flavor.)
  • 8 ounces diced Italian tomatoes
  • 2 T Pernod TASTE AFTER 1 T ADDED.
  • TASTE FIRST. You may or may not need this — 1/4 c Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1 t herbes de Provence (Recipe coming.)
  • Sea Salt or Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Rouille (Recipe follows.)

Sauté the leeks & fennel in the avocado oil for 2 minutes. Tasting along the way…add all remaining ingredients EXCEPT MUSHROOMS. Simmer 10 minutes. Add mushrooms & simmer 10 minutes. Adjust flavor to your taste just before serving. Meanwhile, prepare ROUILLE.

  • ROUILLE
  • 1/2 c vegan mayonnaise
  • 1.5 roasted red pepper (jarred is fine)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 3-inch by 4-inch +/- baguette, remove crust & tear into pieces
  • 1.5 t Dijon mustard (or more to taste)
  • 1 T lemon juice (1/2 lemon)
  • 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
  • Cayenne, a pinch to taste
  • Sea salt

Toss everything except olive oil, cayenne & sea salt in a Blendtec mini or your favorite machine that pulverizes everything. Pulverize until very smooth. With the machine running slowly add the olive oil. When you have a creamy emulsion, taste & add cayenne & salt to taste.

SPOON the SOUP into a bowl. Top with ROUILLE. SMELL IT. Add a crusty piece of garlic smeared baguette. ENJOY!

LEEKS VINAIGRETTE NESTS

FullSizeRender-3Photo – Merci, Kathy Thompson!

ORGANIC INGREDIENTS, PLEASE.
Serves 12

LEEKS
2 large 1.5″ diameter leeks
Cut off roots and trim leaves leaving 3″ of dark green.
Halve them lengthwise and wash thoroughly.
Cut into ribbons about 1/2″ wide.
Leeks are banked with earth as they grow to create the
delicate white root ends. You can plant the trimmed root and it will grow a new leek. Save the tops for a soup or a stir fry.

You can prepare the vinaigrette as the leeks cook.

Bring 1 quart of water to a boil.
Add 1/2 t. sea salt.
Add leeks and simmer for 15 minutes until they are just translucent and tender. You’ll need to tend these as they cook. If you overcook they will be mush. If you overcook them then save them for something other than Leeks Vinaigrette. Maybe a leek puree topped with tiny carrots.

Have a bowl of ice and water ready to chill the leeks once they are done. Drain the tender leeks reserving the liquid to drink now or later. It’s delicious hot and cold! Place the drained leeks into the ice water and let chill thoroughly. Drain but leave them moist as the water helps to dilute the vinaigrette a bit.

VINAIGRETTE
Vinegary things’ sourness is influenced by the vinegar type and is a personal preference so before you add the leeks to the vinaigrette, taste it.

In a bowl large enough to hold the leeks, mix together:
1/4 c. olive oil
2 T. champagne or white wine vinegar
1/4 t. garlic salt or a tiny clove of fresh garlic and a dash of salt
1 dash of freshly ground or FRESH white pepper (or more to your taste – it’s powerful if it’s fresh)

OPTIONAL
1/2 t. Dijon mustard – I do not add as I think it masks the delicate leek flavor.

Add the drained leeks and toss gently. Place in a GLASS or CERAMIC covered dish and refrigerate for at least four hours and up to 8 hours. No metals or plastics please as they influence the flavors. A Ball jar with an enamel lid works too.

QUAIL EGGS
Place eggs in saucepan and cover with cold water. Add 1 T vinegar. Bring to a gentle simmer. Simmer for 45 seconds then plunge into cold water to stop the cooking. These are tricky to keep a gooey yellow so you might just let them cool to room temperature and be happy with whatever the yolk decides to do. The shells are so beautiful – so I just clip off the top of the egg and set it into the nest.

THE FUN PART – ASSEMBLY

Select lovely little dishes. I like square dark dishes for the contrast. <$2 at World Market. In each dish swirl a nest of leeks, top with a clipped quail egg, a few capers, a bit of sunflower seeds for crunch.

I think they’d be delightful in petit cupcake liners and then placed in one of those ceramic egg cartons. I will try to get a photo of that next time!

Let rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to an hour before serving.

Bon Appétit