DJ Olsen is the chef at Lou Wine Bar, a small restaurant/wine bar located in a mini-mall next door to a laundromat.
724 N Vine St LA, CA 90038 - (323) 962-6369.
DJ says: "This is my riff on an original recipe by Robert Del Grande, chef owner of Café Annie in Houston, TX."
Corn flour is produced from dried, ground corn kernels which have been bolted (sifted) through a fine wire screen which removes the gluten, grits and bran, leaving a fine flour. Conversely, corn meal remains unbolted after grinding and contains all parts of the kernel. Polenta and grits are considered corn meals. DJ buys corn flour in bulk from Co-Opportunity in Santa Monica.
Dry-pack scallops are those not treated with sodium tripolyposphate, or STP, a chemical used to bind natural moisture in seafood. STP is most frequently found in frozen scallops. But, adding STP in sufficient quantity to fresh scallops will cause them to soak up additional water, thereby increasing their overall weight and expense. Additionally, such water-logged scallops are nearly impossible to sear to a nice golden brown as excess water leaches out during the cooking process causing the scallops to steam rather than sear.
Pan-seared Sea Scallops with Corn Pudding, Tomato Avocado Salsa, Tomatillo Sauce, Crème Fraîche
1 cup corn pudding, warmed, held in a bain marie (recipe follows)
3 large sea scallops (dry-pack, U10 size)
1 Tablespoon clarified butter
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
2 Tablespoons tomato salsa (recipe follows)
1/4 Hass avocado, med. dice
2 Tablespoons tomatillo sauce (recipe follows)
1 Tablespoon crème fraîche
Cilantro leaves as garnish
1. Use a sauté pan large enough to hold scallops at least 1-inc apart; heat pan, hi-heat, for one minute
2. Add clarified butter, heat until surface of the butter starts to ripple
3. Meantime, season scallops with salt and freshly ground pepper
4. When butter is hot, place scallops in pan at least 1-inch apart
5. Sear over hi-heat until golden brown (3-4 minutes)
6. Flip scallops over, turn heat off and allow scallops to continue cooking in pan (2-3 minutes more)
7. In the center of a pre-heated serving bowl, place a good dollop (up to 1 cup) of corn pudding
8. Toss the diced avocado with 2 tablespoons tomato salsa; place in the center of the corn pudding
9. Evenly space scallops around the edge of the corn pudding
10. Spoon some tomatillo sauce between each scallop
11. Drizzle the whole affair with creme fraîche; garnish with cilantro leaves
Makes 2 quarts
4 cups whole milk
1 cup corn flour, preferably stone ground
8 ears of white, yellow or bi-color corn
Juice from one lime
Salt to taste
1. Using the largest holes on a grater, completely grate corn kernels from the ears into a stainless bowl.
2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring whole milk almost to the boiling point
3. As the milk begins to boil, steadily rain in the corn flour, whisking all the time.
4. Whisk continuously until the mixture thickens (about 3 minutes)
5. Add grated corn kernels and corn milk, whisking until the mixture thickens a second time
6. Turn the heat down to low and cook to desired consistency (6-8 minutes)
7. Off the heat, season with lime juice and salt to taste.
The pudding can be held in a bain marie, covered with plastic, for several hours. It can also be refrigerated, then re-heated for use up to two days after it was made. Diminishing quality after that point.
Makes roughly 3 cups
3 large heirloom tomatoes (we use Cherokee Purples), stemmed, fine dice
1/2 small white onion, peeled, fine dice
2 Anaheim chile peppers, stemmed, interior ribs and seeds removed, fine dice
Juice from 1/2 lime
Minced cilantro to taste
Good pinch kosher salt
1. Blend diced tomato, onion and pepper together in a small stainless bowl.
2. Toss with salt and lime juice. Add minced cilantro to taste.
3. Let sit for 15 min. before serving, or refrigerate until needed
Salsa will hold up to two days, is at its brightest when first made, will become watery over time and less distinct in flavor. It can be refreshed however by draining away excess liquid and adding a bit more of each fresh ingredient, additional seasonings.
Makes roughly 3 cups
1 lb tomatillos, husks and stems removed, thoroughly rinsed until no longer sticky
2 Anaheim chile peppers, stemmed, quartered, ribs and seeds removed
1 small white onion, peeled, root end removed, quartered
5 cloves garlic, skins on
1 bunch cilantro, leaves only
Juice from 1 lime
Kosher salt to taste
Granulated sugar, if necessary
1. Place tomatillos, peppers, onion and garlic on a 1/2 sheet tray or small roasting pan.
2. Place tray in a pre-heated 450° convection oven (hi-speed fan), or under a pre-heated oven broiler.
3. Roast vegetables until the tops of the tomatillos, peppers and onion are well-charred (8-12 minutes).
4. Remove from oven; when slightly cooled, squeeze garlic from it’s skins into a blender.
5. Add the other vegetables, their juices, cilantro leaves to the blender.
6. Blend just until everything is ground to sauce consistency (10-15 seconds at most; do not overblend).
7. Pour into a small mixing bowl; season with lime juice, salt to taste.
8. If the sauce is too astringent, modify with a pinch or two of sugar.
9. Refrigerate, covered until needed.
Tomatillo sauce keeps well for up to four days, covered and refrigerated, although is at its best within one day.
Fairview Gardens is selling fresh shelled beans like Flagolet and Tongue of Fire. These beans don't need soaking. They can be simmered with garlic and onion until soft, then used in a variety of dishes -- like salads, soups, and in pasta. Eric Stenberg from Fairview suggests letting the beans soak in the cooking water to cool rather than draining them right away so they soak up more of the bean flavor.
Fairview Gardens is a volunteer-run working farm located just north of Santa Barbara in Goleta.