Today on Good Food, Laura Avery talks to Chef Rian Brandenburg – Executive Chef at Tender Greens in Santa Monica. Brandenburg is in the enviable position of having the Santa Monica Farmers Market literally at his doorstep. He has established a unique relationship with Jimenez Family Farms and is now purchasing whole lambs, goats and quail from the farm. Although the farm cannot fulfill the demand at Tender Greens (have you seen the line down the block?) the restaurant is purchasing whatever is available each week.
Right now you can find Jimenez Family Farm’s quail on the Tender Greens menu. For those who want to cook quail at home, find Brandenburg’s recipe for Pan Roasted Quail with Kabocha Squash Puree and Pear Relish below.
Pan Roasted Jimenez Farms Quail
4 Quail; Semi Deboned
2 Kabocha Squash
2 Asian pear
1 Head Escarole
2 Cups Sherry Vinegar, good quality preferably spanish
1 Yellow Onion
Chicken Stock; Low sodium
Salt and Pepper
5-6 garlic cloves
1 bunch thyme
For the squash puree:
Pre heat oven to 350. Cut squash in half, and scoop out seeds and discard. Rub inside with olive oil. Place cut side down on baking sheet and roast for 35-45 minutes or until pierced easy with a knife. Cool slightly. Scoop out flesh into a food processor and puree with olive oil until smooth, season with salt and pepper.
For the pear relish:
Fine dice 1 shallot and cook in 1 tsp olive oil in a skillet until softened, add 1 cup sherry and reduce to 2 tablespoons. Meanwhile small dice asian pear and pick the thyme flowers off the stem. Stir sherry reduction into a bowl with the pear and thyme, salt and pepper to taste.
For the sherry sauce:
Heat olive oil in sauce pan over medium heat and add reserved quail pieces, onion, garlic and increase heat to high stirring occasionally until brown, about 10 min. Add 1 cup sherry and cook until dry, add chicken stock and thyme sprigs and reduce by half, skimming the fat occasionally. Strain and season.
For the escarole;
Clean and wash escarole, spin dry and give a rough chop. Saute 1 diced shallot, garlic in olive oil until soft add escarloe, 1/4 cup chicken stock and cover. Cook over low heat until tender, about 8-10 min. Season to taste.
For the quail:
Season quail with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in saute pan over medium heat and add quail breast side down. Cook until golden brown, flip and add a tab of butter thyme and garlic clove. Baste quail with a spoon and finish in oven until medium. About 6-8 min. Remove and let rest.
Place kabocha squash in middle of plate, top with escarole, then quail. Spoon pear relish around quail and drizzle sherry sauce over.