Geek Chef

I cook, I talk, I geek

Adaptation February 3, 2010

Filed under: Food — geekchef @ 3:12 pm
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I had a joint birthday lunch with my mom at the De Young Museum in San Francisco. She had the seafood pot pie and really enjoyed it, so I figured I’d work up a recipe for her – and you.

Seafood Pot Pie

1/2 pound shrimp, shelled and cleaned
1 filet of salmon, cut into chunks
10 large sea scallops
6 ounces of crab meat
1 cup dry white wine
10 baby red potatoes
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 finely chopped leek (white and pale green parts only)
1 diced fennel bulb
1 8-ounce bottle clam juice
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 cup heavy cream
2 large egg yolks

2 cup sifted flour
pinch of salt
1/2 cup butter or shortening
4-6 teaspoon ice water

Sift flour and salt, cut in butter or shortening with knives or dough blender until dough is in chunks,  like small peas, not too small or the crust will be crumbly. Sprinkle in cold water a little at a time while tossing lightly with a fork to form a ball. Chill until ready to roll.

Boil potatoes in water for about 15 min, potatoes should be slightly tender but not completely done. Cut potatoes into quarters, sprinkle with salt and pepper and sauté in a large saucepan with olive oil. When potatoes are slightly golden on the edges, add leeks and fennel, adding more oil if necessary. When fennel and leeks are soft add wine and clam juice and lightly scrape the pan to loosen any bits on the bottom.  Add bay leaf and thyme and let fluids cook down.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix cream and egg yolks. When liquid has cooked down a bit, add the seafood and cream mixture. Lower heat to low and let sit while rolling out the dough.

Take dough from fridge and roll out into a large circle about 1/4 inch thick. I recommend rolling out onto a piece of parchment paper, it makes it easier to transfer to the pie.

Pour seafood stew into a large ramekin, casserole or oven safe container and place dough on top. Push edges of the dough against the dish to seal and place in oven. Bake until the dough begins to turn golden, about 20 min, you can brush it with an egg wash for a glossier coat.

I used the leftover dough and rolled it out, brushed it with olive oil and  topped it with grated cheese and then cut it into strips for crackers to dip, very yummy.


Ah! Nuts. August 3, 2007

Filed under: Food — geekchef @ 9:43 am
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I noticed a lot of activity in the corner of the garden this morning. The squirrels seemed to be congregating to one tree in particular, which made Elgie and me very interested and a little confused.

We went in for a closer look and DONK! I was hit in the head with a shelled walnut. Apparently, one of the trees in the yard is walnut! I doubt I’ll be able to harvest many – with the large family of squirrels already camped out in the area. But I am very excited with the notion of having edible plants on the property. BTW, I am really fascinated with found fruit and veggies – I even wrestled an ostrich for some fresh mangoes. 🙂

Here is a recipe plucked from the foodnetwork, inspired by my newfound source of walnuts.

Blue Cheese Cheesecake with Baby Greens and Candied Walnuts  in Pear Vinaigrette

3/4 cup toasted bread crumbs
3/4 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 pound good-quality blue cheese, at room temperature
1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
4 eggs
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Baby greens for serving
Pear Vinaigrette, recipe follows
Candied Walnuts, recipe follows

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine bread crumbs, walnuts and melted butter and process until thoroughly combined. Press the mixture on the bottom and partially up the sides of an 8-inch springform pan. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl combine blue cheese and cream cheese and mix until smooth. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper and combine well. Using a spatula, transfer cheese mixture to the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the cake is golden brown and not loose in the center.

While the cake is baking, make the Pear Vinaigrette and Candied Walnuts.

When the cake is puffed, golden brown and not loose in the center, transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool at least 30 minutes before serving.

Serve the cake warm, with a salad of baby greens tossed with the Pear Vinaigrette, garnished with the Candied Walnuts.

Pear Vinaigrette

1 (4-ounce) firm-ripe pear, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons green onions
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Combine the pear, Champagne vinegar, shallots, sugar, rosemary and black pepper in a skillet and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the pears are tender, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a blender or food processor.Add the mustard, soy sauce, kosher salt, and green onions, and puree on high speed. With the motor running, add the oil in a thin stream and process until emulsified. Remove from the blender and refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to serve. (The vinaigrette will keep for up to 1 week refrigerated.)

Yield: 1 generous cup

Candied Walnuts

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup walnut halves
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the walnuts and cook, stirring, until golden brown and toasted, 3 minutes. Add the sugar and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Transfer to a piece of waxed paper to cool.Yield: 1/2 cup