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Recipes — Del Mar Dynamos
The clean and defined taste of captivating cuisine combined with a breathtaking view is what makes dining out special and unforgettable. Here, a few local chefs show us how their restaurants, where the tables are always booked, can also offer a precise execution of special recipes equally as wonderful as the scenery before you. MARIA DESIDERATA MONTANA
Cioppino from The Brigantine in Del Mar
1 cup onion, finely diced
1 oz. garlic, chopped
1 oz. shallots, chopped
2 tsp. dry oregano
1 stick thyme, chopped
2 tbsp. parsley, chopped
2 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 cup olive oil
1 cup button mushrooms, fresh
2 oz. tomato paste
1 lb. Roma tomatoes, roasted halves*
2 cups clam juice
2 cups water
1 cup red wine
1 tsp. table salt
1 tbsp. black pepper
16 each green-lipped mussels in the shell, washed well
16 each Manila clams in the shell, washed well
1 lb. shrimp (recommend 16/20 size)
3 lb. Alaskan king crab legs, in the shell
1 lb. halibut (or any firm, mild white fish filet), cubed
*Prepare tomatoes in advance by cutting into halves, coating with olive oil, and roasting in a 375-degree oven for 30 minutes. Can be roasted up to one day in advance.
Warm a thick-bottomed pan over medium heat. Add olive oil to sauté onion, garlic, and shallots until soft. Add oregano, thyme, parsley, basil, crushed red pepper, and mushrooms, cooking until mushrooms are soft and liquid has been reduced by half. Add tomato paste and stir in well. Add roasted tomatoes, clam juice, and red wine. Bring to a simmer and continue simmering for two hours, stirring frequently to break up tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper.
Add seafood ten minutes before serving. Divide into six bowls and serve with warm crusted bread.
Pan Seared Scallops with Cauliflower Puree, Quinoa, Arugula and Harissa Vinaigrette by executive chef Chris Idso of Pacifica Del Mar
For the cauliflower puree:
1 large head of cauliflower
¼ cup water
½ tbsp. kosher salt
½ tbsp. unsalted butter
Cut the cauliflower into small pieces, removing the inner core and large stem branches. Place in a 2-quart saucepot and add the water, butter, and salt. Cover and put over a low heat — do not let the water boil, only hot enough to steam. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until the cauliflower is very soft. Immediately pour this into a blender and blend on high until the mixture becomes a thick smooth puree, season with additional salt to taste. Scrape into a container and reserve it in a warm place.
For the quinoa:
1 cup quinoa
1½ cups cold water
½ tsp. kosher salt
In a 4-quart saucepot, soak the quinoa first for 15 minutes. Drain off the water and put the quinoa back in the pot, add more water, and rinse again two or three more times until the rinse water is pretty clear. Place quinoa in the pot, and add the water and salt. Bring to a boil, cover with a tight fitting lid, and turn the heat down to simmer. Cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to sit five minutes with lid on. Fluff gently with a fork.
For the harissa vinaigrette:
Harissa is a Middle Eastern spicy chile paste condiment. This is my “vinaigrette” version.
1 small red bell pepper, charred, peeled, and seeded
2 small dried chipotle chiles
2 medium dried Ancho chiles
*Steep the dried chiles in 2 cups of hot water for about 15 minutes, remove the stems and seeds, and save the water
½ tbsp. fresh chopped garlic
2 tbsp. sherry vinegar
½ tbsp. honey
¼ tsp. ground cumin
¼ tsp. ground coriander
¼ tsp. ground caraway
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in an 8-inch sauté pan over a medium-high heat. Season four jumbo sea scallops with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper and sear until golden brown and slightly firm to the touch. Spread ¼ cup of cauliflower puree across a dinner plate, and place the scallops down the middle of the puree. Serve with the steamed quinoa topped with arugula dressed with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. Add a drizzle of the harissa vinaigrette. Bon Appetit!
Sesame Crusted Ahi Tomato Stack by executive chef Susan Sbicca of Sbicca Bistro in Del Mar
1 lb. sashimi grade ahi, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
1 tbsp. black sesame seeds
2 medium tomatoes, sliced medium
2 medium avocados, sliced
1 medium red onion, sliced thin in rings
¼ lb. French feta cheese
4 cups mixed greens
olive oil for searing and salt
Mix sesame seeds together, and roll ahi pieces in seeds. Heat sauté pan to medium high heat, and sear ahi quickly or until cooked to desired temperature. Slice thin.
Arrange tomato slices on plate, and layer avocado and ahi over tomato. Top with tomato slice. Arrange mixed greens. Drizzle all with lemon pepper vinaigrette (recipe follows).
Top with red onion and feta cheese.
For the lemon pepper vinaigrette:
1 tsp. roasted garlic
¼ cup lemon juice
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp. honey
½ cup olive oil
pinch of pepper
Puree everything except olive oil. Add slowly.