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Recipes — Dazzling Downtown Delectables
There’s just something about the word “downtown” that screams food, fun, and excitement. From fine dining establishments to cool and casual hangouts, there are numerous choices in Downtown San Diego to dazzle food lovers. Lately, a superb mix of cuisines from around the world and exotic experiments in noteworthy gastronomy is causing quite the buzz. Local chefs are taking their craft very seriously, offering free-range meats, freshly caught seafood, and organic fruits and vegetables. Downtown is a foodie’s dream destination, and if you haven’t had the chance to dine there lately. MARIA DESIDERATA MONTANA
Ahi Tuna Sashimi, Soy Sauce Cube, Mango Pearl, Lime Gel Curried Avocado with Lemon Foam by executive chef Fabrice Hardel of The Westgate Hotel downtown
For the tuna:
12 oz. center cut Ahi tuna
1 tbsp. curry powder
Season the Tuna with the curry powder and pan fry it on each side.
For the gel lime:
100 gr. yuzu lime juice
100 gr. Mirin
4 gr. agar agar
0.4 gr. xantana
Mix the lime juice with the mirin, then add the agar agar and xantana. Keep it in the fridge overnight.
For the spaghetti soy sauce:
200 gr. soy sauce
50 gr. fish stock
8 gr. agar agar
Mix the soy sauce with the fish stock and the agar agar. Bring the mix to a boil and cool it down to 32 degrees Celsius. When the mix become hard cut it into small cubes.
For the lemon foam:
100 gr. lemon juice
100 gr. sweet and sour mix
0.2 gr. lecithin
Mix all the ingredients with a hand blender.
For the mango pearl:
250 gr. mango puree
250 gr. mango juice
6.5 gr. algin
Water bath: 1.5 lt. water, 6.5 gr. calcium chloride
Mix the puree and the juice with a hand blender, then add the algin and keep it in the fridge overnight at 35 degrees Celsius.
The next day using a squeeze bottle make little drops of the mango mix into the water bath (water and calcium chloride)
Fresh Maine Lobster Strudel by executive chef Stephane Voitzwinkler of Bertrand at Mister A’s downtown
1 ea. fresh live Maine lobster
¼ lb. crimini mushroom
¼ lb. oyster mushroom
¼ lb. shiitake mushroom
2 ea. peeled shallots
1 small sprig of fresh thyme
1 small sprig of fresh Italian parsley
1 cup brandy
1 garlic clove
cream as needed
For the force meat:
¼ lb. chicken breast or sea scallops
½ cup of heavy whipping cream
1 ea. egg white
salt and pepper to taste
a pinch of paprika
To wrap the lobster mixture use 3 sheets of filo dough layer with a little clarified butter.
Boil the live lobster in water with a tablespoon of white vinegar, a bay leaf, a sprig of thyme, a carrot, a onion, a stalk of celery for 7 minutes. Cool right away in an ice bath. Crack the shell off the tail and the claws then dice the meat into one-inch cubes. Oven-roast the mushrooms in 1 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil with the shallots and the fresh herbs for about 10 minutes. Keep all ingredients cool before mixing. Roll the mixture in the filo dough and keep refrigerated until ready to use. Sauté the roll in a little clarified butter until golden brown. Place the strudel in oven for about 10 minutes. Serve right away with mixed green of your choice on a bed of lobster sauce.
For the lobster sauce:
Roast the lobster bodies in olive oil with a mire poix of carrots, onions, celery, garlic, tomato, one sprig of thyme, and deglaze with a cup of brandy. Reduce to almost dry then cover the bones with cream. Simmer for about 20 minutes then strain. Check seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
Roasted Kingfish, Yukon Gold Potato Blinni, Anzious Artichokes, Mizuna, Citrus Sabayon by chef de cuisine Chris Kurth of Grant Grill at The US Grant downtown
For the fish and artichokes:
1 pc 6 oz kingfish/Japanese hiramasa
3 Anzious artichokes, cooked
4 or 5 mizuna leaves
6 oz. blinni batter
4 oz. citrus sabayon orange segments
3 oz grape seed oil
room temperature butter
6 cups white wine
4 cups water
1 cup oil
2 bay leaves
2 stalks celery, cut into fourths
2 springs thyme
1 tbsp. black peppercorn
Heat a cast iron pan or any sauté pan of your choice to a medium heat. Season the fish with salt and pepper and sear on one side. Place the fish into a 350-degree oven and roast for about 5 minutes for a rare piece of fish (this fish is excellent raw for sashimi and such). Once the fish is out of the oven, flip it over and baste it with the butter then set aside for the fish to rest.
Start by adding 6 cups white wine and 4 cups water into a small saucepan or stockpot. Add the carrot, celery, onion, thyme, black peppercorns, 1 cup blended oil, and bay leafs. Take a pairing knife and gently clean the bases of the artichokes and stems, removing all of the fibrous parts and place them immediately into the pot to avoid oxidation. Turn on the heat to medium, add salt and pepper, and cook until they are fork tender. Cool the artichokes in their own liquid.
For the Yukon Gold potato blinni:
1 lb. Yukon potato
2 lb. all-purpose flour
2 to 3 tbsp. crème fraiche
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
Boil the potato until it is fork tender, pass it through a tammis, and weigh 9 ounces out. Add flour and crème fraiche, and add 1 egg. Mix until smooth, repeat with the other whole egg (mix until smooth). Add 1 egg yolk and mix until smooth.
For the citrus sabayon:
6 egg yolks
2/3 cup orange juice
2 tbsp. Riesling vinegar
Whisk eggs over a double boiler. Once eggs start to emulsify, slowly add orange juice and vinegar and whisk until eggs have fully emulsified and have become fluffy.