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Let's eat.

From Big Sur's killer cliff-clinging eateries to Salinas' unparalleled produce, this blog aims to sniff out all things Monterey County can stomach, via picture and prose, curiosity and appetite, hand and mouth.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Salinas Field Fresh Recipes Hit TV

Top chops TV food personality Laura McIntosh (above left) has got a little rock star to her, and not just because of her charismatic stage presence, or because she styles her half-hour home cooking show "Bringing It Home" as a sort of a cousin to an MTV mainstay. (“You’ve heard of MTV’s 'Behind the Music'?,” she says. “I see our show as ‘Behind the Food.’”)

Her rock star credentials, rather, are rooted in her affection for the classic elements of rockin' grub: farm-fresh California produce. She scours fields for the finer flavors, then arranges a jam band of chefs to deliver ideas (and recipes/sheet music) so us ham-handed mortals can play along at home.

Just the other day she and her production team rolled into the Salad Bowl of the Globe to harvest—and film—straight from the fields themselves. She plucked local romaine for Cannery Row Brewing Company's Mark Ayers to run his harmonies on. Here's the recipe for his screamin' Caesar starring grilled lettuce, a surprisingly satisfying tweak.

Wood Grilled Caesar Salad
Serves 2

Classic Caesar Dressing
2 Lemons, juiced
½ cup Garlic
2 oz Anchovies, whole
6 oz Pasturized Egg Yolk
5 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 cup Parmesan Cheese (to taste)

Combine garlic, anchovy and egg yolk in food processor and puree till smooth. Add lemon juice and with machine running, slowly add the oil and emulsify liquid. Add parmesan cheese to food processor and if necessary, thin with a little water.

1 Romaine Lettuce Heart, sliced in half with stem still attached
1 teaspoon Olive Oil
2 teaspoon Lemon Juice
Salt and Pepper to taste
¼ cup crouton
1 serving Classic Caesar Dressing (recipe below)
4 oz. Cooked Bacon, chopped
Fresh shaved Parmesan Cheese, to taste (optional)

Preheat grill to medium high. Drizzle oil and lemon juice over romaine and season with salt and pepper. Place on grill and cook for 1-2 minutes per side. Place cooked romaine on 2 plates and drizzle with Caesar dressing and top with shaved parmesan cheese, bacon and croutons. Enjoy!

Next she had Ayers take viewers through the signature CRBC belly bombers:


She also grabbed some of Salinas-based Andy Boy broccoli rabe for Chef Tim Luym of Attic in San Mateo.

Stir Fried Rabe Fried Rice
Serves 4-6

5 cups cooked Jasmine Rice, cold
1/4 pound Broccoli Rabe, stems trimmed, blanched
1 cup Sweet Peas
1 pound Cooked Chicken Breast, diced (can sub any protein)
1/4 cup Chinese Sausage
1/2 cup Scallions, green parts only, chopped
1/4 cup Onions, diced
2 tablespoons Garlic
2 tablespoons Toasted Sesame Seeds
5 tablespoons Sesame or Canola Oil
Salt & white pepper to taste

For the sauce:
(Mix all ingredients)
1/3 cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce
1/8 cup Sesame Oil
2 tablespoons Sriracha hot sauce (can substitute favorite hot sauce)
1/8 cup Chinese Cooking Wine such as Shao Xing (optional)

It is important to use cold rice when making fried rice to ensure the best texture.

Using a wok or large sauté pan, add oil, Chinese sausage, onions, and garlic over high heat. Quickly stir in the cold rice, broccoli rabe, and chicken. Continue to stir fry for 2-3 minutes or until rice begins to crisp at the bottom of the pan. At this point, add the sauce and mix evenly. Next, add the peas and scallions and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes. Season to taste, transfer to a bowl and add sesame seeds for garnish.