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 GOURMET RECIPES

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Start with a Great Chef... (December 10, 2002)

 

His name and his dishes are on everyone's lips in California, for Wolfgang Puck is truly a legend. It's for good reason, too: this is the man who showed them how it's done in Southern California. His restaurants – Spago, Chinois, Postrio and Granita – dazzled the already sophisticated palates, and suddenly you couldn't park even your Rolls close by.

Puck is a regular on international TV and stars in his own award-winning show on the Food Network. He's garnered three James Beard awards, and for good reason. Wolfgang Puck is everything and more than anyone else!

From this legend comes Live, Love Eat! The Best of Wolfgang Puck, so just in case you can't jet out to the coast, you can recreate the wonder at home. These recipes are foolproof, and while they seem to have pages of instruction, they're actually quite clear and easy to follow. Go on... you know you've got to do it. The best of Wolfgang? Get the book and get going!

On today's menu:

Download these recipes in printable form as an Adobe Acrobat PDF (65 KB)


 

White Corn Agnolotti

We once had this dish at the legendary Spago in L.A., and I can tell you that in one bite you'll be in an ecstatic trance, quietly moaning with pleasure. It's so simple, yet so perfect... could it be the addition of white truffle? Oh, Wolfgang, you've done it again.

Makes 50 to 60 agnolotti, 4 to 6 servings

Filling

  • 1 cup heavy cream (250 mL)
  • 4 ears white corn, grated through the medium holes of a box grater (about 2 cups/500 mL)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt (5 mL)
  • 1 ounce fresh, creamy goat cheese (30 g)
  • 3 ounces mascarpone cheese (90 g)
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese (25 mL)
  • ½ tsp minced fresh thyme leave (2 mL)

Agnolotti

  • Semolina or all-purpose flour for dusting
  • 10 sheets (about 6"×12") fresh pasta
  • 1 large egg beaten with 1 Tbsp (15 mL) water
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 1½ sticks unsalted butter
  • 2 sprigs of fresh sage
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ ounce white truffle
  1. To make the filling: In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, bring the cream to a boil. Continue boiling until it has reduced to 1/3 cup, about 10 minutes. Stir in the grated corn, salt, pepper and sugar. Stirring constantly, bring the mixture back to a slow boil. Reduce the heat slightly and continue to cook, stirring frequently until the mixture reduces and is thick enough to heavily coat the back of the spoon.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl. Stir in the goat cheese, mascarpone, Parmesan, and thyme until the cheese has melted and thoroughly blended in. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Place the bowl inside a larger bowl filled with ice and stir occasionally until the filling has cooled and set.
  3. To make the agnolotti: use a flour-dusted rolling pin to roll out the pasta sheets on a lightly floured board as thin as possible. With a pastry bag or a teaspoon, mound little heaps of the filling about 1 inch apart in 2 parallel rows. Dip a pastry brush or your finger into the beaten egg and use it to moisten the pasta completely around each mound of filling. Cut the pasta sheet lengthwise in half between the rows. Fold each strip of dough in half lengthwise over the mounds of filling and press down and pinch the dough with your fingers to seal the dough firmly around each mound. With a serrated pastry wheel, cut the pasta between each mound; then use it to trim away excess dough from each of the agnolotti, leaving no more than about ¼ inch on each sealed side. Pinch the edges to seal the agnolotti firmly.
  4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, in a heavy skillet, combine the chicken stock, butter and sage; bring to a boil over high heat and continue boiling and gently swirling the pan until the mixture forms a smooth, thick emulsion. Season to taste with salt and pepper and keep warm.
  5. Cook the agnolotti in the boiling water until al dente, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain and add to the sage-butter sauce. Transfer the agnolotti and their sauce to warmed soup plates or bowls and thinly shave the white truffle over them. To capture the truffle aroma released by the pasta's heat, cover each serving with another plate. At the table, instruct guests to lift off their top plates and enjoy the burst of truffle aroma before they eat the agnolotti.

Accompanying wine? Tony recommends...
a full-bodied, oak-aged dry white from the New World – California Chardonnay, Oregon Pinot Gris, Ontario or BC Chardonnay with 13.5% alcohol.


 

Wolfgang's Vegetable Spring Rolls

Crisp, fresh-tasting appetizers are fun and a great start to any meal, and these days, such ingredients are readily available in Asian markets. You're going to love these spring rolls and be amazed at how quickly they go together. We were delighted – hey, it's an egg roll... but it's Wolfgang's, and therein lies the amazing difference! Enjoy!

Makes 20 to 24 rolls

Chinese Hot Mustard Sauce

  • ¼ cup brine from bottled picked ginger (50 mL)
  • 2 tsp hot dry mustard powder (25 mL)
  • 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar (25 mL)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar (15 mL)
  • 1 Tbsp chili oil (15 mL)
  • 1 tsp Asian toasted sesame oil (15 mL)
  • 2 tsp water (10 mL)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Pinch of turmeric
  • 1 cup peanut oil (250 mL)

Aromatics

  • 2 Tbsp coarsely chopped fresh ginger (25 mL)
  • 2 Tbsp coarsely chopped green onion (25 mL)
  • 1 Tbsp chopped garlic (15 mL)
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup peanut oil (125 mL)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of sugar

Filling

  • 3 Tbsp peanut oil (50 mL)
  • 4 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, caps cut into thin julienne strips
  • 2 cups thinly shredded green cabbage leaves (500 mL)
  • 1½ cups thinly sliced red bell pepper (375 mL)
  • ½ cup thinly sliced onion (125 mL)
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces glass, cellophane or bean thread noodles, soaked in water for 10 minutes, drained well and cut into 3 to 4 inch strands
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro (125 mL)
  • ¼ cup mushroom soy sauce (50 mL)
  • 2 Tbsp Asian chili paste (25 mL)
  • 1 Tbsp Asian toasted sesame oil (15 mL)

To form spring rolls

  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp cold water (15 mL)
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch (15 mL)
  • 1 package wonton wrappers
  • Peanut oil for deep-frying
  1. Up to 1 week ahead, prepare the Chinese Hot Mustard Sauce; in a non-reactive bowl, combine all the ingredients except the peanut oil. Stir with a wire whisk until well blended. Whisking continuously, slowly pour in the peanut oil until emulsified. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed, letting mixture come to room temperature before serving.
  2. To prepare the aromatic mixture: In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, put the ginger, green onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes. With the machine running slowly, pour the oil through the feed tube and continue processing until the solids are fine puréed. Transfer the mixture to a small saucepan or skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until its aroma develops, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the salt, and pepper and sugar. Set aside.
  3. To prepare the filling: Heat a wok or heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Drizzle in the peanut oil. Add the shiitake mushrooms and stir-fry for 30 seconds, then add the remaining vegetables and stir-fry for 1 minute more. Drain off excess liquid and transfer the vegetables to a mixing bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sir in the noodles, cilantro, mushroom soy sauce, chili paste and sesame oil. Stir in the reserved aromatic mixture. Adjust the seasonings to taste with a little more salt and pepper. Set aside to cool completely to room temperature. When ready to form the spring rolls, use your hands to squeeze out all the excess liquid, transferring the mixture to another bowl as you do.
  4. To assemble the spring rolls: First, prepare an egg wash in a small bowl by lightly beating together the egg, water and cornstarch with a fork or small whisk until the cornstarch dissolves. Place 1 wonton wrapper on a work surface with a corner facing you. Place about ¼ cup (50 mL) of prepared filling just below the center of the wrapper. Fold the bottom corner away from you over the filling. Dip a finger or pastry brush in the egg wash and paint it lightly around the wrapper's exposed edges. Keeping the wrapper tight and compact around the filling, continue to rollup the spring roll; tuck in the left and right corners over the filled portion and complete the rolling to make a neat parcel. Set the spring roll aside and repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling.
  5. In a heavy, deep saucepan or deep fryer, heat the peanut oil to 350°F on a deep-frying thermometer. Working in batches of 2 to 4 at a time, deep-fry the spring rolls until golden, 2 to 3 minutes, turning them with a slotted metal or wire spoon so they cook evenly. Transfer to papers towels to drain.
  6. If you'd like to make the spring rolls stand up for an attractive presentation, carefully trip of the their ends with a sharp knife. Cut each spring roll diagonally in half. Serve with Chinese Hot Mustard Sauce for dipping, drizzling it on the serving plate and over the spring rolls if you like. Serve immediately.

Accompanying wine? Tony recommends...
a medium-bodied, aromatic off-dry white – German Riesling Spätlese, Alsace Gewurztraminer or Alsace Dry Muscat.


 

We wish to thank Random House, Limited, Toronto, for permission to publish material and photographs from Live, Love, Eat! The Best of Wolfgang Puck, ©2002 by Wolfgang Puck Worldwide, Inc.
Photographs by Matthew Klein.

 

Happily tested by Helen Hatton and Ron Morris.

Download these recipes in printable form as an Adobe Acrobat PDF (65 KB)

 

 

 

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