Multiple James Beard Award-winning Pastry Chef Sherry Yard is familiar to the listening audience of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” Her work-in-progress is the ambitious revival of the Helms Bakery in Los Angeles on the border with Culver City.
Barbara Fairchild, the well-traveled Restaurant & Travel Editor for grapecollective.com is back with us to share some inspired restaurant finds from her recent travels both in Europe and in The States.
Rachel of Blackmarket Bakery is the underground baker (with extensive training) in Orange County. In 2004 she launched her “hidden” production facility in Irvine near John Wayne Orange County Airport. It was strictly a wholesale operation but somehow determined retail customers sought her out and she couldn’t disappoint them.
The game plan is quality using real ingredients and the indulgent products are always made from scratch. No mixes are used whatsoever.
The name sounds more nefarious than it really is. Explains Klemek, “By using baking fundamentals such as butter, flour, sugar and eggs – all of which were blackmarket goods during WWII – I intend to deliver a culinary experience which revolves around natural ingredients, complex textures, and global flavors, with a bit of punk rock tucked inside, of course.”
Mr. Fitzmorris says it took him about 50 tries to match the flavor of Antoine’s recipe. So if you want to give it a try, I’d say he saved you a good deal of time and expense.
2 cups celery, chopped
1 1/2 cup scallion tops,chopped
2 cups parsley leaves, chopped
1 cup fresh fennel, chopped (bulbs,stalks and/or fronds are fine)
1 cup watercress, chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic, chopped
3 anchovy filets, rinsed and chopped
Liquor from 4 dozen oysters plus enough water to make 2 cups of liquid
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
2 drops green food coloring (Fitzmorris says this is optional, but authentic)
1/2 pound butter
1 cup flour
1 1/2 cup very fine fresh bread crumbs
4 dozen oysters
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Combine the vegetables and anchovies in small batches, and process to a near puree in a food processor, using enough of the oyster liquor/water mixture to keep things moving.
Combine the vegetable/anchovy mixture with the rest of the liquid in a saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring every now and then, until the excess water is gone, but the greens reman very moist. Add the sugar, ketchup, salt, white pepper, cayenne, Worchestershire, bitters and food coloring.
Make a blond roux with the butter and flour. Blend well into the greens, until the sauce takes on a lighter texture. Mix in the bread crumbs.
Place the fresh oysters into oyster shells, small ovenproof ramekins or gratin dishes. Top each oyster with a generous tablespoon (or more, if you like) of the sauce. Bake fifteen minutes, until the sauce barely begins to brown. Serve immediately.
Note: If you bake the oysters on shells, serve on a bed of rock salt to keep the shells steady.