Exclusive Abalone Recipe From Pacific's Edge
June 13, 2012
There was atmospheric abalone ceviche to ogle, abalone spot prawn ravioli with candied ginger to adore and abalone paella to shower with affection. And saliva.
Plus it was all served with a side of history and a dash of science designed to help eaters understand how delicious local abalone can be sustainably farmed—and even sent across the country alive.
So went the deal at the immaculate Pacific’s Edge last weekend for the latest Farm to Table lunch, this one starring Art Seavey and Trevor Fey of Monterey Abalone.
They talked sustainable—and pioneering—abalone farming while Matt Bolton crafted tastes like the paella with tender abalone and heirloom soffrito, carnaroli rice, manilla clams, mussels and chorizo, Wine Director Paul Fried matched rare Ventana wines with the delicacies, Gina Scalla crafted the cherry almond tart (with port-balsamic gastrique [!], apricot puree, black pepper and creme fraiche ice cream), and Manager Jacques Melac generally making everything flow as smoothly as a Japanese speed train.
A few years back I had the chance to duck into the salty labyrinth the abalone boys have erected under Wharf Two in Monterey at sunrise.
They've designed their own retractable planks so there's fewer sea lions lounging (and more importantly, fewer defecating) in the work areas and customized otter-proof cages so the fuzzy adorables can't fuck with their precise abalone raising system. Here's an excerpt from the piece:
The cage in front of Fey holds around 1,300 abalone. With around 250 other cages dangling in the depths nearby, the population under the Wharf sits at about a quarter million.
“We can fit 3,000 of the small seed abalone in a cage,” Fey says, pausing to marvel at the thick, protein-rich foot of the specimen in his left hand. “We pull out the fastest growing abalone and put them in a cage with more space.”
MAC’s most robust abalone will live up to five years and grow to a half-pound. He ships most live to one of 20 local restaurants or to national buyers as far away as Florida, usually once they reach three years and a quarter pound.
In a different time, wild Monterey Bay abalone grew to be 100 years old and 13 inches wide. Those days have long since passed.
Check out the full story, "Shell Games: Monterey Bay’s oldest fishery thrives under the commercial wharf," by clicking here.
Next up for the Pacific's Edge farmers series: Swank Farms in September.
That's a tall task, this waiting all summer for another tasty and informative installment thing.
Fortunately there's a labor-intensive recipe to keep you busy, direct from Bolton's brain. Besides, once it hits your lips you'll forget all about the wait.
Pan Seared Monterey Bay Red Abalone with Artichoke Barigoule, Oven Dried Tomato, and Green Garlic Puree by Matt Bolton
Abalone: 2 each baby red abalone • ¼ cup wondra flour • 1 tsp chopped garlic • 2 sprig parsley, leaves picked, chiffonade 1 lime halved • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste 2 tbsp butter •
Method: Remove abalone from shell, detach stomach and discard, slice abalone in half lengthwise, and place between sheets of plastic wrap and tenderize with a meat mallet. Pound until abalone feels tender to touch. Season slices with salt and pepper, dust lightly with wondra in a warm cast iron, melt butter and add abalone, saute until just browned, turn, add chopped garlic and parsley, squeeze of lime, toss abalone in pan to coat with parsley and garlic, and place on plate.
Artichoke Barigoule: 4 baby artichokes • 2 strips smoked bacon • ½ yellow onion sliced • 2 clove garlic chopped • 1 tbsp whole coriander seed • 2 roma tomatoes quartered and stemmed • 2 sprig thyme • 1 qt chicken stock • 1 cup chardonnay cooking wine • 1 lemon
Method: Pour a quart of cold water in a 2 qt bowl and squeeze lemon into it, drop the two halves inside and reserve. Peel outer leaves of artichoke about ¾ of the way in toward the heart. Trim the stem to about ½ inch and turn the base of the artichoke using a paring knife, then place the artichoke in the lemon water (this will prevent them from browning). Repeat for all 4 artichokes. Heat a 2 qt bowl and add whole strips of bacon, once rendered add sliced onion and coriander, cook for about 5 minutes on medium-low heat. Add chopped garlic, thyme, and tomato, cook for another 2 minutes, then add white wine and reduce by half. Add chicken stock and, finally, the artichokes. Bring liquid to boil and shut off. Once cooled in the braising liquid, the artichokes will be perfectly cooked. Once cooled, strain off braising liquid and reduce by ½, place the artichokes in the reduction to reheat when ready to serve. Once artichokes are heated and removed, whisk 2 tbsp butter into the baising liquid, this will serve as the sauce.
Green Garlic Puree: 1 lb green garlic, chopped separate greens from white tips • ¼ cup vegetable stock • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil • Pinch kosher salt •
Method: Saute whites on medium heat until tender, saute greens on high heat, very quickly retaining bright green color, add hot ingredients to high speed blender, add vegetable stock, puree until smooth, then remove and cool in ice bath.
Oven Dried Tomato: 4 roma tomatoes • 2 sprig thyme picked • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil • Pinch kosher salt
Method: Preheat oven to 250, place a small pot of water on stove and bring to a boil, fill a mixing bowl with ice water. Make a small “X” on the bottom of the tomatoes and core them, place in boiling water for 10-20 seconds until you see skin start to split. Remove and place in ice bath. When cooled, remove tomatoes and peel skin, quarter, and remove seeds. Toss tomato “petals” in a bowl with thyme, olive oil, and salt. Place on a sheet pan with parchment and dry for about 45 min, To serve, heat puree in small saucepan and and spoon onto plate, place 2 piece artichoke laying oven dried tomato on top, stack and place two piece abalone on plate and spoon barigoule sauce on abalone, garnish with parsley, enjoy.