YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections
(Page 2 of 3)


Caught up in the moment

Chefs go wild at farmers markets -- and so do their imaginations. The season's latest will inspire you too.

May 24, 2006|Amy Scattergood | Special to The Times

Note: From pastry chef Kimberly Sklar of Literati II. At the restaurant she serves this with almond and cherry swirl ice cream.

Polenta cake

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature, plus 1 tablespoon for pan

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fine to medium grind cornmeal plus 2 teaspoons for dusting pan

1/2 cup brown sugar, not packed

2 eggs, room temperature

3 egg yolks, room temperature

1/8 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons granulated sugar for dusting

1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Use 1 tablespoon butter to grease a 9-inch removable bottom tart pan; dust with 2 teaspoons cornmeal.

2. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar until light in color and fluffy, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Scrape the bowl and add the eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Stir in the almond extract.

3. Sift the flour, remaining corn meal, baking powder and salt together and fold into the mixture.

4. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the sugar evenly on top. Bake for 20 to 24 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Roasted cherries and assembly

4 cups or 1 1/2 pounds Bing


2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 vanilla bean, sliced lengthwise and seeds scraped and reserved

1/4 cup brandy

1 tablespoon cornstarch (mixed with 1 tablespoon water)

Polenta cake

1 cup whipped cream

1. Wash, stem and pit the cherries; set aside. When the cake is removed from the oven, increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees.

2. In a bowl, combine the brown sugar, sugar, vanilla bean, brandy and the cornstarch slurry. Whisk until combined.

3. Fold in the cherries and place in an 11-by-7-inch glass baking dish. Bake until the cherries are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir after baking 5 minutes.

4. To serve, slice the cake and place on a dessert plate. Spoon cherries and sauce on top of the cake. Add a spoonful of whipped cream and serve.

Each serving: 381 calories; 5 grams protein; 42 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 20 grams fat; 12 grams saturated fat; 181 mg. cholesterol; 182 mg. sodium.


Market vegetable pizza

Total time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Serves: 8

Note: From chef Amy Sweeney at Ammo in Los Angeles

Pizza dough

1 ( 1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast

1 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees)

1 teaspoon honey

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water and honey. Let sit in a warm spot for 10 minutes until the yeast becomes active. Stir in 1 tablespoon olive oil.

2. Combine the flour and salt in a food processor. Add the yeast mixture and pulse to combine. Process until the dough forms a ball and becomes smooth and elastic, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.

3. Use the remaining teaspoon of oil to lightly oil a large bowl. Place the dough in the oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes. Divide into 4 balls.


Pizza dough

Cornmeal for dusting

12 to 16 baby zucchini, sliced on the diagonal lengthwise into 1/8 -inch thick pieces

1 pound baby Sungold tomatoes (about 48), halved

16 red spring onions, ends trimmed; using 3 to 4 inches of the white and pale green part of onion, cut into several thin, lengthwise slices

1/2 to 3/4 cup fresh marjoram leaves

8ounces feta cheese, crumbled

8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, shredded

1. Place a pizza stone (if using) on the middle rack of the oven and heat the oven to 500 degrees. Roll out 1 ball of dough on a lightly floured work surface to a 10- to 11-inch circle.

2. Sprinkle a pizza peel or pizza pan with cornmeal, then place pizza dough on it. Sprinkle one-fourth of the mozzarella onto the dough, then add one-fourth of the zucchini, tomatoes, onions, feta and marjoram. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

3. Bake for 13 to15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Continue with assembling and baking the remaining pizzas.

Each serving: 370 calories; 16 grams protein; 43 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 15 grams fat; 9 grams saturated fat; 48 mg. cholesterol; 483 mg. sodium.


Pan-roasted halibut with grits, morels and spring onions

Total time: About 2 hours

Servings: 4

Notes: From David Lentz of the Hungry Cat in Hollywood


2 cups heavy cream

2 cups water

2 garlic cloves, sliced

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup coarse grind grits

1. Bring the cream, water and garlic just to a boil. Turn off heat and infuse for 20 minutes. Strain out the garlic, rinse out the pan and add the cream mixture back to the pan.

2. Add the salt and bring to a boil. Slowly stir in the grits, reduce the heat and simmer until the grits are tender and cooked through, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Add up to 1 cup water when grits get too thick. Cooking time will depend on the type of grits used.


1 cup parsley leaves

2 garlic cloves

1 teaspoon lemon zest

2 tablespoons olive oil

Los Angeles Times Articles