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Entries in Adam Pearson (43)

Wednesday
Apr062011

recipe: churros

1 C water
3 tblsp unsalted butter
4 C vegetable oil
3 tblsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 C all purpose flour
1 egg

1/2 C sugar
1 tblsp ground cinnamon
Makes about 20

Directions:
In a deep skillet, preheat the oil to 350°F.

In a shallow baking dish, stir together 1/2 cup of sugar with the ground cinnamon and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, stir the water, butter, salt and 3 tablespoons of sugar together and bring to a boil.

Once the mixture has been brought to a boil, stir the flour in with a wooden spoon until it becomes dough-like, about 3-5 minutes.

Turn the heat down to medium-low and beat the egg into the dough until fully incorporated.

Scoop the mixture into a piping bag with a large star tip and begin piping the mixture into the oil—cut and re-pipe every three inches. Consider using a professional pastry bag or doubling up a disposable bag since the dough is thick and could bust a seam.

Fry each churro for about 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. When done, allow the oil to drain on paper towels. Last, while the churros are still hot toss them in the cinnamon sugar mixture and serve.

Adam’s hints:
—as flour is added to the boiling water mixture, it will become thick very quickly so keep stirring and don’t give up! Even when the egg is added in the following step and the heat’s turned down—keep stirring and build muscle.
—since this mixture is a very thick dough, consider using a professional pastry bag or a doubled piping bag to avoid splitting the seams.
—this recipe works like a cream puff or pate a choux—which are great ways to impress guests—so give one of those a try next!

Wednesday
Mar232011

recipe: shrimp, black bean and mango salsa tostadas

12 tiger shrimp, cooked with shells removed and tails intact
12, 2” corn tortillas, fried

black bean and mango salsa:
1 C canned black beans, drained
1 medium mango, diced
1 vine ripe tomato, seeded and diced
1/3 small jicama, diced
1/4 C red onion, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
juice of 2 limes
salt and pepper to taste
garnish with fresh watercress leaves, optional
Makes 12

Directions:
In a small bowl, combine the black beans, mango, tomato, jicama, red onion, jalapeno, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Gently toss together until well combined and adjust seasonings to taste.

Cover and allow flavors to merry for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.

Spoon 2 tablespoons of salsa onto each fried tortilla, place a single shrimp on the salsa, top with sprigs of watercress and serve.

Adam’s hints:
—if small corn tortillas aren’t available, improvise by cutting down larger tortillas with a circle or cookie cutter—heart or star shapes can be fun—but remember they should be no smaller than 6” in diameter.
—the tortillas can be fried in a shallow skillet with just a 1/2” of canola or vegetable oil. They’ll fry fast and continue to cook a bit once removed—so about a minute will do, then sprinkle with salt.
—the watercress are optional but they add a wonderful peppery bite!

Monday
Mar212011

meet us: adam pearson

Meet Adam Pearson, a professional food stylist based near our photo shoot in LA and Palm Springs. He’s the creative genius of our Mexican Fiesta and his recipes will be featured throughout the season.

Who taught you to cook?
Growing up in southern California, my dad spent a lot of time with me grilling outside. He also taught me how to make biscuits and sausage gravy when I was about 8. The gravy recipe is so easy its ingrained in my memory—and those moments became more special as our family split up.

Has ‘California cuisine’ influenced you?
I was exposed to a lot of different, exotic cultures and cuisines at a young age—ironically none from my own family. I took bits and pieces from friends’ homes and what they were cooking, and now as an adult they finally make sense when I mix them together in the kitchen.

What’s your favorite ingredient to cook with?
Spices. I love the flavor of ethnic foods but right now I’m obsessed with Korean. It’s warm, spicy, filling—very much like comfort food. I’m working with an assistant who goes to the Korean market with me, translates the staples, shares how they can be mixed—this opened a door to experimenting with Korean cuisine.

Got any food styling secrets you can share?
Instead of following a recipe, I’ll start by ‘deconstructing’ it—meaning I’ll cook ingredients so each looks its best. As for plating, I like them to look approachable…a little messy…perfectly imperfect.

Also, tools are my thing. I’m the tool kid. I’d be lost without a blow torch…a mandolin…but the most important tools are a sense of confidence and your hands. It’s so true that experience enhances your senses. The first food stylist I apprenticed under—all he needed was his fingers and spit.

Where do you find inspiration?
My partner Matt and I, we travel a lot and always bring something back that’s food related. Our first stop is usually a grocery store for local ingredients—like chick pea flour from Nice, France. Matt was recently in Singapore and brought back a suitcase and a half—our pantry is filled with international foodstuffs.

We like to shop for one-off serving dishes, special baking dishes made for indigenous recipes…in Spain we found local pottery shops with hand-made, lovely cazuelas which are very useful in preparing Spanish recipes.

And wherever we are, we’re dissecting and cataloging what was prepared for us. In Buenos Aires we had compound butters with fresh bread that was to die for! Like English muffins with pistachio butter—so easy to do at home.

What do you do for fun?
Matt publishes mattbites.com, and we often work on it together, so recipes, food styling and photography are a huge part of both our lives. There’s no way around bringing our work home with us—especially since his studio is part of the house.

Often one of us is on a shoot out of town, so when we’re both home we make lots of trips to farmer’s markets. It’s almost a cliche but we get what’s local and seasonal—we’re spoiled being in southern California where we get fresh vegetables all year. We go without a menu in mind, check out what looks good, and make things up as we go along.

Great looking plates, platters, and serving utensils add another layer. Dinner in our house is usually a small production and we love rotating pieces from our prop studio with our everyday slip porcelain from Australia. And we get just about every food magazine out there so—there may be a fine line between passion and addiction, but there just doesn’t seem to be a lot of free time for anything but food.

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