For Christmas, my girlfriend took me to Chef’s Inc. in Los Angeles for a cooking workshop on appetizer twists from Top Chef. The following were the menu and recipes of the evening:
- Spicy Potato-Samosa Wontons with Cilantro Chutney
- Pan Seared Scallops with Plum Chutney on Yukon Chips
- Wild Mushroom Toasts
- Banana Fritters with Cinnamon Sugar & Red Chili
We started the evening with preparing the Wild Mushroom Toasts, which was basically a mushroom crostini. Mushrooms consisted of crimini, shiitake, and button sauteed in cognac, broth, shallots, garlic, and butter with some sprigs of rosemary and thyme. The slices of bread were toasted with olive oil, and after, rubbed with garlic. Lastly, the mushrooms were placed atop of the baguette like so:
The great thing about the mushroom topping is that it can be used for a lot of things such as fish and pasta.
Afterwards, we continued with the Spicy Potato-Samosa Wontons. The potato filling was not crazy special nor were making the wontons, but the Cilantro Chutney recipe is definitely worth sharing:
- 1 cup firmly packed cilantro
- 1 tsp chopped fresh ginger
- 1 small onion
- 2 fresh green chilies, seeds removed
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor with 1 tablespoonof water and puree to a smooth paste, adding more water if the chutney is too thick. Pour chutney into a bowl and cover until ready to use.
Since we had so much extra potato filling left over, I made them into potato pancakes!
My favorite of the night was the Pan Seared Scallops with Plum Chutney on Yukon Chips. We made fresh potato chips by simply slicing potatoes and deep-frying them; scallops were seared on a pan; and the chutney was made by boiling a variety of flavors and fresh plums, currants, and apple cider in a saucepan.
The potato samosas with the cilantro chutney are pictured on the left; the seared scallops are on the right.
The Banana Fritters weren’t great, nor were they photogenic. But overall, a fun experience. I definitely would make the recipes differently to make it my own.