Houston Chef Serves Up Culture, Southern Hospitality and a Passion for Cars
By: A Chevy Texan
July 31, 2012 8:55 am CT
From a small town Louisiana boy to an acclaimed international chef, Charles Clark has won the hearts of many Houstonians with his three uniquely distinguished, but equally impressive restaurants.
Clark, the Cadillac Culinary Master for the month of July and a Cadillac driver himself, has a rich, international culinary background that appeals to the culturally-diverse, often adventurous Houston palate. A Houston culinary program graduate, Clark has been greatly influenced by his time spent dining and learning in France, Italy and Spain. His experiences abroad and as a chef on the southern coast of Spain inspired his three Houston-area restaurants, particularly Spanish-themed Ibiza Wine & Food Bar, which is now serving the Cadillac inspired menu for July.
At a recent #CadillacExperience Tweetup event at his River Oaks restaurant Brasserie 19, Chef Clark and his team delivered a custom-made Cadillac-inspired menu, which included wine pairings for each dish. The elegant table boasted Chef Clark himself, along with 10 of Houston’s exemplary social media gurus, brought together by their passion for writing, eating and tweeting. Throughout the event, guests tweeted about the food, fun, and hospitality of Chef Clark.
If you’re a culinary master or just love to cook, try one of two recipes below. Each item was created by Chef Clark himself and will be sure to fill you kitchen with rich mouthwatering aromas. Let us know how your dish tastes!
Pan-Seared Scallop with Summer Radish Succotash
Yields six small plates
6 U-10 size or larger scallops
5 oz. Shitake mushrooms (shaved paper thin)
5 oz. French green beans (blanched until sweet)
5 oz. raw red radish (shaved paper thin using mandolin)
3 oz. English peas
5 oz. steamed fresh corn
1 oz. baby arugula
2 oz. minced shallots
1 T. grated parmesan cheese
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. unsalted butter
2 whole lemons
Sea salt, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
Season scallops with salt and pepper, then set aside. Heat a large sauté pan for about 10 minutes or until hot. Add olive oil to pan, then place seasoned scallops in pan and sear until golden brown on both sides – about 6 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.
Using same pan, add butter and shallots and sauté until shallots are brown – about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, beans, radish, peas, corn and arugula, folding together over heat for 1 minute. Add parmesan cheese to tighten up the ingredients. Distribute mixture evenly among 6 small appetizer plates. Add a seared scallop on top of each, and garnish with a squeeze of fresh lemon and some sea salt.
Fried Italian Donuts, Serves 6
4 quarts canola oil (for frying)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
½ cup ricotta
2 whole eggs
Powdered sugar, as needed
Heat canola oil in an 8-quart Dutch oven until the temperature reaches 350 degrees. While the oil is heating, mix flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl with a wire whisk. In a separate bowl, mix ricotta and whole eggs with a wire whisk, making sure that the mixture is completely smooth. Add to the flour mixture and whisk until just combined (batter will be lumpy).
Use two large spoons, place 2 tablespoons of batter at a time into the hot oil. The batter will sink to the bottom of the oil, floating to the top after a few seconds. Should the batter stick to the bottom of the Dutch oven, carefully loosen the batter. Fry each zeppole for 3 to 4 minutes, occasionally turning to ensure even browning and thorough cooking. You may fry as many as 8 zeppole at a time.
Line a plate with paper towels. Using a skimmer, remove zeppole from the oil and transfer to paper towels to drain. Fry remaining batter, then sift a generous amount of powdered sugar on top until completely coated. Serve immediately (Zeppole pairs well with chocolate sauce or Nutella).