Counter Intelligence

Favorite Five: Gillian Clark of the General Store

Posted in District of Columbia by melissamccart on March 17, 2009

Chef Gillian Clark of the recently opened General Store and the soon to open Avenue Oven has been a press darling as of late for her pioneering ways. Now that General Store has progressed from take-out to seated dining, Clark is focused on the fun part: cooking.  Her favorite five ingredients these days? Cheddar cheese, scallops, cornmeal, parsnips and buttermilk.

Missy Frederick of Washington Business Journal and I decided to see what we could whip up for a dinner made with Clark’s five favorites. Check out Missy’s Recipes for her meal.

For the cheddar cheese: I used an aged cheddar from Keswick Creamery to make the first bites, a (mostly) parmesan cheddar crisp with mandolined radishes, seasoned with grey salt, ground green peppercorn and flat-leaf parsley. radish

For the buttermilk: Gourmet’s cheddar biscuits, minus the scallions.

For the cornmeal: Lee Brothers  crunchy skillet cornbread. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Grease a skillet with lard or drippings (I used bacon) and place in oven until it’s smoking.This is what makes the crust crunchy. Sift 1.5 c. cornmeal, 1 t. baking powder, 1 t. baking soda, .5 t salt, 1 t sugar in a bowl. Whisk an egg and 1/5 c. buttermilk in a separate bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix. Melt 2 T butter over low heat and add to mixture. Pour batter into smoking skillet, then bake for 15 minutes.

For the parsnips: Suzanne Goin’s potato parsnip puree from Sunday Suppers at Lucques. The recipe is basically a pound of russets, peeled and skilletdiced, a pound of parnips, same, 3/4 c. heavy cream, 1/4 c. milk, 8 oz. butter, salt. Cook potatoes and parsnips in water. When they’re soft, strain, pass through a food mill. Transfer to heavy-bottomed pot, add butter slowly, stir in warm cream. And don’t forget to season with salt as needed.

For the scallops:  I could not find fresh bay scallops so I used sea scallops. I fried bacon on medium heat in a skillet, removed strips, then poured off about half the drippings. I transferred sea scallops to the pan, still on medium heat, and watched until each was nearly opaque and the edge had begun to caramelize. Once they were nearly finished, I turned them to cook for a minute longer, transferred them to a plate and finished them off with lemon juice.

To plate: I wilted mixed greens (you can use collards or turnip greens, just remove the stems) from the farmers market for a couple of minutes and placed on one side of the plate, positioned three scallops in a row on greens, then dolloped puree parallel to scallops, garnishing it with finely chopped bacon and flat-leaf parsley.  Naturally, I dont have a finished plate: wine and company distracted me. 

This was a super easy meal. Thanks to Chef Clark for the inspiration. 


4 Responses

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  1. […] meal based on five ingredients chose by a local chef. She took the challenge as well, so check out her entry on her site. The ingredients were chosen by Gillian Clark, who went […]

  2. Cindy said, on March 19, 2009 at 9:53 am

    Your blog provides a fresh look at the subject. You might want to take a look at my blog and possibly become a regular reader.

    Free Samples. Updated with a complete new list of Free Stuff every 24 hours.

  3. […] March 31, 2009 5 From PS7’s: Our Take on Counter Intelligence’s Favorite Five from Peter Smith Posted by Capital Spice under Cooking at Home, Food for Thought, Wow, You Need Booze! | Tags: Coriander Seeds, Counter Intelligence, Favorite Fives, Leeks, Morels, Peter Smith, Pork Tenderloin, PS7’s, Yuzu |   Two weeks ago, Melissa McCart of Counter Intelligence launched a new feature called “Favorite Five.”  In it, she asks local chefs about their – you guessed it – five favorite ingredients and then attempts to use them all in a single meal.  She also invites fellow food writers to join her in the challenge; the different takes help to illustrate the versatility of the chef’s favorites.  Last time, Melissa and Missy Frederick of the Washington Business Journal took on Chef Gillian Clark’s favorite five. […]

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