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Chef Adam Tortosa hit the ground running at 1760. The LA import brought refinement and global flavors to Acquerello’s sister restaurant, and he does so especially well with vegetables. He suggests that you lay off the salt for his lollipop kale, as this dish doesn't need any extra thanks to an intriguing combination of guanciale and soy. Thanks to Jenna V. for the request!
Serves 4 to 6
4 cups red currant purée (available for sale online and in specialty stores; substitute with any other tart fruit purée, as long as you ensure the other ingredients in the sauce balance out)
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water, boiled and reduced)
2 tablespoons ginger juice (or freshly grated ginger)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup panko bread crumbs
½ tablespoon olive oil
½ tablespoon butter
1 sprig thyme
1 garlic clove, smashed
salt to taste
1 head lollipop kale (or kale sprouts, are a cross between Russian red kale and Brussels sprouts)
1/8 pound guanciale (cured pork jowl that can be found at most specialty markets; can substitute bacon)
1 tablespoon grapeseed Oil
soy sauce to taste
1. Blend red currant purée with honey, soy sauce, simple syrup, ginger juice, and olive oil.
2. Sauté panko in butter and olive oil. Add thyme, garlic, and season with salt. When crumbs are a nice, golden brown, spread on paper towels and zest lemon on top.
3. Cut off woody bottom of the lollipop kale.
4. Cut guanciale into super thin pieces, about an inch wide, using a sharp knife or mandolin.
5. In a sauté pan on high heat, add grapeseed oil and a small handful of cut guanciale. Once it’s nearly crispy, add a big handful of the kale.
6. Sauté until slightly wilted and finish with a big splash of lemon juice and a small splash of soy sauce (cut the heat or soy will taste bitter and burnt).
7. Plate the kale and top with the panko crumbs and a dash of the red currant sauce.