I live to eat and love to cook. Welcome to my life!

May 18, 2010

Holy moley abalone!

Here I am again a week later (after mothers day extravaganza!) cooking yet another fancy dinner for the best lady in my life.

If you are my age (30 something or other) and live in California you have most likely lived most of your life with abalone being illegal to hunt/fish for and only possibly encountering it in a restaurant on the rarest of occasions.

Nowadays they are farming it on the coast of Santa Barbara and you can get it here and there, but is is not only few and far between, but fairly expensive. I had it for the first time since I was a child about a month ago at Hozy's in Santa Paula.....this is a must go if you are a food/wine lover. It is in a very small industrial business park, run by folks who's main "job" is an auto racing products company and the restaurant is really just for fun. The wine list is amazing and the food is always top notch because the owner loves food.

One day when I grow up, I want a restaurant just for fun. Really I do.

But in the mean time, I just get to use my "connections" to  get what I want to cook for my mama when the occasion arises. When moms birthday came around the corner and once again I was faced with the task of making her a fabulous dinner, I was saved my normal angst as my dad came up with the entree idea. God love him for this!

As you might have gotten the hint from the title.....Abalone of course.

So our plan was....Brock would go get it in Goleta with our friend Greg (thank you Greg, we love you!)....dad and I would clean it from the shells and Brock would pound it in to its tender state, suitable for cooking.

Then I get to make the sides, salad and sauce...egg wash and flour the abalone, pan fry it and serve it.

Then TV came on, my helpers vacated the kitchen and I found I needed help. Mom found that she coudn't sit still and found it in her heart to help me out...strapped on her apron and helped fry up the abalone. Isn't she cute?

Wow did we do good!

I am only a few hours away from leaving on a trip to Mexico so I have to cut this one short but i do have to share the recipe as it really does kick ass.

Pan Fried Abalone Cutlets with Tomato Beurre Blanc

12-4" Abalone

Remove from shells-see http://www.fishtech.com/recipes.html for tips on "how to". Make sure to pound thin for optimal tenderness

2 eggs + 1/2 cup water mixed together
1 cup flour + 1 T salt


1 Cup White Wine
1 T Whole Peppercorns
1 Garlic Clove, smashed
3  Sprigs Fresh Thyme

2 Cups water
2 Tomatoes, Sliced and seeded

3/4 cup butter, softened

Canola Oil for frying

In a small saucepan, boil wine, peppercorns, garlic & thyme until reduced to about 1/4 cup. Strain and set aside. oil tomatoes in water until reduced to 1 1/2 cup-strain through cheesecloth and smash through as many solids as you can without making it chunky. Boil on high until reduced to about 1 cup total. Add butter 1 T at a time, stirring all the time until it is smooth. Add salt or pepper to taste.

Heat oil in a large saute pan.

Dredge abalone in egg and flour, saute in pan only about 30 seconds -1 minute to a side, it will NOT take long and please don't overcook it!

Please enjoy, this is truly a rare delicacy!


chris said...

my husbnd loves abalone, this looks delicious! have a great trip!

Lynn Kenton said...

Back from Baja, but 7 days later I can still close my eyes and taste the delicate flavor of that abalone. Thanks for another amazing and special meal Jen!