Make Yourself at Home: Chef Adam Carroll's recipe
Make Yourself at Home: Chef Adam Carroll's recipeBy Lindsay PeytonAdam Carroll stepped into the kitchen at a young age, out of necessity.
“I’ve been cooking since my mother started burning stuff,” he said. “You’d hear the smoke detector go off – and you knew dinner was done.
”He started working in the restaurant industry as a teen at an Irish pub in his hometown of Cleveland, and then ran a bar and restaurant with his mother for three years.
And even though Carroll went on to earn a double major in literature and philosophy, with a minor in political science, from John Carroll University, the kitchen kept calling him.
“There isn’t any chef I know who can stay out of a kitchen for long before going mental,”he said. Carroll worked as a chef in San Francisco and Chicago, before packing his bags and moving to Seattle.He saw an ad that Ballard’s cozy tapas spot, Ocho, was hiring a chef – and became fast friends with owner Zach Harjo.
“We got along well and the rest is history,” Carroll said. The restaurant’s concept, with its ever-rotating menu, appealed to him.
“Chefs don’t get health benefits; so creativity is the thing that keeps us going,” he said. “Zach and I have a tendency to go down a creative rabbit hole, and we end up with some wild, off-the-wall stuff.”The restaurant is a neighborhood favorites, serving up duck terrines, roasted local clams, pancetta-wrapped dates stuffed with blue cheese and spicy garlic prawns, as well as new recipes dreamt up by the chef.
Carroll creates dishes with a story to tell. “The concept has a whole history behind it,” he said. “But the customer doesn’t know it, unless I’m out there to talk about it.”And he often is. Carroll is the type of chef who wanders out from behind the stove to explain entrees and chat with diners. For this article, Carroll selected one of his favorite recipes – coq au vin -- to share, one he remembers first discovering in an old French cookbook. “It’s a peasant dish,” he said. “They took these old hens that didn’t sell and marinated them in wine for a couple of days before stewing it all up.”Onions, bacon, garlic and mushrooms are mainstays of the recipe. Instead of using chicken, Carroll prefers quail. “You can take everything, throw it in the crockpot, marinate it for six hours and you’re good to go,” he said.
Ocho’s staff uses grams for their recipes – and Carroll suggests seasoning with salt and pepper between each step. Grams to ounces conversion tables are available on Google. “Please note all measurements are essentially guesses and should be used more as an outline for the ratios,” he added. “It’s not baking. Have fun, don’t forget to salt and don’t be afraid of butter.
”Recipe: Coq au vin
800 grams quail, split, center bones removed
320 grams dry red wine
230 grams mushrooms, roughly chopped
160 grams brandy
120 grams lardon, medium dice
90 grams Spanish onions, medium chop
90 grams shallots, julienned
70 grams tomato paste
50 grams pancetta, medium diced
45 grams garlic, sliced
30 grams butter
15 grams, thyme, fresh sprigs bundled
15 grams extra virgin olive oil2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
On medium high heat, render lardon in heavy bottomed sauté pan. Once softened, add pancetta, mushrooms, shallots, onions and garlic. Saute until garlic is golden and onions are translucent. Add hers and quail and nestle in pan to coat in fat. Once mixed, add wine and tomato paste.
Reduce heat to low and stir intermittently to prevent scorching. Reduce liquid by two thirds. Once sauce is thickened, add brandy and ignite. Let pain flambé for about a minute before turning of the heat. Stir in butter.