A Look Inside the Long-Awaited Cookbook from Star Chef David Kinch
Try the recipe for Garden Beignets and Crispy Leaves
Since opening Manresa in Los Gatos in 2002, award-winning Chef David Kinch has done more to create a sense of place through his food–specifically that of Northern California, where the Santa Cruz Mountains meet the sea–than any other chef at his level. Rather than buy his ingredients from a network of local producers, he closed the loop between farm and table by partnering with nearby Love Apple Farms, which grows almost 100 percent of his produce year round.
In Manresa, Chef Kinch details his thoughts on building a dish: the creativity, experimentation and emotion that go into developing each plate and daily menu–and how a tasting menu ultimately tells a deeper story. A literary snapshot of the restaurant, from Chef Kinch’s inspirations to his techniques, this book celebrates the creativity behind the food of Manresa and its profound connection to the land and sea of Northern California.
Below, find a recipe for tasty cheese beignets that will wow at any dinner party. Enjoy!
I created this nod to my New Orleans upbringing as a way to keep up with the copious amounts of hearty greens that arrive from Love Apple Farms. Now it’s one of the first seasonal bites at Manresa. We encourage diners to poke around in the (kale) leaves to find the treasure. The centers are made with mustard greens, kale, and chard, but almost any braising greens will do. The kale chips are tossed with nutritional yeast before baking for a haunt- ing flavor, while the coating of malt vinegar powder and final grating of cheese are a riff on the confectioners’ sugar that’s used to finish traditional sweet beignets. Serve as passed hors d’oeuvres or as an appetizer course.
GARDEN BEIGNETS AND CRISPY LEAVES
makes 18 to 20 beignets
200 grams (7 ounces) greens, including mustard, kale, and chard, stems removed (8 cups, tightly packed)
100 grams(1 cup) thinly sliced white onion
15 grams (1 tablespoon) butter
15 grams (1 tablespoon) extra-virgin olive oil
3 grams (1/2 teaspoon) kosher salt, plus more as needed
55 grams (2 ounces) aged goat’s milk
Cheddar or Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated
Sweat the greens and onion in the butter and oil in a heavy covered pan over low heat for 40 to 45 min- utes, stirring occasionally, until they are very tender. Season with salt and cool to room temperature. Finely chop the vegetables and, using your hands, mix in the cheese. Add more salt if needed. Roll into 1-inch- diameter balls, approximately 10 to 12 grams each, cover with plastic wrap, and reserve in the refrigera- tor for up to 1 week.
5 grams (2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
200 grams (3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) whole milk, warmed to less than 90°F (30°C)
1 egg white, whisked to a light froth 185 grams (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
all-purpose flour 40 grams (3 tablespoons) sugar 6 grams (1 teaspoon) kosher salt
Sprinkle the yeast over the warm milk and set aside in a warm place for about 10 minutes to activate. Combine the dry ingredients. Add the yeast mixture to the egg white. Whisk in the dry ingredients and mix until the batter is smooth. Proof at room temperature for about 1 hour. Extra batter—enough to coat a second batch of Beignet Centers—will hold for a few days in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before using.
25 to 30 small (3- to 4-inch) kale leaves (black Toscano or red Russian)
Approximately 6 grams (11/2 teaspoons) extra-virgin olive oil
Approximately 3 grams (1/2 teaspoon) kosher salt
Approximately 2 grams (1 teaspoon) nutritional yeast
Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C). If you have a convection oven, set the fan on low.
Gently toss the kale leaves with just enough olive oil to coat them with a light film. Season to taste with salt and yeast. Place the leaves between two silicone baking mats on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Remove the top mat and bake for another 5 minutes. Turn the leaves over, rotate the pan, and bake again for 5 minutes. Continue to turn and bake until crispy, 2 to 3 rotations. Store in a dry box.
Grapeseed oil, for-deep frying 10 grams (2 tablespoons) malt vinegar powder
25 grams (1 ounce) aged goat’s milk
Cheddar or Parmigiano-Reggiano
Heat the grapeseed oil for deep-frying to 350°F (175°C). Using 2 spoons, thickly coat the chilled Beignet Centers in the Beignet Batter and fry in the grapeseed in small batches for a few minutes, turning and basting with oil, until golden brown. Drain on paper towels, snip off any tails of batter with scissors, then roll the hot beignets in a little of the malt vinegar powder. Arrange the beignets on serving plates, grate cheese over the beignets, garnish with Kale Chips, and serve immediately.