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Agnes A List: Holiday Recipes from Manuela Restaurant

By Agnes Lew
Dec. 24, 2020

The holiday season this year is already looking different from years past, but that hasn’t stopped Manuela, a popular restaurant located in Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles, from spreading some holiday cheer to patrons.

“Since we’re all armchair travelers at the moment, planning our post-pandemic getaway, I thought that I would reach out to our friends at Manuela and the Fife Arms restaurant for their favorite recipes for an intimate holiday dinner at home,” says Agnes Lew, East West Bank’s senior vice president and head of private banking.

Manuela uses seasonal ingredients that are sourced from local farms, as well as from their own urban garden. The space has a rustic charm, with much of the menu representing a modern twist on Southern cooking.

 Agnes Lew, East West Bank’s senior vice president and director of private banking

About Agnes Lew

Agnes Lew, East West Bank's senior vice president and director of private banking, leads a team of financial advisors that provide financial and investment advice, ranging from retirement to estate planning.

More about Agnes
Manuela restaurant located in the center of Hauser & Wirth gallery. Image from http://www.manuela-la.com

Hauser & Wirth opened its gallery in Los Angeles in 2016, but the legacy began back in 1992 when Iwan and Manuela Wirth and Ursula Hauser founded their first gallery in Zurich, Switzerland. Hauser & Wirth has since expanded to locations in Hong Kong, London, New York, Los Angeles, Somerset, Gstaad and St. Moritz. The Los Angeles gallery is a vibrant space that often features many artists and exhibitions, attracting art and food enthusiasts from near and far.

“I’ve been living vicariously through Hauser & Wirth and their hospitality group’s Instagram posts these last few months in quarantine,” says Lew. “I dream of visiting Durslade Farm at Somerset and Fife Arms in Scotland as I binge-watch the fourth season of 'The Crown.'”

“Work No. 3437: EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT,” 2020, Martin Creed. (Photo credit): Courtesy of Hauser & Wirth. https://www.vip-hauserwirth.com/works/creed106297/

Despite having to close temporarily, Manuela has shared some delicious holiday recipes straight from the chef that can be made in the comfort of your own home.

“Happy cooking! Do tag us on social media so we can see your creations,” says Lew excitedly.

Manuela BBQ oysters with chili butter. Image provided by Manuela restaurant

BBQ Oysters with Chili Butter

Serves: 2-4

Ingredients:

  • 1 dozen fresh oysters
  • 3 cups rock salt
  • 1 recipe chili butter
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup toasted bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 lemons cut into wedges

*This method of cooking oysters is inspired by New Orleans BBQ oysters. They are baked in a really hot oven quickly. If you’ve got a grill hot and ready to go, you can just as easily bypass baking on a salt-lined tray and go straight onto the grill.

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 475° F. If you’ve made the chili butter ahead of time, make sure you’ve pulled it out of the fridge to bring to room temperature. You’ll want to line a medium-sized rimmed baking sheet or oven-safe pan with rock salt to avoid the oysters from tipping over while cooking.

2. Shuck your oysters, removing the meat connected to the bottom shell. Flip the oyster meat over in its shell, placing each oyster on the salt as you shuck. Top each oyster with a generous nub of chili butter, followed by your breadcrumbs and parmesan.

3. Put oysters in the oven immediately after you’ve prepped them. Bake for 6 to 7 minutes, or until bubbling with golden brown parmesan.

4. Serve with chopped parsley and lemon wedges.

Chili Butter:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 4 tablespoons drained and finely chopped Calabrian chili peppers (available at Italian grocery stores)
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • Zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 2 filets of brown anchovies (optional)

Directions:

1. In a sauce pan, combine 2 tablespoons of the butter with the garlic and Calabrian chilis. Heat the chilis and garlic over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until the garlic is softened and fragrant but not browning.

2. In a food processor add the butter, lemon juice and zest, anchovies, parmesan and sea salt. Whip the butter until it is light and smooth.

3. Add in the chili mixture and scallion, pulsing until just combined.

Manuela pan roasted diver scallops with bacon brown butter vinaigrette. Image provided by Manuela

Pan Roasted Diver Scallops with Bacon Brown Butter Vinaigrette

Serves: 2-4

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound fresh diver scallops, cleaned
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil (vegetable oil can be substituted)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
  • Bacon brown butter vinaigrette
  • 1 bunch washed mustard greens

Directions:

1. Dry your scallops with a paper towel and season both sides with salt.

2. Heat a large heavy bottomed skillet over high heat and add the grapeseed oil to cover the entire skillet. Once the oil is shimmering and dimpled, add the scallops to sear. Gently press each scallop in the center to avoid steam pockets and get an even sear. Let the scallop sear untouched for about 5 minutes or until a deep golden brown crust forms. Reduce heat to medium, flip the scallops and cook the second side for about 1 minute—you don’t want a deep crust on this side.

3. Drain the cooking oil from the skillet and while the pan is off the heat, add the vinaigrette. Scrape the seared bits of scallop from the bottom of the pan and allow the scallops to simmer in the vinaigrette for about 1 minute. Adjust salt if needed, and add the chopped parsley.

4. Garnish with mustard greens and serve immediately.

Bacon Brown Butter Vinaigrette:

  • 4 oz diced bacon
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 2 tablespoons shallot, finely diced
  • 1 pinch crushed red chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
  • 1/4 cup aged sherry vinegar
  • Juice and zest of 2 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard

Directions:

1. In a mixing bowl, combine sherry vinegar, lemon juice and zest, honey, and dijon. In a medium sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Once the butter has melted, start whisking. Continue cooking until the butter is toasty and taken on a golden brown hue. Reserve and set aside the brown butter.

2. In the same skillet, add the bacon and cook over medium-low heat until brown and crispy. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat. Add the garlic, shallot, chili flakes and thyme. Stir and continue cooking to soften but not brown. Remove the pan from the heat, and whisk in the vinegar mixture. Once vinegar has slightly cooled, whisk in the reserved brown butter.

Manuela fruit tarts. Image provided by Manuela Restaurant

Fruit Tarts

Crust:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups toasted pecans
  • 1 1/2 cups cold butter

Directions:

1. Place flour, powdered sugar and pecans in food processor, and process until the pecans are roughly the size of rice grains. Cut the butter in 1/4 inch cubes and process with dry ingredients until it has the texture of cornmeal.

2. Turn out the dough on a lightly floured surface to form a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill until firm. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface until roughly 1/4 inch thick and stamp with a cookie cutter to allow a generous overhang from your tart molds.

3. Gently drape the dough over lightly greased tart tins. Gently press the corners around all the corners and trim the edges with a pastry spatula. Chill the dough.

4. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Fill tart shell with baking beans and bake for about 12 minutes. Remove beans and continue baking for 5 more minutes or until light golden brown. Allow to cool.

Custard:

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups milk
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/3 cups Grand Marnier

Directions:

1. Place sugar, cornstarch and salt in a saucepan and mix dry ingredients until smooth. Add the milk (preferably slightly warmed) and bring mixture to a light simmer, stirring constantly. Simmer and stir for 1 minute.

2. Beat the eggs in a small bowl. Add several spoonfuls of the hot mixture to the eggs, stirring after each addition. Add the egg mixture back into the milk mixture while stirring constantly.

3. Bring back to a boil, stirring constantly, and simmer for 1 minute. Add the vanilla and Grand Marnier, and stir until well mixed. Pour into baked crusts and allow to cool.

Glaze:

  • 1 1/2 cups apple juice
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Directions:

1. Mix the sugar and cornstarch together in a small saucepan. Add the juice and bring to a simmer, whisking constantly.

*Once custard has set, top with seasonal fruits preferably cut to similar sizes and brush with glaze.


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