When we last spoke with Alessandra Innamorato, an underground restaurant chef by way of Spain and owner of Orgasmo de la Boca smoked olives, we were contemplating the American obsession with food-based sexual references. But we are supposed to be talking about "the crack meets hot sex of olives" Tweet praise that turned last year's Thanksgiving appetizer into a full-time smoke house gig. "My life is now the smoker -- everything I touch smells like smoke," says Innamorato. Well, those wood-smoked olives really are good, even with G-rated adjectives.
For Innamorato's biggest olive pet peeve (it will get you on the olive jar black list), and the cornmeal pancakes with lox and coriander crème fraîche appetizer she's making for Thanksgiving this year, turn the page.
"I cannot handle hearing [my friends] just dump out the olive oil that the olives came packed in," says Innamorato. "It's expensive, and it gets all smokey from the olives -- you should really be cooking with that oil." And if you don't? "I only sell the olives in vacu-sealed packs to my friends who do that."
Cornmeal pancakes with lox and coriander crème fraîche
From: Alessandra Innamorato of Orgasmo de la Boca olives.
Note: If you use homemade crème fraîche, allow two days for fermentation.
1 4-ounce package lox or smoked salmon
1 recipe crème fraîche (recipe follows, or store bought)
1 recipe cornmeal pancakes (recipe follows)
Chopped chives for garnish
1. Roll or fold a small piece of lox or smoked salmon and place on top of pancake. Top with a dollop of crème fraiche and chives.
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 Tablespoons buttermilk
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1. Warm the cream and buttermilk in saucepan to just below a simmer. Do not let boil.
2. Pour mixture into a glass or stainless steel bowl, cover and let sit for 24 hours at room temperature until thick.
3. Whisk in ground coriander and refrigerate for 24 hours. Use within 7 days.
1 egg, separated
2 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
½ cup thinly sliced green onion
pinch of salt and pepper
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canola oil or olive oil for cooking
1. Beat egg white until stiff peaks form; set aside. Slightly beat the egg yolk in mixing bowl; blend in buttermilk and oil.
2. Mix together the flour, soda, salt, sugar, and cornmeal; blend into the liquid mixture until smooth. Fold in beaten egg white, green onion and salt and pepper. Let batter stand for 10 minutes.
3. In nonstick skillet over medium heat, drop tablespoon size dollops into pan (a soup spoon works well). Cook the pancakes until they are golden brown, then flip and continue on the other side. Remove from the skillet and place on a paper towel-lined tray.