Jason Hammel and Amalea Tshilds
LULA CAFÉ | Chicago
Lula Café, the loving creation
of husband and wife team Amalea Tshilds and Jason Hammel, has quickly
becoming the preferred spot for Chicago’s chef community.
The couple met while working as cooks at Logan Beach, a beloved
neighborhood café in Logan Square. Tshilds, a Chicago native
who graduated from Bard College with a degree in painting, was supplementing
her work as a musician and artist when she met her future husband
and co-chef, a writer by training, with an English degree from Brown
University. Together they renovated the 700-square-foot Logan storefront
in 1999 and renamed it ‘Lula.’ Beginning with a simple
menu of salads, pastas, roast chicken, and brunch fare, Lula has
evolved as the couple developed their craft through years of practice
and dedicated reading of master cookbooks from Elizabeth David,
Alice Waters and Jacques Pepin. Over the years, Jason and Lea have
formed strong relationships with nearly 30 Midwestern farmers and
countless other purveyors of fine artisanal products country-wide,
whose ingredients are showcased in their seasonal menus.
Rushing Waters Rainbow Trout with Sunchokes
and Winter Radishes, Serrano Ham, and Saffron Butter
Chefs Jason Hammel and Amalea Tshilds of Lula Café
– Chicago, IL
Adapted by StarChefs.com
Yield: 4 Servings
- 6 sunchokes
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon minced pickled shallots or onions
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon minced capers
- 1 teaspoon chopped salt cured anchovy (rinse and pat dry first)
- Salt to taste
- 2 cups extra virgin olive oil
- 4 whole rainbow trout
- 2 Tablespoons grape seed oil
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 2 ounces Serrano ham, thinly shaved
- 1 Tablespoon picked chervil leaves
- 2 teaspoons finely sliced chives
- 2 black Spanish radishes, finely julienned
- 4 French breakfast radishes, finely julienned
- 2 Tablespoons micro-greens, preferably china rose radish or
Preheat oven to 375° F. Julienne sunchokes and toss with 2 Tablespoons
extra virgin olive oil and salt. Wrap in a foil package and roast
for 10-12 minutes or until al dente. Remove from foil and set on
a tray to cool.
Combine pickled shallots, Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, parsley,
capers, anchovy, and salt. Allow to stand 15 minutes. Whisk in olive
oil in a steady stream. Season.
For Saffron Butter:
Heat shallots, saffron, white wine and white wine vinegar in small
sauce pan. Reduce until dry. Add lemon juice to taste and heat.
Whisk in butter 1 Tablespoon at a time until 8 Tablespoons are incorporated,
melting completely before each addition. Season and set aside in
a warm place.
Remove heads and split trout in half by cutting on either side of
the backbone. Trim sides into neat rectangles, season and set aside.
Heat a nonstick or French iron skillet until just smoking. Add
grape seed oil and place trout skin side down. Sauté until
the skin is golden brown and crispy. Turn gently and cook briefly
on flesh side. Add butter and quickly baste fish. Remove from heat
and set on paper towel.
To Assemble and Serve:
Toss Serrano ham, chervil, chives, radishes and sunchokes with 2
Tablespoons of vinaigrette. Place half this mixture on the plate,
top with 2 trout triangles per plate, setting both pieces skin side
up and at opposing angles. Top with remaining ham-radish mixture
and micro-greens. Drizzle saffron butter on trout and around plate.
Drizzle vinaigrette on plate.
Vineyard 8, Chardonnay, Spring Mountain, California 2002