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Chef Amanda Lydon of Straight Wharf Restaurant - Boston Rising Star on StarChefs.com

Photo Credit: Becca Bousquet

Amanda Lydon
Ten Tables
597 Centre Street
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
(617) 524 8810

Straight Wharf Restaurant
Straight Wharf
Nantucket, MA 02554
(508) 228 4499

Biography & Interview »



Amanda Lydon
STRAIGHT WHARF RESTAURANT | Boston

Few Ivy League graduates find their career path in the professional kitchen, but when they do, look out. The summer after Amanda Lydon’s freshman year at Harvard, she took a prep cook position at Straight Wharf Restaurant on Nantucket, and her fate was sealed. After college, Lydon earned a scholarship to Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. Returning to Boston, she worked at Chez Henri, where she not only worked under Chef Paul O’Connell, but she also met fellow cook and soul mate Gabriel Frasca. Together Lydon and Frasca took off for Europe, staging at L’abbaye de Saint Croix in Provence and then at Martin Berasetegui in San Sebastien. Back in Boston, Lydon completed stints in top kitchens, including Truc, Radius, Upstairs on the Square, and most recently Ten Tables in Jamaica Plain. This summer she returns to Nantucket, where she and Frasca will serve as co-Executive Chefs at Straight Wharf Restaurant. For Lydon, running a restaurant is not about showing off, but throwing a great party every night where guests can come and spend a couple hours enjoying themselves.

 

Chantenay Carrot Gnocchi, Braised Rabbit, Pickled Ramps and Pecorino
Chefs Gabriel Frasca and Amanda Lydon of Straight Wharf Restaurant – Boston, MA
Adapted by StarChefs.com

Yield: 10 Servings

Ingredients:

    Carrot Gnocchi:
  • 3 potatoes
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup thick carrot puree
  • Salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup cream
  • 1 egg, beaten

    Braised Rabbit Legs:
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon sherry
  • 1 Tablespoon black pepper
  • ½ Tablespoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, picked and stemmed, plus ½ bunch
  • 5 pounds fresh rabbit legs
  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 onions, peeled and rough chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and rough chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, washed and rough chopped
  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • 1 gallon chicken stock
  • 2 roasted red peppers
  • ¼ pound Serrano ham
  • 4 fresh bay leaves
  • ½ bunch thyme

    Additional:
  • 1 small clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 jar pickled ramps
  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  • Pecorino, shaved

Method:

For Carrot Gnocchi:
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Roast the potatoes on a rack for about 1 hour, until they give slightly when pressed. When potatoes are almost done, gently heat the carrot puree. Pass the potatoes through a ricer onto a floured work surface; season liberally with salt and pepper. Working quickly, add warm carrot puree, cream and beaten egg to potatoes and cover generously with flour. Cut flour into potato mixture to incorporate. Continue adding flour until carrot puree is evenly distributed and the dough is moist but not tacky. Gently kneed the dough for approximately 1 minute. While dough is still warm, cut and roll small amounts of dough into long, ½-inch strips. Heavily flour strips and, using a bench knife, cut them into 1-inch dumplings. Slide formed gnocchi onto well-floured pan in a single layer.

For Braised Rabbit Legs:
Combine the lemon zest, olive oil, sherry, black pepper, red pepper and two sprigs of rosemary in a bowl. Mix well and pour the marinade over rabbit legs, coating well. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 225ºF. Heat oil in a rondeau over medium heat. Season the legs with salt and pepper and lightly sear them on both sides. Remove from heat and set aside. Add the onion to the rondeau and allow to caramelize; then add the carrot, and finally the celery, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. Once the vegetables are tender and sweet, add the tomato paste and toast for 1-2 minutes. Add the chicken stock. Once the stock is warm, return the legs to the pot and add the red peppers, Serrano ham, bay leaves, thyme and remaining rosemary; bring to a boil. Immediately remove from heat, cover the inside of the rondeau with parchment paper, and place in the center of the oven for approximately 2 hours, or until the meat is tender. Remove the legs from the rondeau. Allow to cool and, working quickly, separate the meat from the bones. Skim the fat from the braising liquid and strain the liquid through a fine chinois. In a medium pot over low heat reduce the braising liquid by a third.

For Assembly and Presentation:
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the gnocchi for approximately 3 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pan and bloom the garlic. Add ramps, to taste, and then add the pulled rabbit meat and some of the reduced braising liquid. When gnocchi has cooked, drain off the water and add gnocchi to the rabbit. Sauté until sauce has reached desired consistency. Divide the pasta and sauce among heated serving bowls. Garnish each bowl with a sprinkle of parsley and shaved pecorino. Serve immediately.


Wine Pairing:

George (Vintage II) 2004 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, California

 

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  •    Published: March 2006

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