Chef Morou Ouattara Kicks Off The New Year With Healthy Quickmeals
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New York (December 31, 2004) -, the ultimate online culinary magazine, is pleased to announce Morou Ouattara, chef and partner of the Washington, D.C. restaurant Signatures, as the next featured chef for QuickMeals™ - fast and easy healthy recipes from the country's hottest chefs. QuickMeals use a minimal number of ingredients and require minimal preparation time. Every week, StarChefs features 5 QuickMeal recipes from a different celebrity chef with serving suggestions and wine pairings, plus a shopping list and the chef's ideal pantry. Morou is kicking off the New Year with a week of healthy gourmet recipes that are easy to make at home.

Morou Ouattara’s Menu for the Week of January 3, 2005:

Monday: Oven-Roasted Whole Striped Bass with Cucumber-Onion Salad

Tuesday: Cinnamon-Cured Quail with Sourdough Bread and Apple Stuffing

Wednesday: Skillet-Seared Scallops with Carrot-Ginger Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

Thursday: Pan-Roasted Lamb Chops with Mint-Yogurt Sauce

Friday: Lemon-Soaked Salmon

Morou Ouattara cooks “American with an accent.” As executive chef and partner of the Washington, D.C. restaurant Signatures, located across from the National Archives, he is known for his distinctive cuisine marked by an innovative and eclectic combination of African, French and Middle Eastern flavors. Born in the Ivory Coast, Morou came to the US in 1988 to study computer science but soon discovered he liked cooking more than coding. In 2002, after a decade-long tenure at Red Sage, Morou joined the kitchen of Signatures, where he has found a forum for his personal expression. His efforts have earned him critical acclaim, including a Rising Stars Award from StarChefs.

A subscription to QuickMeals is ideal for someone whose New Year’s Resolution is to eat healthier in 2005. New seasonal recipes are provided each week by top chefs like Mario Batali, Bobby Flay, and Daniel Boulud. A QuickMeals subscription is only $54.99 for 12 months with unlimited access to chef recipes, or $9.99 for a super-saver 3-month trial subscription. For more information or to subscribe to QuickMeals, go to

Recipe for Skillet-Seared Scallops with Carrot-Ginger Vinaigrette

Chef Morou Ouattara of Signatures – Washington, DC

Adapted by StarChefs

Yield: 4 Servings


For carrot-ginger vinaigrette:

1 large carrot, chopped

½ medium white onion, chopped

½ cup peeled and finely chopped ginger, about 4 ounces

1 Tablespoon rice vinegar

1 Tablespoon sugar

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

Salt and pepper to taste

½ teaspoon sesame oil

2 Tablespoons soy sauce

For scallops:

1 Tablespoon oil

¾ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

¼ teaspoon ground pepper, or to taste

1 pound Maine diver scallops, or large sea scallops, about 20 pieces


Place carrot, onion and ginger in food processor and puree for three minutes. While machine is running, add rice vinegar and sugar and, in a slow, steady stream, add 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil. Transfer the vinaigrette mixture to a separate container. In a small bowl, blend the sesame oil and soy sauce. Add the sesame-soy mixture to the carrot-ginger vinaigrette to taste. Season mixture with freshly ground pepper and additional salt to taste. Set aside while you prepare the scallops.

In a skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon oil over medium heat until very hot, but not smoking. Meanwhile, pull off and discard tough, crescent-shaped muscle from each scallop. Sprinkle scallops with pepper and salt. Add scallops to skillet. Cook scallops for 4-5 minutes or just until they turn opaque throughout. Do not turn scallops over. Transfer the scallops to warm plates and drizzle with the carrot-ginger vinaigrette.

Round Out the Meal:

With sweet potato and fennel puree (recipe follows).

Sweet Potato-Fennel Puree:


1 pound sweet potato, peeled and cubed

Half of a small fennel bulb, chopped, about 4 ounces

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

Salt and white pepper to taste


Place sweet potato and fennel in a 4-quart saucepan and add cold water to cover. Bring to a boil. Simmer until tender, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Drain vegetables well, transfer to a food processor and puree. Blend in butter. Season mixture with salt and white pepper. Makes 4 servings.

Healthy Hint:

Omit or reduce quantity of butter in sweet potato-fennel puree.

Kid Friendly:

For children that don’t like scallops, substitute cod or red snapper.

Wine Pairing:

A dry, crisp Riesling such as Bonny Doon Pacific Rim Dry Reisling 2003™ is an award-winning online culinary magazine, serving the foodservice industry and food aficionados since 1995. It is both a backstage pass to the celebrity chef world for food and wine-savvy consumers and an essential information resource for aspiring professional chefs.™ features 25,000 published pages of original, chef-focused culinary content and generates monthly traffic of over 14.6 million hits a month. It has won Best of the Web awards from, among others, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, Brill's Content, and Lycos. Its Board of Advisors is made up of 20 of the country’s most influential chefs, including Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Daniel Boulud, Norman Van Aken, Todd English, Marcus Samuelsson and Bobby Flay. StarChefs JobFinder is the leading niche job board for the hospitality industry, featuring cutting edge, interactive classifieds technology.

StarChefs would like every food lover to know about QuickMeals. If you would like to excerpt or reference QuickMeals in your publication, please feel free.

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For further information about this QuickMeals release and inquiries about no-charge reproduction, contact 2911 Productions, Inc. at 703.549.0585 or


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