Annabelle Gurwitch: A Fired White House Chef

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Actress and Day to Day contributor Annabelle Gurwitch talks with Walter Scheib, a former White House chef, about presidential food preferences.

They also discuss the circumstances surrounding his official departure from the White House kitchen — and he shares one of his favorite recipes, below:

Seared Scallops with Red Curry Sauce in the Manner of An Old Friend

(serves eight)

For the scallops

2-3 large diver scallops per person

1 tablespoon minced ginger

1 1/2 teaspoons chopped Chinese black beans

1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon chili paste

1 tablespoon chiffonade Thai basil

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon Soy Sauce

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

Combine all ingredients except scallops and mix well in a stainless bowl — then add scallops and let marinate for 1-2 hours.

For the vegetables

1 head per person baby bok choy, cleaned and split

3 oz. each peeled carrot and peeled daikon, cut into long ribbons on a mandolin

3 oz. each the exterior skin of zucchini and yellow squash — use only the colored outside layer; cut into long ribbons and put them through the mandolin

Vegetable dressing

1/4 cup peanut oil

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon minced ginger

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon chili paste

Mix all dressing items together

For curry sauce — simple version

1 tablespoon corn oil

4-5 Roma tomatoes, quartered

5 each oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes

1 tablespoon lemon grass, grated

1/2 tablespoon Thai chilies, minced

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1-2 tablespoons red curry paste

Chicken stock

1-2 oz. unsweetened coconut milk

In hot pan with oil, put quartered Roma tomatoes and cook over high heat to slightly char. Put these tomatoes and all other ingredients except stock and coconut milk into a food processor and blend well until smooth. Heat mixture in a sauce pot. Before serving, adjust thickness with chicken stock and add coconut milk for taste.

To finish the dish

1.) In medium non-stick pan, sear marinated scallops until just done, and reserve warm until served.

2.) Steam split bok choy until tender.

3.) Stir-fry other vegetables al dente.

4.) Dress all vegetables lightly with dressing.

5.) Place bok choy and vegetable ribbons in center of warm plate.

6.) Arrange scallops on top of vegetables.

7.) Ladle sauce around plate and drizzle sauce over the scallops.

8.) Garnish with small bouquet of julienne scallions and cilantro leaves. Season with rice vinegar, salt and pepper.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from