Sunday, September 5, 2010

Welcome to my kitchen


     I'm thrilled to invite you to take a peek into my kitchen - or should I say kitchens. Here you'll find recipes for dishes that I use at on the job as a professional chef, but also what I like to cook at home for family and friends. Not surprisingly, there's a lot of overlap between these two kitchens. On this blog I'll be posting recipes that you can expect to find coming out of the professional kitchen of a high-end restaurant, but that can also be put together in the home kitchen by any culinary aficionado.   
   
    My goal is to demystify the world of gourmet cuisine and show that with just a little effort and the right ingredients you can make a dish worthy of a top notch restaurant. 

Without further ado - here is my first recipe


Red Snapper With Grapefruit Beurre Blanc 
and Haricots Verts




    Given that is the first recipe that I am posting, I figure I might as well use one of my favorites. Like many of my favorite recipes, this one is all about the ingredients. Red snapper is easily one of my favorite fish, and I feel this simple recipe showcases it's great flavour and texture really well. 

Served with a tangy grapefruit butter sauce and a small pile of green beans - the dried zest and sprig of dill is all the garnish this dish needs. Another reason to start with this dish - it's quick. 
Start to finish in 30 minutes. Serves 4

Ingredients:

4             fillet of snapper
800g      green beans (2 large handfulls)
100g      cold butter, cubed
100ml    white wine
2             French shallots, peeled & chopped 
10g         whole black peppercorns (2 tbs)
1              large grape fruit
5g            sugar (1tbs)
sea salt & fresh ground pepper
1. Pre-heat oven to 220 F.  Zest the Grapefruit, then toss the zest with a pinch of sea salt and enough sugar to lightly coat it. Spread the zest evenly on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Place in the oven until dry, about 30 minutes, but may take up to 45 minutes depending on oven. This step  can be done well in advance.

3. Add the white wine, shallots and black peppercorns to a medium sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Let the wine reduce until there is almost no liquid left. Add the juice of half the grapefruit and reduce again until almost dry. Take the pan off the heat and start to whisk the cold butter in, one cube at a time until half the butter (50g) has been incorporated 

4. Strain the sauce, return it to the sauce pan and whisk in another 30g of butter. Set aside in a warm place.
5. Using a paring knife, remove the skin from the remaining half of the grapefruit, all the way past the white, until the pink flesh is exposed. Slide the knife down along the side of each segment to make "supremes" of grapefruit. Reserve these supremes for garnish 
6. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the green beans for 3 minutes then transfer to a bath of ice water.
7. Heat 15g of butter and a drop of olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan on med-hi. Season the fish with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Place the fish in the pan skin side down and then gently press down with a spatula to prevent the fish from curling up. When the fish is almost cooked through, but still a bit raw on the top side, remove it from the pan and let it rest skin side up. Don't overcrowd the pan - if necessary, fry the fish in 2 or more batches. 


8. In the same frying pan, melt 15g of butter and add the green beans. Saute for 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper,  

To Serve:
1. Pour the sauce into the center of 4 plates
2. Place a small pile of green beens in the center of each plate
3. Return the snapper fillets to the frying pan, skin side up, to finish cooking the underside of each fillet - this should literally take about 30 seconds. 
4. Garnish each fillet with grapefruit segments, dried zest and a spring of dill.