The following recipes are from years of putting pen to paper, or today, fingertips on a keyboard (1-2 at a time). The recipes are not just a matter of measuring, but also small anecdotes of where, when and why they were cooked. Not all recipes are invented by me, but dishes that were cooked with care, and a passion for the trade. Many of the recipes to follow have seasonal inspirations, as well as daily challenges from awesome people like yourself who were craving a specific dish.
Shrimp Quenelles in Sorrel Broth
Serves 4 to 6
I often make quenelles as a garnish to soups, not only with seafood, but with chicken or veal, and rabbit is a good candidate as well.
However, quenelles are certainly most closely associated with fish, primarily white fish, such as pike, halibut, sole, flounder and monkfish, although I like to use the decidedly not-white salmon.
I like they are best served in a broth and because of their uniquely fluffy yet meaty texture. In this case I chose a sorrel broth. Because sorrel can be quite bitter and tangy, it should be treated much like spinach, but its otherwise unique flavor appeals to crisp, highly acidic wine like dry Riesling.
Make the quenelles:
● 2 cups of cleaned raw shrimp
● 1 whole egg
● 3 egg whites
● 2 cups heavy whipping cream
● 1 tablespoon salt
●fresh black pepper
● zest of 1 lemon
Place the shrimp in a blender, add salt and pepper, and blend until a smooth paste as you add the whole egg and egg whites. Let the shrimp paste absorb the egg and whites, then slowly add the heavy cream in a steady pour. Once absorbed, add the zest. Remove the mixing bowl and keep cold in the refrigerator.
Shape the quenelles:
Use a pair of soup spoons to shape the quenelles. Dip a spoon in hot water, then scoop up a portion of the mixture. Dip the second spoon in hot water and scoop the mixture from the first spoon, smoothing the mixture. Repeat the process, keeping the spoons hot, to form a neat oval.
Prepare a pot with salted water, bring to a simmer. Place the quenelles into the simmering water, trying to work as fast as possible so quenelles will cook at the same time. Cook in batches if necessary. Remove quenelles with a slotted spoon and place them in a salted ice bath.
● 1 lb of fresh sorrel, leaves only, stems removed
● 1 lb of fresh spinach leaves
● 2 qts of chicken stock
● 1 carrot
● 1 onion
● 1 celery stalk
● 1 bouquet garni*
● 2 oz of bacon
● 1 oz of light soy sauce
● 1 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
● shaved rind from a lemon
● parsley stem
First, blanche the sorrel and spinach in salted water, remove and cool in an ice bath. Drain the sorrel and spinach, pat dry, cut into chiffonade* and set aside.
Bring all remaining ingredients to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes, taste for seasoning. The broth should be rich and strong in flavor. Strain the broth into a new pot. Bring to simmer, add the spinach and sorrel.
Warm the quenelles in hot water, place them into soup bowls and ladle the sorrel broth on top. Serve with warm country-style bread
Sauteed Snapper with Buttered Salsify and Spring Onions
Snapper is a favorite fish among many chefs, as it’s suitable for virtually any cooking method. Salsify is the European version of the popular Latin American root vegetable known as yuca. It’s thinner, longer and more potato-like in consistency, but just as nutty in flavor.
This recipe is simple, elegant and light, and makes a beautiful presentation when arranged on top of the salsify and spring onions.
● 4 pieces salsify, each approximately 12 inches long
● juice of 1 1/2 lemons, divided in two
● 4 snapper filets, 6 to 8 ounces each, skin on.
● 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
● salt and pepper
● 2 tablespoons butter
● 12 scallions, tops removed, cut into 5-inch strips
● 1/4 cup chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
● 3 tablespoons Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
● 1 teaspoon fresh sage, finely chopped
Peel and cut the salsify into 1 inch diagonal pieces. Place in a medium bowl and cover with water and juice from 1 lemon to prevent discoloration. Set aside.
Preheat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Cover the bottom of the pan with a light coating of olive oil. Using a sharp knife, score the snapper filets in a crosshatch/diamond pattern on the skin side. Place the filets in the pan, skin side down. Saute until the skin has turned golden brown, for approximately 5 minutes. Do not touch the filets – you want them to caramelize to crispen the skin.
Once the filets have finished caramelizing, turn them over, reduce heat to medium and cook for another 6 to 8 minutes, until they’re flaky. Turn off the heat, but leave the pan on the burner
While the fillets are cooking, preheat another skillet over medium heat. Melt the butter, then add the pre-cut salsify. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes, until golden brown and tender Add the scallions, remaining lemon juice, chicken stock, parsley and sage. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, until the stock reduces to a bit, adjusting the flavor with salt and pepper.
Arrange the salsify mixture on four plates. Carefully place a snapper serving on top of the salsify. Spoon sauce over fish. Serve immediately.
Grilled Chicken Breasts with Roasted Potatoes and Garlic in the Husk
This is probably one of the easiest and most wine friendly dishes in the book. I like to use the cut of chicken that chefs call an A-Line breast. It is from a fairly large bird, the skin is left on, and the first joint of the wing bone from the breast is left on, with each breast weighing approximately 12 to 14 ounces. (Ask your butcher about this cut if you don’t feel comfortable trimming it yourself.) Because of its size, it can be treated like a steak.
● 4 lbs.Yukon Gold potatoes, skin left on, cut into 1 inch cubes
● 2 heads garlic, separated into cloves, husk left on
● 1 cup olive oil, divided
● 1 sprig fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
● 6 sprigs fresh thyme, roughly chopped
● salt and black pepper to taste
● zest from one lemon, grated
● 4 chicken breasts, (preferably A-line), washed and drained
● 1 cup concentrated veal stock
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine the potatoes, garlic and salt and pepper. Pour in 1/2 cup of olive oil and 2/3 of the thyme and rosemary. Gently mix.
Pour into a 9-by-13 baking dish, cover with foil and roast approximately 30 minutes. Check for doneness with a wooden skewer or knife tip, which must be met without resistance when poked. Set aside. (Do not shut off the oven.)
In a small bowl combine the remaining thyme and rosemary, olive oil, lemon zest and salt and pepper. Add the chicken breasts, coating both sides of the breasts with marinade. Let stand for 30 minutes.
Prepare the grill. When the grill is very hot, place the breasts on the rack. Let the breast skin turn crispy before turning, about 3 to 4 minutes. Using a spatula, turn the breast counterclockwise 90 degrees and repeat the process. When crisp, flip the breast over and repeat. (The goal is to keep the juices inside, while searing the outside.)
When thoroughly browned, remove breasts from the grill and place them on the roasted potatoes, baking them for another 10 minutes. (The chicken should be firm and juicy.)
Arrange the potato mixture on a plate, gently place the chicken breast on top. Add the veal stock to the roasting pan and return to the oven to deglaze for approximately 10 minutes. Ladle the sauce over the chicken. Serve immediately.
I hope I have inspired you to have a bit of fun, maybe challenge a dusty pot and pan to return to the stove. Otherwise, call 305-663-2100 for reservations.
Jan Jorgensen, Two Chefs Restaurant
Connect To Your Customers & Grow Your Business