Roasted Cauliflower & Snow Pea Shoots over Rainbow Quinoa

My Chef has asked me to come up with the new seasonal salad on the à-la-carte menu. Since our recent change to doing a 7-course tasting menu, we haven’t been selling a lot of salads because the seasonal salad used to be on the 5-course tasting menu. We used to offer a 5-course and 10-course tasting.

Keeping food cost in mind, I came up with a salad with what common ingredients we use in house. The salad in the restaurant is a little different from this one because I don’t have the ingredients/kitchen equipment at home but it’s pretty much the same. Instead of sautéed snow pea shoots, the restaurant’s version is mâche (lambs lettuce/corn salad) dressed in a smokey sherry vinaigrette. If I could, I would, but I don’t have the equipment to smoke oil in my apartment.

Serves 2.

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[100% organic, except for snow pea shoots & paprika]

For the Cauliflower

  • ½ head cauliflower, stem and leaves removed
  • Olive oil
  • Salt

Remove florets to cauliflower and cut the big florets in half. Toss in olive oil and salt, and bake for 20-30 minutes in a preheated oven at 350°F, until some caramelization occurs.

Remove from oven and set aside.

For the Quinoa

  • ½ cup rainbow quinoa
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • Salt, to taste

Bring the quinoa and stock to a boil in a pot, reduce heat, cover with lid, and simmer until the germ has spiraled out from each grain, about 15-20 minutes. Season with salt to taste then set aside, keep warm, with the lid on.

For the Finish

  • Pine nuts, toasted
  • Snow pea shoots
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • Hot Pimentón (paprika), for dusting

In a pan, sweat garlic with olive oil for 1 minute. Turn heat up and quickly sauté snow pea shoots, season with salt and set aside, drained on a paper towel.

TO ASSEMBLE

In a pan, quickly reheat and sear roasted cauliflower then place in a large bowl with quinoa and pine nuts. Toss with olive oil and arrange on a plate. Place snow pea shoots on top and dust with a little hot Spanish Pimentón.

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Sushi Ceviche

I couldn’t come up with a better name than Sushi Ceviche because this is really a pure fusion plate of food. Using Japanese ingredients of a simple salmon avocado roll, but the cooking style of making ceviche.

[100% organic, Norway farmed salmon]

For the Sushi Rice

  • ¼ cup sushi rice
  • 1 TBS rice vinegar
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • Pinch of salt

Soak the rice for ten minutes and cook the rice. Don’t over cook it because you want to see the individual grains. Cool the rice at room temperature and mix in the seasonings, then set aside.

For the Ceviche

  • ½ lb salmon
  • ½ red onion
  • ½ cherry bomb pepper
  • 1 lime, juiced

Cut the salmon into medium dice. Thinly slice the red onion and pepper and set in a bowl. Add the lime juice and toss the salmon in it. Refrigerate and marinate for 10 minutes, depending on how thick/big/small your salmon pieces are.

For the Finish

  • 1 Persian cucumber, thinly sliced
  • ½ avocado, cut into wedges
  • ½ mango, diced
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • Nori sheet

Cut nori into thin strips. Toss avocado wedges in lemon juice, right before assembling.

Strain the ceviche, discard juices but reserve red onion and chili pepper slices.

TO ASSEMBLE

Arrange cucumbers in a circular pattern on the plate. In a ring mold, pack the rice on the bottom, over the cucumbers. Place the avocado wedges along the rim and pack the ceviche into the center. Top with nori strips and scatter mango dice around plate.

*Adapted from From Buenos Aires to Paris.

Salted Cod Salad with Oranges, Cilantro & Pork Skin Crackling over Toasted Potato Bread

Yesterday night was my last class day doing canapés. The proteins given to my partner and I was salted cod. It was the same cod that we filleted last Saturday. The concept was first conceived as a potato cod salad and then we decided to add some hints of ceviche flavors and serve it over toasted bread.

With the salad, we diced Yukon Gold potatoes and Granny Smith apples. We also added an ear of sweet corn, drizzled some lime juice and finely chopped cilantro. We poached the salted cod in milk and then flaked them into smaller pieces. At school, we have a bread kitchen and there’s always a bunch of different breads lying around. We decided to go with the potato bread. Anyway, the finished product:

Our canapés were popular among our classmates too!

Atlantic Cod Ceviche with Tomato, Bell Pepper & Cilantro

This is also on my menu project. I was going to make it with sea bass but I couldn’t afford the price at Whole Foods yesterday for wild sea bass, at $32/lb!! So I used Atlantic cod and it still tastes phenomenal! I could drink the marinade liquid! It’s not sour at all with all the citric acid.

[100% organic, wild cod]

  • 1 lb Atlantic cod fillets, cut into 1-inch squares
  • 3 red chili peppers, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 large shallots, finely diced
  • 12 grape tomatoes, halved
  • 12 limes
  • 4 lemons
  • 3 bell peppers, chopped into small squares
  • 1 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • Olive oil
  • ½ cup microgreens, save some for garnish
  • Salt & pepper

Place the raw fish pieces in a glass dish and sprinkle generously with salt. Cover with red chili peppers, crushed garlic, ¼ cup chopped cilantro, lime juice from 8 limes, and lemon juice from 2 lemons. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and chill, let the fish cook itself in the lime and lemon juice for at least 4 hours. *Note: fish should be completely covered by juices.

Place the shallots in a bowl and cover with warm water and a large pinch of salt. Let it rest for 10 minutes, drain and rinse well.

Once the fish is “cooked” in the juice, rinse it well and remove the chilis, garlic, and cilantro.

Combine the fish with the shallots, microgreens, tomatoes, bell peppers, remaining cilantro, lime juice from the remaining 4 limes, lemon juice from the remaining 2 lemons, and a generous splash of olive oil in a large non-reactive bowl, mix well and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Serve on cold plates and top with microgreens.