Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Pan-Seared Red Snapper with a Roasted Corn Succotash

“Succotash” comes from the Native American word “msikwatash” or “msickquatash”, which means "broken into bits" or "boiled corn kernels" and can refer to any cooked mix of vegetables with corn and beans in it. ‘Tis the season for fresh, local produce so be creative with your vegetable blends. The tart bite of arugula and the acid from the roasted red peppers soaked in vinegar add texture and depth of flavor to the roasted corn. Smoked Paprika is one of my favorite flavors; smoky, like bacon. This dish took a total of 30 minutes from start to finish.

2 pcs of Striped Bass Filets

4 Cobs of corn
2 Roasted Red Peppers
1 ½ Cups of Arugula
2 Tbls of Greek Yogurt
2 Tbls of Olive oil
2 pinches of Smoked Paprika
Salt & White Pepper

1. Husk all 4 cobs of corn. Boil two for 3-4 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 400F. Shave off the kernels of the other two cobs with a chefs knife in a vertical motion. Place the shaved kernels in a large mixing bowl. Add smoked paprika and olive oil. Mix together and spread out evenly in a roasting pan. Cook until the kernels start to brown – 10 minutes approximately.
3. Dice up the roasted red pepper and arugula. Set aside in a mixing bowl.
4. Shave off the kernels of the cooked corn and place in a food processor. Add yogurt and ¼ cup of water. Puree.
5. Combine corn puree, roasted kernels and yogurt into the red pepper/arugula mixture. Stir and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add more paprika here if you like a strong smoky flavor.
6. The hard part is over. Just pan sear the fish. A crispy skin is always delicious and a great textural addition. Coat the fish with some vegetable oil, salt and pepper. Heat a skillet with some oil until the oil begins to ripple. Sear skin side down for 6 minutes depending on the thickness of the filet. Flip and sear for a 1-2 minutes. Plate.

Almond Encrusted Banana Corn Flake Cakes with Homemade Caramel and Vanilla Ice Cream

I do not put many desserts on this website. I try, like the rest of the country not to eat many sweets. I had to come up with a dessert that worked quickly and was cooked on a grill. I cheated on the grill part (skillet on the grill) but this is one of the most delicious desserts I’ve ever tasted. The majority of the people at the cook-off thought so too. I am sorry there is no picture. The cakes are pan-seared and hot so the ice-cream melted before I could take a good picture. These are pretty simple to make. I used store-bought Haagen-Daazs Vanilla; sometimes time and travel requirements just don’t allow you to make homemade ice cream. The Corn Flakes act as a thickening/binding agent to the bananas. The Corn Flakes were an improvisation, I originally wanted to use Almond Flour but its hard to find it at the average grocery. I feel like Corn Flakes is enjoying a Renaissance because of David Chang’s pastry chef, Christina Tosi. The trickle down effect is amazing; I see cornflakes at least once in every food magazine lately. SO here is one more to add to the tasty expanding pool. These banana cakes are a summer time treat not to be missed.

2 Bananas
2 Cups of Corn Flakes
1 ½ Cup Slivered Almonds
Olive Oil

1 cup of Sugar
½ cup of Cream
3 Tbls of Unsalted Butter

Vanilla Ice Cream

1. Add the bananas and corn flakes into a food processor. Puree. Roll into palm size balls. Place in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.
2. Toast the slivered almonds, in a skillet, until golden brown. Set Aside.
3. Make the caramel. Pour the sugar into a skillet that is being heated on high. When the sugar starts to brown around the edges of the skillet, stir the sugar with a wooden spoon. Let the sugar brown a bit more evenly then slowly add in two tablespoons of cream and 1 tbls of butter. Stir vigorously. When the butter and cream are incorporated add the remaining amounts and stir. Keep warm.
4. Add vegetable oil to a large skillet and place over med-high heat.
5. In a mixing bowl add olive oil, banana balls and toasted almonds. Coat the banana cakes with the almonds. Place in the skillet, flatten into patties and brown on each side for about 4-5 minutes.
6. Plate: Drizzle the caramel on the plate in whatever fancy design comes to you. Plate the cake and add a dollop of ice cream to the top.