Chef John Malik

a writer trapped in a cook's body

Tonight’s Special is…

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“Tonight’s special is a fresh flounder filet, served on top of a mix of Roasted Vegetables from Parson’s farm including Swiss Chard, Baby Carrots, Garlic Scapes, Napa Cabbage and Sweet Onions, finished with Bagna Cauda and Fried Leeks.”

This week we received some amazing produce from Daniel Parson’s farm in Clinton, SC.   Dinosaur Kale, Baby Carrots, Swiss Chard, Green Garlic, Arugala, Lettuces, Watermleon Radish and Kohlrabi.  Daniel has been delivering produce to Stella’s for several years and we’re one of the few places he actually delivers to.  Jason Scholz asked me to do a special for this past weekend and we had some pretty flounder so here we go.

We started with Bagna Cauda (Bahn-Ya Cow Duh), an Italian Sauce that literally means “hot bath”.  Since we had all these leafy, Mediterranean style vegetables Jason suggested the Bagna Cauda as a sauce.  It’s basically a mix of garlic and anchovy, olive oil and butter and it was the perfect accompaniment to this dish.

 

Bagna Cauda

8 Cloves Fresh Garlic, roughly chopped

6 Anchovy Filet

1 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 pound Whole Butter

1 tablespoon chopped Fresh Herbs (Parsley, Basil, Thyme, Chives)

Place the first four ingredients in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan and simmer over a low flame, stir with a wooden spoon, just enough to break up the anchovy.  Do this for about fifteen minutes.  The anchovies will break apart as they simmer.  Remove from heat, add a sprinkle of fresh black pepper then once this is cool add the herbs, whichever herb you decide on.  Done.  Though this sauce sounds very simple, it has heat and spice (from the garlic) salt and savory (from the anchovy) sweetness (from the butter) brightness (from the olive oil) and texture from the garlic and anchovy.

 

First we had to clean the chard, this is a bit time consuming because we had a lot of it to do. We pulled the leaves off the stems first. I know this is a bit blurry but we were going to be busy.

 

The stems and leaves had to be washed then blanched in boiling, salted water. I did this seperately, the stems needed to blanch for two minutes, the leaves for just a second or two.

 

Blanched Swiss Chard leaves

The vegetables were all blanched seperately, cooled quickly and stored seperately. There is some red pepper in here that was not from Parson's. When ordered the vegetables were tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper then finished in the oven. A sprinkle of basil and on to the plate.

 

Flounder on top of the roasted vegetables

The Bagna Cauda was drizzled around the edge of the vegetables

 

Then the fried leeks went on top

 

This is a slightly better angle but not perfect, keep in mind though that we were in the middle of serving 150 covers with three cooks, one being me so time to snap photos is precious.

 

Daniel pronounced his strawberry mojito delicious!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author: ChefJohn

Cook without tattoo, writer without a pen

One Comment

  1. I could like… drink Bagna Cauda. I love to make it – dip everything in it, even asparagus! Morimoto’s version is sublime.

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