Friday, October 23, 2009

Surf and surf: tuna and scallops with an asian twist

Check PBS, Eric Ripert (famed chef of Le Bernardin in NYC) has a new show out entitled "Avec Eric." The first episode I saw is mostly gushing over a local garden and it restaurant in California where s**t like that can happen. I'd wager to guess that it's not that feasible in Missouri, Tennessee, or Georgia for that matter.
The good part of the show is that at the end, he demonstrates his cooking technique for various cuts of seafood, and let me just say that there are few in this country that can rival the technique. If you watched Top Chef last season (and if you didn't you should have if you are interested in cooking) the contestants went to his restaurant in NYC, tasted his dishes, and the challenge was to reproduce them as best they could. We do that all the time, but this was on an incredibly different level.
Digression: Ripert demonstrated a slightly Asian style of cooking salmon that looked awesome. He demonstrated that making a marinade was not about making emulsion, it's a broken sauce with fat on top (oil).
His recipe called for salmon marinated in soy sauce, ginger, and olive oil, seared on the "flat top" (his stove top searing station) over peas and pea shoots with a sauce based on the marinade. Salmon didn't look as good as the tuna today, and we were in the mood for some scallops, so what the heck.

"Avec Eric" surf and surf (tuna and scallops)

Tuna: fresh 3/4 pound steak
Scallops: 1 pound of U6 (about 6 total)
3 bunches of baby bok choy

Marinade for tuna
brunoise of ginger, about 1/2 cup
1/2 and 1/2 soy sauce and EVOO to just cover fish in a tight dish
**lay off the salt, the soy sauce probably has all you'll need

**(see problem below) Marinade for scallops
Yuzu and olive oil, same ratio and coverage as before
salt, pepper to taste

To cook with:
Sautee pan for both. This will be a future post: what pan should I cook ____ with? These fish are best when they stay cold until cooked, and they need a heavy pan that holds high heat and won't cool off when fresh cold fish is applied. Oil or fat well (use EVOO or butter or a mixture of both, up to you!), and bring to at least medium high heat.

**Problem!!! The marinade for the scallops was the wrong thing to do. Why? Well, it made the scallops "wet" and the wet surface=no browning. It doesn't matter because they cooked properly thanks to raging high heat, but they didn't brown the way I had intended. In retrospect it would have been better to dry them well, season with pepper only, and then sear the heck out of 'em. They were still tasty, but could have been better. Lesson learned.

The tuna was first, I seared it like crazy on the cast iron griddle on my stove top. It worked great, but splattered EVERYWHERE and I probably will never use it again for that. 2-3 minutes per side, give about 2-3 mm of doneness on each side (just look at the thing), and take it off rare. This you can do, of course, because you got a respectable piece of fish. If they're putting artificial color in your fish to make it look hot pink, don't buy it.

Scallops second, again over as high of a heat as you can stand. The temperature for both fish is rare to medium rare. Again, both fish should be good enough to eat raw if it came down to it, so any sear you put on it is just to create Maillard reaction.

Set the meat aside to rest, it's done most of it's job.
Reserve marinade (or make some anew) from the tuna, strain out the ginger if you haven't already. This is going to be your sauce.

Take the bunches of baby bok choy, cut the leaves off, preserving as much of the stem as you like, and put in a hot skillet with some of the scallop marinade, wilting until bright green. Takie it off heat, and plate immediately.

To finish, it's bok choy, tuna on top, scallops on the side, and then provide a layer of sauce on the bottom to finish.

**Note about bok choy: it's like a lettuce with a charred poblano pepper flavor. I couldn't swear that I could have placed the flavor until today, but it's a nice twist, should go well with anything Asian you're trying to do.

From Drop Box

1 comment:

JW said...

Looks awesome. I also have discontinued the effort to cook tuna inside. Alton Brown had a show where he seared over a chimney starter. This works great. Simply light your starter, place a grill grate over the top and when you have jet engine like fire shooting out, drop your steaks on for about a minute per side.