Pan Roasted Snapper, Goat Cheese Soufflé, Spicy Tomato Jam, Garlic Braised Baby Spinach, Citrus Sake Butter

Pan Roasted Snapper, Goat Cheese Souffle, Spinach, Tomato Jam, Citrus Sake Butter

Recently I posted about a meal I had while on vacation at Boshamps in Destin, FL. I liked it so much I decided I’d try and make it at home. I made a few modifications to better suit my palette. You can see my original post for the Pan Roasted Gulf Grouper with Feta Soufflé, Braised Spinach, Tomato Jam and Citrus Butter.

As I had time to reflect on the Boshamp’s version, I thought of a few improvements. Don’t get me wrong, their version is outstanding and I completely get what they were going for. I just thought I would take everything awesome about what they did and make it my own.

First, I couldn’t find fresh grouper, so I used fresh snapper. Not a bad trade off.

Their tomato jam was like real jam, sweet and gelatinous. I’ve been making tomato jam for a while for my Roasted Salmon, Noodle Salad with Tomato Jam. My version uses ginger and crushed red pepper flake which needless to say adds quite a bit of kick. I thought that would match better with this dish.

On the soufflé, I only tweaked it by using fresh local goat cheese instead of feta. I’d never made a soufflé before. Other than the whisking of the egg whites, it was pretty easy.

The final tweak was the citrus butter. I used grapefruit, lime, lemon and yuzu plus I added the sake. I added the sake for two reasons. The ginger in the tomato jam gave a bit of an Asian flare, so I thought the sake would feed off that. I would like to say that was the main reason, the real reason was I didn’t want to open a bottle of white wine, and the sauce needed something. I already had the sake open and it worked out great. Sometimes those happy circumstances are the best.

All and all, this couldn’t have turned out better. The meal had all the components I like. The fresh local snapper was just cooked through and had some crunch on the outside. The soufflé was such a surprise both at Boshamps and my version. It really stands up and acts like a starch like a mashed potato or grits. The spicy tomato jam adds a nice kick of heat. The spinach add a fresh pop and acted like a glue to hold the dish together. The citrus sake butter complimented all the other components perfectly with a punch of acid. The meal was just awesome. I love making restaurant quality, copy-cat meals at home.

Give this one a try and let me know what you think.

Ingredients for Tomato Jam

  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp crushed red pepper flake
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for Goat Cheese Soufflé

  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, plus more for cooking dish
  • 3 AP flour, plus more for dusting the cooking dish
  • 1/2 cup milk, warm
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh cracked pepper
  • 4 large eggs, separated then bring to room temperature

Ingredients for Citrus Sake Butter

  • 1 grapefruit, juiced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tbsp yuzu (this can be hard to find, you can skip)
  • 1/2 cup sake
  • 1/4 cup chilled butter, cut in pieces
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients

  • 2 fresh snapper filet (any firm fish will work like grouper)
  • 1 large bunch of baby spinach
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Canola oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Radish sprouts for garnish

Directions for Spicy Tomato Jam
This can be done ahead of time.

  1. Heat a small sauce pan over medium. Add the canola oil and simmering add the ginger and shallot. Continue cooking until softened and fragrant, about 4 minutes.
  2. Add the tomato, brown sugar, crushed red pepper flake and rice wine vinegar. Continue cooking over moderate heat, stirring and mashing occasionally.
  3. Allow the mixture to simmer for about 10 minutes (or longer if you like it thicker). Season with salt and pepper. The jam can be served immediately warm or cooled later.

Directions for Goat Cheese Soufflé

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Butter a soufflé dish (or other heavy bottom, medium sized, oven safe dish) and dust with flour.
  3. Heat a sauce pan over medium heat. Add the butter and allow it to melt. Sprinkle in the flour while whisking. Cook about 1 1/2 minutes or until you have a light blond color.
  4. Add milk, goat cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper and continue cooking and whisking until all is combined, about 3 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and whisk in the egg yolks.
  6. In a mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until they have stiff peaks. If you have a stand mixer or hand mixer, you might want to use it. I whisked and whisked and whisked and whisked.
  7. Gently fold in the egg whites in to the cheese mixture and add to your soufflé dish.
  8. Place on a baking sheet and bake until puffed and golden, 15-20 minutes. Serve immediately.

Directions for Citrus Sake Butter

  1. Heat a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add the grapefruit, lime, lemon and yuzy juice and bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook until reduced.
  2. Add sake, increase heat and bring to a boil, then reduce back to a simmer. Again, allow to reduce.
  3. Add butter pieces one at a time, whisking until melted. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Directions

  1. Heat a large pan or small stock pot (with a cover) over medium heat. Coat the bottom of the page with olive oil. When the oil is shimmering, add the crushed garlic and toss until oil is infused with the garlic.
  2. Add the spinach and toss to coat and cook until slightly wilted.
  3. Add the rice wine vinegar, season with salt and pepper and cover. Allow to cook until deserved doneness is achieved (I will mine with a little bite), keep warm.
  4. Meanwhile, heat another large pan over medium high heat. Cover the bottom of the pan with 50/50 olive oil and canola oil. Season the fish with salt and pepper and add to the pan flesh side down. Cook until golden brown. Turn once and cook until just cooked through, approximately 3 minutes per side.
  5. To serve, add the spinach in the center of the plate, top that with the soufflé, top that with the fish, then add the tomato jam. Finally, drizzle the citrus sake butter around the plate and garnish with radish sprouts.
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Pan Roasted Snapper, Goat Cheese Soufflé, Spicy Tomato Jam, Garlic Braised Baby Spinach, Citrus Sake Butter

Pork Chops au Poivre, Mushroom Ragu, Wilted Baby Spinach and Creamy Polenta

Pork Chop au Poivre, Mushroom Ragu, Wilted Baby Spinach and Creamy Polenta

Quick, easy and delicious…unless you don’t dig on swine, there is no reason not to make this meal. I’ve been making this meal in different variations for years. I finally remembered to snap a photo (let’s not get into how bad of a photographer I am).

Can’t you just call it pork chops with pepper? I know but au Poivre sounds so much better. You could also season with Montreal Seasoning. The mushroom ragu is wonderful and if you “don’t dig on swine” or are a vegetarian you could totally make this meal without the pork. I wilted the greens in the same pan of the pork so they don’t really need any seasoning and I don’t have to clean two pans. Polenta (or grits as we call them in the south) are a perfect starch component that literally holds this meal together. Let me know what you think.

 

Ingredients

  • 2 thick cut pork chips (I prefer bone in)
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 pound bunches of mushrooms (whatever kind you like, I just “baby bells”
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup Marsala
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Oregano, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Thyme, chopped
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 bunch fresh baby spinach
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Polenta (or Grits)
  • Milk and water
  • Asiago cheese, grated
Directions

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat add a few tablespoons of olive oil and onions. Cook for a few minutes and add garlic. Continue cooking until onions are translucent. Add mushrooms and season to taste. Cook until mushrooms are tender. Add Marsala and cook another 2-3 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add chicken stock, reduce heat and simmer until reduced by half (about 30 minutes). Add heavy cream and fresh herbs, toss to combine.
  2. In the meantime, in a pot prepare potenta per instruction. Instead of all water I use a mixture of milk and water, about half and half. You could also use stock. When the potenta is cooked stir in the asiago and keep warm.
  3. As the ragu and polenta are cooking, season pork with plenty of pepper and some salt. Pre-heat oven to 425 F. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add the pork. Sear both sides of the pork and place in the oven. Cook until desired doneness, I recomend not over cooking. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  4. In the same pan, add baby spinach and toss until wilted.
  5. As pictured above, I like to serve it so at some point you get a little of it all. I put the polenta on the bottom, the mushroom ragu, the wilted spinach and then the pork on top. Enjoy!
Pork Chops au Poivre, Mushroom Ragu, Wilted Baby Spinach and Creamy Polenta

Roasted Turkey Thigh, Spicy Sautéed Spinach, Whipped Sweet Potatoes and Fried Sage Jus

Portugues Chicken, chorizo and clams

Two questions: Don’t you hate when you have your mouth screwed up for something and they don’t have it at the store? Why do we only eat turkey on Thanksgiving?

So, Jen was out of town which usually means I’ll be experimenting with something exotic. I had planned on duck, pork belly or at least something I couldn’t get at the usual grocery. Trying to knock out my todo list for the weekend, I lost all track of time. No time to visit Whole Food or Trade Joe’s. I headed to the next best thing, my local Publix. I had been wanting to try Cornish Game Hen and Publix usually has some. Nope, fresh out! I picked up some pork chops and put them back. I picked up a t-bone steak and put it back. Finally I came across the turkey section. Yes, yes I am certain that your grocer has one as well. It’s first part of June, nowhere near Thanksgiving. How exotic is that, turkey thighs in June? I picked up some spinach that looked especially good and some sweet potatoes.

I ended up making, Seared and Roasted Turkey Thighs, Sautéed Spinach, Whipped Sweet Potato with Fried Sage Pan Jus.

Let me say, I loved this dish. Overall a really well rounded dish. Crispy, tender turkey. Smooth, creamy, sweet, sweet potato. Spicy, fresh spinach. The sauce totally merged each component together. Hat tip to A Sweet Pea Chef. I was looking for a way to cook the sweet potatoes and leave the skin on. Great idea to steam them, then mix in a food processor. Hat tip to me for recycling (uhhh…reusing) the turkey drippings (fat) in the spinach.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 large turkey thighs (skin on, bone in)
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 large bag spinach
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • Half and half (or heavey cream)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespon crush read pepper flake
  • 1 garlic clove sliced thinly
  • Chicken stock (or broth)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh thyme
  • Fresh sage
DIRECTIONS

  1. Cube sweet potatoes leaving the skin on, place in a steamer and steam for about 20 minutes. If you don’t have a steamer you can just boil them in a large pot.
  2. Meanwhile, set the oven to 400 °.
  3. In a large skillet or oven proof pan, heat canola and olive oil over medium high heat. Season turkey liberally with salt and pepper. Add turkey to the hot pan and cook until crisp on all sides about 4-6 minutes. Place pan in the oven. Most will tell you to cook turkey to an internal temperature of 175 °. I prefer a little less than that for more juice meat.
  4. Once the sweet potatoes are tender, remove from the steamer and place in a food processor.
  5. Add 1-2 tablespoons of fresh thyme to the food processor, depending on how much you like. Add about a 1/2 of a cup of half and half with salt and pepper to taste. Add brown sugar.
  6. Blend sweet potato mixture in the food processor until smooth. Taste and add more cream for creamier, more brown sugar for sweeter or more salt and pepper. Keep warm.
  7. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat.
  8. Check the internal temperature of your turkey. If the turkey is close to your targeted temperature, pour out a few (I poured out 3-4 and still had 2-3 in the pan) tablespoons of the oil and rendered drippings (fat) from the turkey into the fresh pan that is on the stove. Place turkey back in the oven to finish cooking.
  9. In fresh skillet add the crushed red pepper flake and let cook in the fat and oil for a minute. I said a tablespoon of pepper flake but just put as much as you like. I like it spicy, and a tablespoon made it very spicy.
  10. Add thinly sliced garlic and cook for 30 second or so. Add spinach.
  11. Continually toss spinach in the oil until wilted. Remove from heat.
  12. Once the turkey is to a suitable temperature, remove from oven. Remove the turkey from the pan and place in a plate to allow the juices to redistribute.
  13. Place the turkey pan with all the renderings on the stove on medium high heat. When the renderings and oil are hot, add fresh chopped sage. Let the sage fry until it turns dark.
  14. Add chicken stock or broth to the pan and bring to a boil. Stir with wooden spoon scrapping up all the yummy bits and reduce the stock by half.
  15. To plate, as you can see from the above photo, I put down the sweet potato, added the spinach, place the turkey thigh on top then poured the jus over the whole thing.
Roasted Turkey Thigh, Spicy Sautéed Spinach, Whipped Sweet Potatoes and Fried Sage Jus