March 25, 2004

Want to Cook Like a Noo Yawker?

Well, ladies and gentlemen, hie yourselves to the local magazine store or library and get The New York Times Magazine. Every issue features recipe items, overlain with the useless information about where it was discovered and how charming the hostess or chef was. The recipes ordinarily would defeat the non-New Yorker, as they invariably contain items that could not be tracked down without a chef and bloodhound, who knew all six places that carry these exotic ingredients. I have found that with kitchen creativity, you can get away with table salt instead of kosher or sea salt. Just tell the guests that it has sea salt in it. Still, some recipes are so challenging that only the most intrepid gastronome would attempt them. For you few, I shall lay out the challenge.

Today, you are going to make wild-striped bass tartare with chocolate 'Ivoire'. Yes, the quotation marks are there in the recipe. I am not trying to sound pretentious. Hey, we are not talking melted Hersey bars here. Before attempting this recipe, one would be advised to call the local fishmonger to reserve the wild striped bass. Fresh or not at all is our operating premise. Now de-skin the fish and chop it into slivers. Watch the fingers. Nothing ruins a culinary masterpiece faster than a severed thumbnail. Practice this before performing your sushi knife skills before friends. Should your lack of eye/hand coordination lead to intensive bleeding, remember that the yuzu gelee coating takes six hours of refrigerating. Lots of time to slip down to the ER. But on to said gelee.

2 tsp gelatine
1 cup fish fumet (warmed)
1 tbsp yuzu juice
sea salt to taste

Now that was easy wasn't it? The chopped fish tartare is ready to be geleed. Did I mention that the bass must be sashimi-grade?

2 ozs of Valrhona white chocolate (finely grated)
1 tb 'dolce' extra-virgin oil. Preferably Ligurian brand.
Fleur de sel (sea salt in French) to taste

For the shiso tempura:
2 tbs cake flour -- Panko crumbs will do in a pinch
1 tbs cornstarch
safflower oil for cooking mixture
4 shiso leaves, split in half

Bud -- A two page cooking manual comes with the recipe, but revealing it would take away some of the frission of this kitchen adventure. Bon appetit!

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