Today on Good Food, Laura Avery interviews Josiah Citrin, chef and owner of Melisse in Santa Monica, about his new cookbook In Pursuit of Excellence. This recipe for Halibut with Smoked Bacon – Fava Bean Emulsion is in the book. Josiah says that while executing the entire dish is time consuming, you can pick out techniques or sauces from the book that you enjoy and choose to just make those rather than completing the entire dish. Keep reading for the complete recipe…
Tomato Confit, Niçoise Olives, Smoked Bacon-Fava Bean Emulsion
6 -3 ½ ounce pieces of halibut filet, cut into 2 ¼ x 2 ¼ x 1 inch squares
1 tablespoon sea salt
Smoked Bacon-Fava Emulsion
3 slices apple smoked bacon
2 cloves sliced Triple Blanched Garlic (page #)
1 tablespoon sliced shallot
1 ½ cups Chicken Stock (page #)
3 branches savory
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 cup fresh double-peeled fava beans, young and tender (about 2 ½ pounds whole favas in their pods)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
Fava Bean Ragout
1 small Yukon gold potato, peeled and cut into small dice
3 tablespoons Vegetable Stock (see below)
¼ cup fresh double-peeled young and tender fava beans (about ¾ pound)
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon salted butter, cut into small dice
3 Tomato Confit, cut into small dice (see below)
1 tablespoon Niçoise olives, cut into brunoise
1 teaspoon savory leaves, picked
Sea salt and freshly cracked white pepper to taste
2 quarts Vegetable Stock
1 tablespoon xanthan gum
Sea Salt to taste
6 small mizuna leaves
6 small red dandelion greens
6 verbena hybrid flowers
Fleur de sel and Espelette pepper to taste
Sprinkle the halibut with 1 tablespoon sea salt and let sit in the refrigerator for 45 minutes. Rinse and dry well, put on a plate and refrigerate, unwrapped, for at least 45 minutes. This process will season the fish and remove water making the fish more dense and less likely to flake during cooking.
Smoked Bacon-Fava Bean Emulsion
Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add the smoked bacon and render for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and shallots and sweat for 1 minute. Add the Chicken Stock and savory and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Add the cream and return to a boil. Strain through a chinois into a saucepan and bring back to a boil. Add the fava beans and cook at a simmer for 5 minutes. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth then season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground white pepper. Strain through a chinois back into the saucepan. Keep warm. If preparing in advance, strain into a stainless steel bowl then set that bowl over a bowl of ice and stir to chill. Cover and refrigerate.
Fava Bean Ragout
Put the diced potato in a pot with 1 quart of cold water and 1 tablespoon of sea salt. Bring to a light simmer and reduce heat so it is just barely simmering. Cook for 5 minutes or until cooked through but potatoes hold their form. Strain and set aside.
Put the Vegetable Stock in a small sauté pan with the fava beans. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute, stirring often. Add the potatoes and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the lemon zest and slowly mix in the butter until it emulsifies with the Vegetable Stock. Add the diced Tomato Confit, Niçoise olives and the savory. Gently mix to combine well and cook for 30 more seconds, or until the butter nicely coats the Fava Bean Ragout. Season the fava beans with freshly cracked white pepper and sea salt if needed. Keep warm.
Put the Vegetable Stock in a large rondeau that can hold the 6 pieces of halibut without crowding. Bring the stock to a boil. Add the xanthan gum and blend with an immersion blender to combine well. Season with sea salt. Bring to a boil, add the halibut and reduce the heat to a low simmer. Let the fish cook for 7 minutes. Gently remove and transfer to a tray, wiping off any remaining poaching liquid. Season with fleur de sel and Espelette pepper.
Reheat the Fava Bean Ragout. Reheat the sauce, add the 1 tablespoon butter and blend with an immersion blender until frothy. Spoon 2 tablespoons of sauce into six heated shallow soup bowls. Place the halibut in the center and cover with the Fava Bean Ragout. Garnish with the mizuna, dandelion and verbena flowers.
Triple Blanched Garlic
1 cup fresh peeled garlic
Put the garlic in a saucepot and cover with cold water. Bring the garlic to a boil over high heat. When the garlic boils, strain out the liquid and run the garlic under cold water to cool. Repeat the process two more times.
Makes about 6 quarts
2 onions, peeled and cut into large mirepoix
2 carrots peeled and cut into large mirepoix
2 leeks, white part only, cut into large mirepoix
3 celery ribs cut into large mirepoix
1 bouquet garni
8 quarts cold water
1 teaspoon whole black peppercornsRinse the chicken bones well under cold running water and remove any organs that remain. This step is important to attaining a clear stock.Place the bones and the chicken in a large stockpot. Cover with the cold water. The water must be cold. Using cold water coagulates the proteins while heating and brings the impurities to the surface. Heat the stock slowly, skimming as soon as the impurities rise to the surface. To achieve a clear clean stock, it is important to keep skimming so no impurities boil into the stock and emulsify, causing the stock to cloud.
As the liquid comes to a simmer, be sure to give it one last good skimming to remove all visible impurities that are at the surface. It is easier to skim before adding the vegetables. Add the vegetables, bouquet garni and black peppercorns and bring the liquid back to a simmer, skimming often. Simmer for 1 ½ hours, skimming frequently. Turn off the heat and let the stock rest to allow any particles to sink to the bottom.
Ladle the stock through a chinois into a container large enough to hold 8 quarts. You can use a small saucepan as a ladle if you do not have a large enough ladle. Discard the stock in the bottom of the pot and do not be tempted to pour the stock through the chinois, as that will only cloud the stock. Chill the stock in a container in a sink filled with ice water.
I like to make a light chicken stock because we use it in a lot of different applications and do not want a strong chicken flavor; instead, we want a subtle aroma. If you would like a stronger flavor, just reduce slowly, skimming away any impurities that rise to the surface.
Once you achieve your desired chicken flavor, chill in a container in a sink filled with ice water. Stir until the stock is cold. Store in the refrigerator overnight; the next day, remove the fat that has coagulated on the surface. This stock can be saved for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. You can freeze it in several ½ cup containers.
To prepare a double stock, combine your chilled stock with 2 whole chickens rinsed under water and repeat the process above. This stock has a rich silky flavor and is used at Mélisse to make rich broths.
Yields 3 ½ quarts
1 cup chardonnay
1 tablespoon Unsalted Butter
1 clove garlic, peeled
4 large brown onions, peeled and cut into large dice
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into large dice
½ bunch celery, stalks only, cut into large dice
2 large leeks, white parts only, thoroughly cleaned and cut into large dice
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 ½ quarts water
3 sprigs thyme
3 sprigs thyme
1 Bay leaf
1 Orange, cut in half
Put the white wine in a heavy saucepan and bring it to a boil, reduce to a simmer and then reduce by half.
Place the butter and garlic in a large pot with at least an 8-quart capacity. Put the pot over medium heat and roast the garlic until lightly golden. Add the onions, carrots, celery, leeks, fennel, fennel seeds and coriander seeds. Season with the sea salt and sweat for about 8 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Add the water, thyme and bay leaf, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Add the orange and reduced white wine and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook for 20 more minutes more. Strain the stock through a chinois into a stainless steel bowl that is set over a bowl of ice and stir to chill. Cover and refrigerate.
This can be stored for up to 4 days in the refrigerator or split into ½ cup portions and stored in the freezer. If freezing, freeze immediately once it has been chilled.
10 Roma tomatoes
Extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
This yields 20 Confit Tomatoes
Cut and remove cores from the tomatoes and slash an “X” into the bottom of each. Add the tomatoes to a pot of salted boiling water for 20 seconds to loosen the skin (the skin on riper tomatoes will loosen more quickly). Immediately remove the tomatoes and transfer to an ice water bath to cool. Peel the loosened skins from the tomatoes and cut into halves. Remove the seeds.
Preheat the oven to 225 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Drizzle the foil with olive oil and lightly sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Lay the tomato halves on the foil with the inside down. Drizzle more olive oil over the tomatoes and sprinkle with sea salt. Scatter thyme sprigs over the tomatoes.
Place in the oven for about 6 hours, until they are three quarters dried, but still have a little juice left. Remove the thyme. Let the tomatoes cool. Once they are cool, line them in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Cover with extra virgin olive oil. This can be made ahead of time and kept for one week. When using, always remove excess oil with a paper towel so the tomatoes are not oily.
Santa Monica, California