CAFÉ METROPOL'S SMOKED ROCKFISH CHOWDER
- 1 large smoked rockfish (2 ½ to 3 lbs.), including head
- 3 tbsp. butter
- 3 med. potatoes, peeled and diced
- 3 tbsp. flour
- 4 cups Rockfish Chowder Stock
- (use fish stock or recipe on following card.)
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 leek, well washed, halved and diced
- 1 medium fennel bulb, diced, sprigs reserved, for garnish
- 1 cup fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)
- 1 large Golden Delicious apple, peeled cored, and diced
- 2 cups heavy (whipping) cream, heated
- 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup applejack or apple brandy
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Cayenne and ¼ cup toasted slivered almonds, for garnish
1. Remove the head from the smoked rockfish and wrap the head in cheesecloth, tying it securely. Set aside. Remove the skin from the rockfish and carefully remove the flesh of the fish from the bones. Gently flake the fish into pieces and set aside. Discard the skin and the bones.
2. Melt the butter in a heavy pot and add the potatoes. Cook over medium heat for 3 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the potatoes and stir well. Continue to cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and slowly stir in the Rockfish Chowder Stock. Return to the heat and add the cheesecloth-wrapped rockfish head.
Rockfish Chowder Stock
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 large carrots, chopped
- 1 small fennel bulb
- 2 leeks, washed well and chopped
- 3 shallots, chopped
- 2 pounds fish bones
- 10 cherrystone clams
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 3 bay leaves
1. Melt the butter in a large pot over low heat and add the carrots, fennel, leeks, and shallots.
2. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. Add the fish bones, clams, 5 cups of water, wine, and bay leaves.
3. Bring just barely to a boil.
4. Cover the pot and reduce the heat.
5. Simmer for 45 minutes.
6. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature before straining. Strain the stock and set aside until ready to use.
This stock can be made 1 day in advance. Store in the refrigerator until the chowder is prepared.
Chèvre Croquettes on Spring Field Greens
- 6 ounces (1 log) Fire Fly Farms' Allegheny Chèvre, or other mild goat cheese
- 2 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1½ cups breadcrumbs or cornmeal
- 2 medium beets
- ½ red bell pepper, finely diced
- ½ yellow bell pepper, finely diced
- ½ orange bell pepper, finely diced
- 3 medium shallots, peeled and finely diced
- 2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 8 cups mixed spring salad greens or baby arugula
- 2 cups vegetable or canola oil
1. Combine the chèvre and thyme in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Form six small medallions with the chèvre mixture, using your hands. Dip each of the medallions in the beaten egg, then coat each one with breadcrumbs and set aside in the refrigerator.
2. Scrub the beets under running water to remove any dirt, and cut off the tops. Put the beets in a large saucepan, cover with water, and boil them until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain the beets and run under cold water. Set the beets aside until they are cool enough to handle, and then use your fingers or a paring knife to remove and discard the skins. Cut the beets into an even dice.
3. Combine the bell peppers, shallots, and basil, season with salt and pepper to taste, and toss the mixture together well.
4. Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, and mustard in a small bowl. Dress the salad greens to taste, and then use some of the remaining vinaigrette to dress the diced pepper mixture. You will have leftover dressing.
5. Prepare the plates by putting a base of the dressed greens on each, and then topping with a spoonful of the diced beets.
6. Remove the breaded cheese croquettes from the refrigerator. Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan or skillet. Make sure that the oil is hot before carefully adding the croquettes. The oil should cover the croquettes. Fry the croquettes for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown, and then remove from the oil with a slotted spoon or spatula and place on top of the diced beets. Top each croquette with a spoonful of the pepper mixture and serve immediately.
Sweet Potato Pastry
- 1 to 2 sweet potatoes (enough to yield 1½ cups mashed)
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 tsps. baking powder
- ¼ cup vegetable shortening
- 2 eggs, beaten
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. Bake the sweet potatoes until soft, 40 to 60 minutes, depending on the size.
3. Prick with a fork when half-cooked to prevent the potatoes from bursting.
4. When cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh and mash.
6. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl. Add the chilled sweet potatoes, shortening, and eggs, and with a pastry blender, two knives, or fingertips, work into the flour.
7. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll it to a size that will cover the baking dish.
Makes one 12-inch crust
Smoked Chicken Potpie with Sweet Potato Pastry
- 1 large chicken (4 to 4½ pounds)
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 2 whole cloves
- Sweet Potato Pastry (recipe follows)
- 15 pearl onions
- 1 cup medium diced carrots
- 1 cup medium diced celery
- 1 cup corn kernels
- 1 cup fresh peas
- 1 cup coarsely cut smoked chicken meat
- 8 tbsp. (1 stick) butter
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
- Freshly ground black pepper and
- ground nutmeg, to taste
1. Bring a large pot filled with salted water to a boil and add the chicken, sliced onion, and cloves. Reduce the heat and simmer until the chicken is tender, 1 to 1½ hours. While the chicken is cooking, cook and chill the sweet potatoes for the pastry. Remove the chicken from the pot and pick off the meat. Set aside. Strain and reserve the liquid from the cooking pot. Skim off the fat.
2. Combine the pearl onions, carrots, celery, corn, and peas in a saucepan. Pour in only enough of the strained cooking liquid to cover. Simmer until tender. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid.
3. Preheat the oven to 350°F. 4. Arrange the reserved chicken meat, smoked chicken, and vegetables in a 4-quart baking dish.
5. To make the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan and whisk in the flour. Cook, stirring 2 to 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in 3 cups of the cooking liquid and the cream. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and continue to simmer for 3 minutes. Season well with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Pour over the chicken and vegetables. Finish making the pastry and fit it on the top of the baking dish. Crimp the edges of the pastry.
6. Bake the pie for about 45 minutes, or until the top is nicely browned and filling is piping hot. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Ricotta Hotcakes with Strawberry Compote
- 2 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 2 eggs separated
- ½ cup part skim ricotta cheese
- ½ cup skim milk
- ½ cup white whole wheat flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- oil mister
1. Make the compote: Combine the strawberries, ¼ cup water, and the sugar in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the heat. Simmer until the strawberries are soft and cooked, about 5 minutes. Remove the strawberry compote from the heat and transfer it to a bowl to cool for 10 minutes.
2. Beat the egg whites in a mixing bowl with a whisk or electric mixer at high speed until they form stiff peaks. Set the egg whites aside. Combine the egg yolks, ricotta, and milk in a medium bowl and mix until blended. Add the flour and baking powder. Carefully fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture, gently blending them together, but not overmixing.
3. Lightly coat a large skillet with oil mister and heat until hot but not smoking. Ladle in enough batter for the desired pancake size and fry the hotcakes over medium heat until they are coated through and golden, about 2 minutes on each side. Serve immediately with the warm strawberry compote.
Wild Mushroom Tartlet with Goat Cheese and Bacon
- 3 slices country bacon or pancetta, diced
- ½ cup diced shallots
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1½ cups diced wild mushrooms
- ½ cup red wine
- ½ cup dried cherries or currants
- 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp. orange or currant marmalade
- 2 tsp. minced fresh thyme
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 package frozen phyllo dough, thawed
- 2 tbsp. butter, melted
- 8 ounces (1 round) Merry Goat Round cheese or other mild, soft, surface-ripened cheese (such as Brie or Camembert)
1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Cook the bacon at medium-high heat until crispy. Add the shallots and olive oil and sauté until the the shallots are translucent and golden. Add the mushrooms and sauté until they are just beginning to soften about 2 minutes.
2. Add the wine and stir well. Add the dried cherries, vinegar, marmalade, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine and reduce the heat to medium. Continue cooking until the wine has fully evaporated. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool.
3. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan. Cut the phyllo dough into 8 inch squares. On a clean work surface, lay one sheet of phyllo and brush it with melted butter. Layer another sheet on top and brush it with butter. Continue stacking until you have assembled six layers of phyllo sheets. Press the stack of layered phyllo sheets into a cup of the muffin pan so that the phyllo lines the cup and creates a small basket. Repeat until you have created 12 individual phyllo baskets.
4. Slice the cheese into thin wedges. Place two wedges in the bottom of each phyllo basket. Top each with a spoonful of the mushroom mixture. Bake the tartlets for 30 minutes, until the phyllo is golden brown. Remove and serve immediately.