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HomePastaGrouper Sous Vide with Vanilla and Lemon Zest – Stefan's Gourmand Weblog

Grouper Sous Vide with Vanilla and Lemon Zest – Stefan’s Gourmand Weblog

Typically I get the inspiration for a brand new dish from one thing I’ve loved in a restaurant. Very seldomly I attempt to copy a dish precisely, however I do use the mixtures of substances or preparations. At two Michelin star restaurant Don Alfonso 1890 close to the Amalfi coast I had grouper that had been perfumed with vanilla and lemon zest, cooked sous vide, with a sabayon of anchovy brine, mashed potatoes, onion ashes, and fried basil. I didn’t suppose the onion ashes have been very particular and the fried basil gave the impression to be included largely to have one thing inexperienced on the plate (which frequently makes a dish look higher). The fish had been cooked sous vide at 55C/131F, and subsequently it was only a tad dry. After I requested the chef about that, he mentioned that the friends wouldn’t respect fish served medium uncommon (which I can think about, as a result of in Italy each meat and fish are served extra accomplished, equivalent to nicely accomplished tuna steak slightly than uncommon). I particularly preferred the thought to fragrance the fish with vanilla and lemon zest. The mix with the mashed potatoes and sabayon additionally labored very nicely. To incorporate some greens (potatoes rely as greens in Italy, however not in my guide), I included some slow-roasted cauliflower. Anchovy brine (colatura di alici) is a specialty from the Amalfi coast that isn’t out there right here. As a substitute I’ve made an anchovy-flavored hollandaise sauce. On the restaurant the anchovy taste wasn’t very outstanding, which was the identical in my model. So I suppose you could possibly omit the anchovies altogether. I used to be pleased with the results of this dish and can make it once more.

As a substitute of grouper you could possibly use any tender white fish that won’t flake an excessive amount of in the way in which that cod does. So halibut, wolffish, turbot, and sea bass are all good substitutes. I used halibut, as a result of grouper isn’t simply out there right here.


Serves 4

  • 600 grams (1.3 lbs) grouper, halibut, turbot, or sea bass fillet
  • 500 grams (1.1 lbs) potatoes
  • 1 cauliflower
  • olive oil
  • salt and freshly floor white pepper
  • 75 grams (5 Tbsp) butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 120 ml (1/2 cup) dry white wine
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • grated zest of 1 untreated lemon
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 4 anchovy fillets, drained and chopped
  • 1 Tbsp minced contemporary flat leaf parsley


Preheat the oven to 160C/325F (not fan compelled). Break the cauliflower into florets, discarding the trunk, and place in a big oven dish or on a baking sheet. The cauliflower ought to be organized in a single layer. Season with salt and drizzle with about 5 tablespoons of olive oil. Toss the cauliflower to cowl it with the oil.

Roast the cauliflower within the oven at 160C/325F (not fan compelled) for two to three hours, stirring each half-hour or so. For those who can’t flip off the fan in your oven, use 150C/300F as a substitute and stir each quarter-hour. The fan causes the cauliflower to prepare dinner inconsistently and burn in spots.

The cauliflower is prepared as soon as it’s good and brown, however not black. It can shrink significantly, and the flavour might be properly concentrated. Individuals who don’t normally take pleasure in cauliflower will typically take pleasure in this rendition.

Divide the fish into 4 parts. Season the fish on each side with salt (1 teaspoon of desk salt for 600 grams of fish) and just a little little bit of freshly floor white pepper. Divide the grated zest of a lemon over each side of every portion of fish. Halve the vanilla pod lengthwise, and scrape out the seeds with a small knife. Rub each side of every portion of fish with a little bit of the seeds. Reserve the empty pod for the sauce.

Vacuum seal the fish and permit the fish to dry brine within the fridge for no less than 1 hour. This text explains why that is necessary.

The potatoes will retain extra of their taste should you prepare dinner them sous vide as nicely, however you could possibly additionally simply boil or steam the potatoes. Peel them, chop them into chunks of not more than than 3 cm (1 inch) thickness, vacuum seal in a single layer, and prepare dinner them sous vide for 90 to 120 minutes at 85C/185F.

For those who personal ‘solely’ one sous vide equipment, you could possibly prepare dinner the potatoes sous vide first and preserve the mashed potatoes heat in a pot on the range as described under, after which prepare dinner the fish sous vide. To try this, pour out a part of the water at 85C/185F used for the potatoes (you could possibly reserve this sizzling water for dipping the fish, see the recommendation on the finish), and add chilly water to deliver it right down to 50C/122F. Then set the sous vide to 50C/122F and put the fish within the water.

Place a chopped shallot in a saucepan with 120 ml of dry white wine, the empty vanilla pod, and 4 drained and chopped anchovy fillets.

Carry to a boil after which decrease the warmth to cut back gently…

…till solely about 2 tablespoons of liquid (30 ml) is left.

Sift the liquid and return it to the saucepan. Press down with a spoon on the shallots within the sieve to get as a lot taste out of them as attainable.

It’s a problem with this dish to serve all the things heat on the similar time. So be sure that to make use of preheated plates, by placing the plates within the oven with the cauliflower. (Porcelain plates are actually resistent to 160C/325F of warmth.)

When the potatoes are accomplished, place them in a pot with a tablespoon of minced parsley, a beneficiant glug of additional virgin olive oil, and salt to style.

Mash the potatoes. If wanted add some milk, water, or additional virgin olive oil.

The mashed potatoes shouldn’t be too gentle and runny, however not too dry both. Preserve the mashed potatoes sizzling on very low warmth in a lined pot, stirring every now and then to forestall the underside from burning.

The fish solely wants about quarter-hour of sous vide cooking at 50C/122F, assuming that the fillet isn’t thicker than 1.5 centimeters (1/2 inch). Whether it is thicker, lookup the heating time within the desk in this text.

Make the sauce on the finish, whereas the fish is within the sous vide. It is because the sauce is liable to breaking should you permit it to get too sizzling.

Add 1 egg yolk and 75 grams diced butter to the saucepan with the liquid that you just ready earlier utilizing white wine, shallot, anchovy, and empty vanilla beans.

Permit the butter to soften over low warmth, stirring.

Preserve stirring over low warmth till the sauce has turn into thick, after which flip off the warmth. If the warmth is just too excessive otherwise you prepare dinner it for too lengthy, the sauce will break.

It’s best to do the plating of this dish with two folks. One is making the sauce, whereas the opposite plates the mashed potato and cauliflower.

Take the fish out of the sous vide on the final second (it isn’t an issue in any respect if the fish is saved within the sous vide for five, 10 and even quarter-hour longer) and place it on prime of the mashed potatoes. Pour some sizzling sauce on prime of the fish. By inserting the fish between the mashed potatoes and the sauce, it’s going to preserve its heat higher. Serve the dish as quickly as attainable, as a result of it’s going to nonetheless cool off slightly rapidly because the fish was cooked at 50C/122F.

A approach to serve the fish at a better temperature is to briefly dip the bag with the fish inside in almost boiling water after sous vide cooking. Then take it out of the bag, and place it on prime of the mashed potatoes.

Wine pairing

Due to the butter sauce and vanilla that is nice with an oaked buttery white wine, equivalent to an oaked Chardonnay (white Burgundy like Meursault). The perfect is an oaked white Bordeaux of Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon, equivalent to a Pessac-Léognan. The Sauvignon works nicely with the lemon zest, the oak with the vanilla, and the Sémillon with the butter.


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