Bodacious Beans and Bass

Source: St. Clare’s Health System, Denville, N.J.
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Main Ingredient: Seafood, Vegetables, Dairy, Beans, Nuts
Menu Part: Entree
Cuisine Type: American
Serves: Six servings

This dish was actually created as an entry for the Association for Healthcare Foodservice’s Culinary Competition in Orlando last month. But Food and Nutrition Director Joanne McMillian and Executive Chef Aatul Jain have found success with this dish, not only as the gold-medal winner in the competition, but as a popular item on the catering menu and at special events. Despite its upscale appearance, the dish comes in at only $5.68 per portion.

“We initially got inspiration for our dish from a ‘citrus’ salmon that is on our room service menu,” Jain explains. “The salmon is marinated, grill marked and then finished to order. We plan to use the citrus seafood concept in our retail and catering offering more now than in the past due to its newfound popularity. Using citrus with zest and fresh herbs also helps keep nutritionals in check since we use less oil and salt.”
 

Ingredients

2 tbsp. grated orange zest
2 tbsp. grated lemon zest
2 tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
2 tbsp. fresh chopped lemon thyme
2/3 tsp. ground pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon-flavored olive oil
6 3-oz. pieces boneless, skinless black sea bass
2 tbsp. olive oil (to sear fish)

Vegetarian Refried Bean & Farro Cakes
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 bay leaves
2 oz. diced white onion
3/4 oz. fresh chopped garlic
3 oz. dry pearled farro
10 oz. water
1 tsp. low-sodium chicken base
16 oz. 2% milk
8 oz. vegetarian refried beans
1 tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
1 tbsp. finely chopped chives
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. lemon juice

Fennel-Orange Slaw
Yield: Six portions
4 oz. shaved fennel
2 oz. julienned yellow beets
2 oz. finely julienned carrots
18 fresh orange segments
6 tbsp. shaved purple cauliflower stalks
1 tsp. blood orange-scented olive oil
2 tsp. white grapefruit balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. fresh chiffonade parsley
2 tbsp. chopped chives

Romesco Sauce
Yield: 6, 1/5-tablespoon portions
2 roasted red peppers
12 raw almonds
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 oz. lemon juice

Cilantro Sorrel Pesto
Yield: Six 1.5 tablespoon portions
2 oz. cilantro
2 oz. sorrel leaves
3/4 oz. pistachio nuts
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 oz. lemon juice
1 oz. water

Papadum Crisp
Yield: Six portions, two crisps each
2 papadum crackers, cut into 1/6 sections

Steps

  1. Mix first 8 ingredients in bowl. Add sea bass, mix together and set aside, refrigerated, until ready to use.
  2. In hot pan, add oil and let heat up. Add sea bass, and let sit until it starts lifting off pan. Turn over, sear and let cook until done, about 6 minutes.
  3. Remove when done. Serve with Vegetarian Refried Bean & Farro Cakes, Fennel-Orange Slaw, Romesco Sauce, Cilantro Sorrel Pesto and Papadum Crisp. (Recipes follow.)
  4. After plating, garnish fish with 1/4 teaspoon of gremolata.

Vegetarian Refried Bean & Farro Cakes

  1. Heat oil in pan. Add bay leaves. Cook until aromatic.
  2. Add onions and sweat. Add garlic and cook until golden. Add farro and sauté until toasted.
  3. Add water and stock base. Simmer until farro is al dente, about 8 minutes.
  4. Add milk, bring to simmer. Add dried beans and stir until they reconstitute, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and hold at above 140°F until they firm up. After about 10 minutes, mix in parsley, chives, cayenne and lemon.
  5. Form 12, 2.5-ounce patties. Hold hot until ready to sear.
  6. Just before service, heat oil in pan, add patties and sear one side. Turn over and sear second side.
  7. Remove when crispy and add to plate.

Fennel-Orange Slaw

  1. Mix all ingredients in bowl and serve on center of plate.

Romesco Sauce

  1. Mix all ingredients in blender and purée. 

Cilantro Sorrel Pesto

  1. Mix all ingredients in blender and purée.

Papadum Crisp

  1. Toast papadum crisp in oven or on open flame.