Short Smoked Escolar with Eggplant Ragout and Tomato Fondue

Menu Part: 
Side Dish
Cuisine Type: 
American
Serves: 
4

The preparation involved in this dish is well worth the effort. This is a dazzling dish with bold flavors and scrumptious aromas.

Ingredients

For the Escolar:
8 (4-oz.) escolar fillets
Teriyaki sauce, as needed

For the Eggplant Ragoût:
1 oz. extra virgin olive oil
8 cloves garlic
1 eggplant, peeled, sliced about 3⁄4-in. thick, soaked in salt water, then rinsed, dried, and cut in 1-in. dice
1 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
1⁄2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
1 red pepper, roasted and peeled, cut in 1-in. dice
4 anchovy fillets, chopped
2 oz. veal jus
Salt and pepper, to taste

For the Tomato Fondue:
2 oz. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. chopped fresh garlic
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tbsp. chopped basil
4 ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste for grilling fish
Fresh basil sprigs, for garnish

Steps

1. Set up a cold smoker or barbecue grill with a tightly fitting lid. Light a few chunks of charcoal and when they are red, cover with hardwood chips that have been soaked for a few minutes. When the wood starts to smoke, cover the smoker and adjust the vents so they are open only slightly. (If using a drum-type smoker, place ice in the drip pan.) When the smoke is thick, brush the escolar fillets with teriyaki and place in the smoker as far away from the flame as possible; smoke 2-3 min. Remove and refrigerate.

2. Prepare Eggplant Ragoût: Heat the olive oil over medium heat and sweat the garlic until light brown and soft. Add the eggplant and half the chopped fresh herbs, lower heat, and stew gently, stirring often, 15-20 min. Add red pepper, anchovy, and veal jus and cook on low heat, 10 min. Stir in remaining herbs and season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

3. Prepare Tomato Fondue: Heat olive oil and sauté garlic 2 min.; add tomato paste and mash with a spoon, spreading it out in the oil. Add half the basil and all the tomatoes, cooking until warmed through. Stir in remaining basil and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

4. For service: Lightly season the escolar fillets with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste, and place on a clean, hot grill; cook about 3 min. per side. Place a spoonful of warm ragout in center of the plate, shingle the escolar fillets on top (2 fillets per serving),
finish with tomato fondue and garnish with basil.

Source: Recipe from Chef Tenney Flynn

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

As part of a 10-year contract to run Eastern Michigan University’s foodservice, Chartwells will invest $5 million in the Ypsilanti, Mich., university, as well as provide it with $18 million in capital improvements, according to a report by the Detroit Free Press .

The university’s board of regents approved the contract on Tuesday, citing the new revenue as an opportunity to expand and improve campus foodservice. EMU’s website indicates the partnership will allow for more student input as well as the introduction of food trucks and improved technology.

“The primary reason...

Industry News & Opinion

Students at the University of Virginia will soon be able to use part of their meal plans to buy fresh food grown locally, the result of a new partnership between the school and Greens to Grounds, a nonprofit organization run by students.

Starting in the fall, students will be able to use their meal plan “Plus Dollars” to purchase premade food boxes from Greens to Grounds. The boxes, which come in “snack” or “produce” options, contain a variety of vegetables and fruits with a different weekly menu. The packages typically cost no more than $10, and students will be able to place box...

Industry News & Opinion

The USDA analyzed the efficacy of using Medicaid data to certify students for free or reduced-price lunch, a provision included in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Participating states and districts reported conflicting data on changes in the percentage of students certified, number of meals served, federal reimbursements and certification costs.

The method is used as an alternative to household applications and data matching with other public benefit programs to streamline the certification of more low-income students. The program was first piloted statewide in Kentucky...

Ideas and Innovation
kids students cafeteria line

While summer feeding programs are commonplace in school districts across the country, foodservice operators still struggle to get the word out and kids in.

Many districts are scaling back or discontinuing their summer feeding programs due to low participation, citing staffing costs and other issues that make it difficult to break even and provide a profitable program.

“We need to find a way to encourage that participation,” Tom Freitas—foodservice director for Traverse City Area Public Schools in Traverse City, Mich.—told Record Eagle News . “We are open to ideas as long as...

FSD Resources