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

Ideas and Innovation
chefs

We started inviting chefs and FSDs from other districts to come prepare lunch. Through featuring different chefs and chef-inspired meals, I’ve found the students have been looking forward to coming into the cafeteria. They are willing to try new things with crazy names, and to ask for their favorite outside items turned healthy.

Ideas and Innovation
tapas

I’ve created a high school “focus group” to see what future college students will want in terms of foodservice. This year, I called up two now-seniors from the last group to get 10 of their friends together. I also include a sophomore or two so that I always have a contact for next year. Tapas, grain bowls and late-night breakfast all originated from this group.

Ideas and Innovation
making meals

This summer, we teamed up with a church to deliver meals to three housing projects. We brought the meals to the church, and then the church recruited volunteers to deliver the meals to the children. We’ve been very impressed with this new model, and it shows great promise in getting meals to children who otherwise would not be able to leave their housing project.

Industry News & Opinion
sharing love

Having never personally experienced a hurricane, I can only imagine the horrors faced by the millions of people whose lives were affected by Harvey and Irma in late August and early September. It’s a group that comprises uncounted noncommercial operations, including Houston Independent School District, which serves 215,000 students.

But from that tragedy has come one of the most impressive feats of foodservice I’ve seen since coming on board at this magazine, partially spearheaded by Nutrition Officer Betti Wiggins , who only just joined the district. For the entire school year,...

FSD Resources