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Monday, May 28, 2012

“Hawaiian and Polynesian Recipes, Pt. XVIII: Broiled Fresh Hawaiian Tuna with Cabernet Demi-Glace and Flash-Fried Maui Onions—the Best of the Mid-Pacific Deep-Sea Fishing Fleets!” by Chef Cheryl La Tigre



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Here's the countdown to December 21, 2012: from today, we have 208 days to go until the End of Days, the End of Time, Armageddon, and the End of the Mayan Calendar!  Everybody, beware!



STINKBUG 2012





Chef Cheryl La Tigre

END Commentary 05-29-2012

Copyright © 2012 by MHB Productions

Word Count: 3,163.



CULINARY POLITICS



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Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Tuesday, May 29, 2012 by Chef Cheryl La Tigre

HAWAIIAN AND POLYNESIAN RECIPES, PT. XVIII

 Hawaiian and Polynesian Recipes, Pt. XVIII: Broiled Fresh Hawaiian Tuna with Cabernet Demi-Glace and Flash-Fried Maui Onions—the Best of the Mid-Pacific Deep-Sea Fishing Fleets!” by Chef Cheryl La Tigre



Bakersfield, CA, 05-29-2012 T: Today, we are going to make one of the more difficult fishes to prepare, the famed Ahi tuna, a piece of fish that is treated as though it were a filet mignon, a piece of fish that if messed up by either the sauté or broiler chef can lead to his or her dismissal. Since it is treated like a beef cut, it is dusted with cracked peppercorns ala a pepper steak and then topped with a cabernet demi-glace sauce complete with fried Maui onions, a true treat in and of themselves! The good thing about this fish is that it’s easier to find, even in the central regions of the nation but it must be treated as though it were priceless lest you become lazy and get yourself fired because you messed it up! We’re going to go right into it because this is a long recipe:

(#1595) GRILLED HAWAIIAN TUNA WITH CABERNET DEMI-GLACE AND FLASH-FRIED MAUI ONIONS



In the 1990’s, Ahi tuna began to appear more and more on fine-dining menus on the American mainland and at first was difficult for many average cooks and chefs to prepare as there was quite a bit about it that the normal culinary journeyman had no idea.  Over the next decade or so, we became more and more proficient at preparing it until it became a high art form.  Always treat it like gold and if you lack information on it, look it up on the Internet! NEVER ruin a cut like this!

Yield:  4 servings  / Mis-en-place: 6-7 minutes with everything ready:




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
4
7-8-ounce
Ahi Tuna Steaks
Rinsed
Sesame Oil

Cracked black pepper

Kosher Salt and Pepper (Recipe #1324)

Fish Basting Oil (Recipe #241)

2-3
Cups
Cabernet Demi-glace Sauce (Recipe #1596)

1
Quart
Peeled and julienned Maui onions

Oil for Deep-frying

4
Each
Ti leaves, trimmed and rinsed

3-4
Cups
Steamed jasmine rice

3-4
Cups
Vegetables du jour

1
Cup
Slivered scallions

4
Each
Edible flowers

4
Each
Lemon wedges




Method:

1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work!

Here’s the Kosher Salt and Pepper Seasoning:

(#1324) KOSHER SALT AND PEPPER SEASONING



Every chef has his or her favorite blends of spices and assorted seasonings and this is a simple salt and pepper-PLUS seasoning perfect for all your seasoning needs.  Keep plenty of it on-hand as it will become indispensable in all your cooking endeavors!

1. Yield: One cup of seasoning:




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
1
Cup
Kosher salt

1.5
Tablespoon
Coarse black pepper

.5
Teaspoon
Hungarian paprika

.5
Teaspoon
Dry parsley flakes




Method:

2.      Combine together and store in an airtight container.

This is a good basic, salt-and-pepper seasoning that you will find many uses for.

Here’s the Fish Basting Oil recipe:

(#241) FISH BASTING OIL



One of the most important things one needs in the professional kitchen on the broiler-side is a basting agent to be used for soft fish that need to be broiled.  There is nothing more irritating and infuriating at the height of the rush hour than to have one’s fish sticking to the grills of the broiler.  Instead, we’ve designed this oil that can be basted on the fish as it broils making it easier to remove and to flip whenever necessary.  Easy to make, it’s a darned good formula to have on hand!

1. About 1.5 cups:




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
2.25
Ounces
Clarified butter

2.25
Ounces
Clarified margarine

1
Teaspoon
Garlic salt

1-1/3
Tablespoons
Dry vermouth

1
Tablespoon
Lemon juice

1
Teaspoon
Worcestershire sauce

1
Teaspoon
Lawrey’s seasoned salt

.5
Teaspoon
Lemon pepper

2
Teaspoons
Granulated sugar

.75
Teaspoon
Hungarian paprika

1/3
Teaspoon
Steak salt

1
Teaspoon
Freshly minced parsley

.5
Teaspoon
Lemon zest




Method:

3.      Melt butter and margarine in a saucepan but do NOT stir!  When melted, draw clear liquid off the top of the pot; discard the settled mixture at the bottom. This process removes any solids and whey which will burn at low temperatures.  The end product is clear oil that may be heated to high temperatures without burning. 

4.      Add remaining ingredients to clarified butter and margarine; mix thoroughly to dissolve and combine ingredients.  Place bowl in an ice bath and stir until mixture has emulsified.

5.      Place in a pan and hold at room temperature when using; otherwise, refrigerate until needed.

This is a handy item to have when broiling fish as it both lubricates and keeps it from burning.  It also provides flavor and makes your product appear appealing and delicious.  You will find many uses for this item.

The main thing is the preparation of the sauce and if you choose to use a box mix, that’s fine, because if I was working in an average restaurant, that is precisely what I’d do.  Here is the Sauce Preparation:

(#1596) CABERNET DEMI-GLACE SAUCE



When one looks at this recipe, one can understand why many restaurants, foodservice establishments, and other food-related businesses buy dry mix products made by companies such as Knorr-Suisse due to the fact that (1) the amount of time involved and (2) the cost of help.  But if you are determined to do everything from scratch, this is how it’s done: 

Yield:  1 + quarts / Mis-en-place: 6-8 hours / Final Prep: 30-40 minutes:




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
1
Quart
Espagnole Sauce

1
Quart
Superior Veal Stock

.5
Cup
Gallo Cabernet Sauvignon 

Cornstarch Slurry

Kosher Salt and Pepper, to taste

1
Tablespoon
Better-than-Bullion beef base

.5
Cup
Fresh fines herbs (Recipe #209A)




Method:

6.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work! Have everything ready with which to work! Prepare the Sauce Espagnole four days prior to making this sauce. 

7.      When you make the professional demi-glace, combine the first two ingredients together and reduce by HALF; add the sherry and tighten with cornstarch slurry to medium-thickness and then simmer for 30-40 minutes over a very low flame for flavor to develop.  Season to taste with kosher salt and pepper and then strain the finished sauce.  Keep warm for use and discard whatever’s left at the end of the night and begin fresh the next day.  This is a superior sauce that can be transformed into a variety of different sauces.  The Sauce Espagnole is the base so if you’re making a beef dish, use BEEF drippings and if making veal or lamb—use VEAL or LAMB drippings to make the basic sauce. Then, add whatever additions you plan on using for the final sauce. 

To make the Cabernet Demi-glace, you will need the recipe for the BASIC mother sauce, Espagnole:

(#253) SAUCE ESPAGNOLE

(Step #1: Basic Brown Stock)





Yield:  about one gallon stock / about one quart of sauce / Mis-en-place: 72-80 hours:




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
5
#
Beef or veal bones, broken to gain entry to the bone marrow
1
Cup
Vegetable oil

2
Cups
Yellow onions, chopped

2
Cups
Carrots, chopped

2
Cups
Celery, chopped

1
Cup
Leeks, chopped

2
Each
Bay leaves

1
Tablespoon
Whole thyme

1
Tablespoon
Whole rosemary

1
Bunch
Parsley, chopped

2
Gallons
Cold water

.5
Cup
Worcestershire sauce

.5
Cup
Burgundy wine




Method:

8.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work!

9.      Preheat your standard oven to 450°F or you convection oven—fan “on”—to 400°F.  Place the bones into a good-sized heavy-duty roasting pan and place inside hot oven and cover with the oil.  Roast the bones at the high heat for about 15-20 minutes, stirring them around occasionally and being sure to scrape off any charcoal deposits that form—this is very important as the charcoal will provide the natural coloring so that the use of Kitchen Bouquet is not necessary.

10. When the bones have darkened considerably and there is a great deal of charcoalized material, remove the bones from the oven and draw off the clear oil in the bottom of the pan.  Drop the temperature to 375°F standard or 325°F convection and continue roasting for another 30-40 minutes; then, pull the pan out, place it on the stovetop and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, keep there for 2-3 minutes, and then drop to the lowest flame and simmer for about 24 hours.  Add more water as necessary to keep at least ONE gallon in the pot.  Allow it to just perk along.

11. The next day, withdraw as much clear oil from the top as possible and add it to what you drew off the day before.  Pour the stock through a double-chinois lined with a cloth towel to filter as much of the impurities as possible into a clean, sanitized container.  Cool on a wire rack, stirring occasionally, and if need be, allow a fan to blow across its surface.  Bring it down to below 45°F as quickly as possible and then refrigerate it.

12. The next day, remove whatever fat has drifted to the surface and reserve, either with the previous draws or in a jar in your freezer for use at a later time.  Be sure to both mark the jar for what it is and to date it. Take the jelled stock and transfer it to another sanitized container and cover it tightly.  This gel will last for several weeks in your refrigerator or freeze it for use at a later time. This is your basic brown stock.  

13. To make Sauce Espagnole, take some of the drippings and combine with flour to make a roux.  Heat the stock according to the following formula and create a sauce.  Bring the sauce to a boil, keep there for 2-3 minutes, and then lower and simmer for at least an hour.  This is your basic brown sauce:

(#253 A) SAUCE ESPAGNOLE



Yield:  one quart / Mis-en-place: 12-16 hours:


Qty.
Measure
Item
Other


2
Quarts 
Beef Stock



.25
Cup
Reserved beef drippings



3/8
Cup
All-purpose flour



2
Teaspoons
Kosher salt



1
Teaspoon
Fine Black pepper



1
Each
Bay leaf





14. Combine the oil with the flour in a small saucepot and cook over a very low flame until its dark brown, stirring frequently.  Meanwhile, place two quarts of the beef or veal stock in a large saucepot and reduce by half over a medium flame.  Add the bay leaf and the seasonings to it while you do this. 

15. When you have ONE quart of liquid, whisk the liquid into the roux pot; raise the temperature so that it’s boiling and whisk furiously as you combine the mixture.  Allow it to boil for 1-2 minutes and then reduce the heat and allow it to simmer over a very low flame for 4-5 minutes.  Check and readjust the seasonings as necessary.  Use this as your basis for making Demi-glace.  Note, you can use this sauce for lamb or veal dishes merely by substituting the drippings from either meat for the reserved beef drippings in the formula.  You could also do the same process only using the bones of the meat you plan on making the sauce for.  This is what professional chefs do: they make beef stock and then combine it with the drippings to form specialized sauces.  It is simpler and the beef stock is sort of an all-purpose basic item.

Here’s the recipe for French Fines Herbs:

(#209A) FRENCH FINES HERBS





Yield:  3.5 cups / Mis-en-place: 30 seconds:




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
.5
Cup
Dried parsley flakes

.5
Cup
Whole sweet basil

.5
Cup
Whole chervil

.5
Cup
Whole rosemary

.5
Cup
Whole oregano

.5
Cup
Whole tarragon

.5
Cup
Whole marjoram




Method:

16. Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work!

17. Combine everything together in an airtight Zip-Loc bag and freeze.  Use this for all bouquet garnis, mirepoix mixtures, and meats, poultry and fish.

Why spend big money buying a little jar from the spice rack when you can make it yourself, save money, and have more on hand?  Always keep it in the freezer where its potency will intensify and will also extend its shelf life from weeks to months.

Fish Preparation:

18. Check the fish for freshness: it should always LACK odor and should also be a reddish opaque in clarity and NEVER a dull, slimy feel to the fingers.  As always, rinse it well and then dry it.  Coat the sides of each portion with cracked black pepper after brushing it with sesame oil: press all three sides into the pepper so that it adheres to it and then place onto a tray and freeze for several minutes.  Dump the leftover pepper as it is now contaminated.

19. Have your broiler or barbeque grills heated up and ready to go.  Bring the fish out and brush it with the Fish Basting Oil and then place one flat side directly onto the fire.  Ahi tuna should always be cooked rare like a beef steak and never overcooked as this will toughen and dry it out, leaving a true fish connoisseur disgusted and very unhappy with you.  The idea is to ALWAYS treat it like a filet mignon hence the reason for pairing it with a sauce normally reserved for beef.  Sprinkle each portion with kosher salt and pepper as it cooks.

20. Brush it with FBO as it cooks, turning it first one way and then the other within 1-2 minutes to give it a diamond-marking on the first side and then turn it over and do it again so that both flat sides have diamond-markings.  Remove from the broiler then taking note that the outer edges are somewhat whitish due to the cooking process but that the inside is still BLUE to your eyes: it must still be RAW in the center!

21. Meanwhile, when the fish is almost done, place the julienned Maui onions in the following item:

(#232) SEASONED FLOUR



Seasoned flour is one of those “secret ingredients” that professional chefs use to make their foods that much better.  It is used in the breading and dusting procedures for every sort of meat, poultry, and seafood item that requires flour as the first agent in the breading process or is used whenever the sauté man-or-woman needs to dust a similar item to sauté.  This is an important item that every professional or home cook needs but remember: never cross-contaminate by dipping different foods in it nor use it once it’s had something dusted or breaded with it.  Always toss out leftovers and begin anew, in this way you can help to prevent the spread of foodborne illness.

1. About 2.5 cups:




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
2.5
Cups
All-purpose flour

1
Tablespoon
Cayenne pepper

1
Tablespoon
White pepper

1.5
Tablespoon
Hungarian paprika

1.5
Teaspoons
Granulated garlic

1
Tablespoon
Kosher salt

2
Teaspoons
Parsley flakes




Method:

22. Combine all ingredients together and store in an airtight jar, baggie, or whatever else and either keep at room temperature or in your freezer until needed. It’s important to have a seasoned flour recipe for breading different foods and this is a good one.  You will use this recipe many times. Toss the onions in this mixture and then drop them into your 375°F deep-fryer and cook until brown and crispy: about 20-30 seconds.  Then, remove and drain them and set aside, keeping warm. 

23. Upon four large and beautiful plates, place a ti leaf and atop each leaf, place a grilled Ahi tuna steak.  Ladle the Cabernet Demi-glace over each portion and then top with crispy-fried Maui onions.  Place a spoonful of steamed rice at the 10 o’clock position and the veggies at the 2 o’clock position.  Place the lemon crown in the center and sprinkle the slivered scallions over the fish.  Finally, place edible flowers such as Nasturtiums or small roses in the center of each plate with a lemon wedge. 

24. Take the plates to the table now and serve and NEVER serve with either tartar or cocktail sauce unless the diner(s) request it—this is considered to be uncouth!

This is a fantastic recipe that everyone who loves the flavor of fresh tuna will be in a swoon over.  It seems strange to the average cook to treat a cut of fish as though it were beef but that is how it is with Ahi tuna. Never overcook it as you will be wasting money and destroying the restaurant’s reputation.  It should be treated as though it were the most expensive lobster tail!

--------------------------------------------

As always, we have a great time around here and that is why we want all of you to become a part of the organization by submitting articles to us for inspection and full-credit.  It is a great thing if you would do this as it’s a symbiotic relationship: we give you the space to share your recipes and in return, you send us more and more people who will hopefully become dedicated followers of the END.  In this day and age of multi-diversity across the Internet, it is important that the voices of more and more people from all walks of the foodservice profession are heard—join us. We urge our readership to write to us and leave comments and if there are any of you, who would care to write an article for us, please get in touch via Magnolia Hilltop Brewers, P.O. Box 20669, Bakersfield, CA 93390-0669.  We obviously don’t pay anything but you will be given a full byline and that’s worth its weight in gold.  We want as many people who want to write to be able to do so and we believe that by presenting a forum for our fellow chefs, we are doing something for our beloved industry.  We love diversity and hope to add new and different authors to our pantheon of chefs, food and beverage directors, and culinary professionals.  Come on and join us, it’ll be fun! Expect that when all of us have run through our cycle, we will be introducing some brand-new talent or so I’m told.

Please remember to avoid doing business with AARC Technology in Bakersfield, CA.  These people don’t care about the small customer anymore but instead put all of their attentions onto their corporate customers. It’s sad to not remember why one has the success they do or from where it came.

Well, my dear friends, this was definitely a date to be remembered and I do hope this recipe will be etched within the gray matter of your brain.  This is one of the all-time greatest fish recipes in the world and it’s one that is beautiful when the fish is fresh and it’s available.  Ahi tuna is so ono, it’s indescribable!                            

Anyhow, let us close with this impassioned plea—please leave some comments and/or become a follower and why not spend some money and purchase an album by STEPPENWOLF and/or buy a cookbook from Amazon.com—we want to make some money here so help us out by buying something!  We are allied with them and are pleased to market their merchandise! See you next time around! Bye!  

Thanks, my friends!

Cheryl La Tigre

Cheryl La Tigre
CEC, ACF, Chefs de Cuisine Association of Honolulu, Hawaii

This is me back in the 1980’s when I was working at a hotel in Honolulu, HI, on Waikiki Beach.  I began my career in the early 1970’s when I apprenticed to cook under one of the masters on the Big Island where I was born.  I moved to Oahu in the early 1980’s after having worked in both Kona and Hilo, HI, and have been there for most of my professional career.  I have also worked on Maui for a few years (1995-1998) and have also been on Kauai (2001-2003) before returning to Honolulu.  My goal is to prepare the next generation of chefs for the future and also to help the underprivileged in their struggle to attain careers in the foodservice industry.

---30---

The END Commentary for Tuesday, May 29, 2012 by Chef Cheryl La Tigre

Please note that everyone who writes for the Elemental News of the Day is their own person entitled to their own opinions, attitudes, and insanity so does not necessarily speak for all of us.  Thanks, Stinkbug.

REFERENCES:

This original essay was written by the one-and-only Chef Cheryl La Tigre



Recipe created by Chef Cheryl La Tigre on June 26, 1996 in Honolulu, HI.

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