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Friday, June 1, 2012

“Hawaiian and Polynesian Recipes, Pt. XXII: Baked Opakapaka with Blood Orange Maltaise Sauce—a Bit touristy but not the way Chef La Tigre does it!” by Chef Cheryl La Tigre



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Chef Cheryl La Tigre

END Commentary 06-02-2012

Copyright © 2012 by MHB Productions

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Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Saturday, June 02, 2012 by Chef Cheryl La Tigre

HAWAIIAN AND POLYNESIAN RECIPES, PT. XXII

 Hawaiian and Polynesian Recipes, Pt. XXII: Baked Opakapaka with Blood Orange Maltaise Sauce—a Bit touristy but not the way Chef La Tigre does it!” by Chef Cheryl La Tigre



Bakersfield, CA, 06-02-2012 S: Saturday is the day when we let it all hang out around here at the Elemental News of the Day because virtually no one comes here to read the blog.  Our numbers never go up, they remain steady, low, and alone and yet, yet we still put out some of our best foods that it’s mind-boggling to me how everyone can be so uninterested in what we have to offer!  Therefore, I am going to present to you one of the best recipes in my book, a baked opakapaka with a blood orange Maltaise Sauce that would make chef Auguste Escoffier weep with joy!  He, of course, could never have envisioned either one of these in his original works as he never saw a fish like opakapaka nor probably did much with blood oranges but much like the French Impressionists who painted what they “saw,” we Hawaiian chefs do much the same with the tried and true techniques of our masters but go off on our own when given the chance and that is precisely what this dish is: avante garde experimentation gone wild! 

  Opakapaka is the Hawaiian Pink Snapper, a fish that inhabits the waters of the islands and is caught throughout most of the year.  It is the most-ordered fish after yesterday’s Mahi-Mahi and is one that you will find to be incredible due to its gentle, tender flesh, delicious flavor, delightful aroma, and magnificent presentation.  The recipe I have for you today is a classic that features a Blood Orange Maltaise Sauce which is an orange Hollandaise Sauce, one of the all-time classic sauces created by the great French Chef, Auguste Escoffier, the so-called “Chef to Kings and King of Chefs,” 1846-1935.  If he were alive today, he’d be amazed at the magnificence of this wonderful dish.  Let’s make it:

(#1604) BAKED OPAKAPAKA WITH BLOOD ORANGE MALTAISE SAUCE



Blood oranges create a beautiful Maltaise Sauce—the orange-flavored Hollandaise Sauce—and then when combined with delicious opakapaka from the waters of the Pacific Ocean form an unbeatable combination.  Both are somewhat delicate: the Maltaise always needs to be watched after while the fish does, too.  Never allow either one to get away from you as you will regret it!
One way to cook fresh fish: oven-baked.
Yield:  4 servings / Mis-en-place: 30-40 minutes with prep:




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
The Opakapaka (Pink Snapper):
4
7-8-ounce
Opakapaka filets, rinsed

Seasoned Flour II (Recipe #1592) 

.25
Cup
Vegetable oil

Kosher salt and pepper

.25
Cup
Chablis

.5
Cup
Diced scallions

.25
Cup
Minced red bell peppers (seeded and stemmed); blanched
.25
Cup
Minced green bell peppers (seeded and stemmed); blanched
The Pineapple Hollandaise:
8
Each
Egg yolks

2
Tablespoons
Cold water

2
Teaspoons
Blood orange juice

2-3
Cups
Warm drawn butter

1
Teaspoon
Kosher salt

.5
Teaspoon
Cayenne pepper

1
Teaspoon
Straight sherry

.125
Cup
Blood Orange juice

1
Tablespoon
Blood Orange zest

Granulated sugar or Splenda, to taste

1
Teaspoon
Freshly minced parsley
Rinsed
The Finish:
4
Each
Ti leaves, squared

4
Each
Broiled pineapple wedges

1
Tablespoon
Freshly minced parsley
Rinsed
Edible flowers for garnish

1
Cup
Broken Glass Garnish (Recipe #1305)
Accompanying



Method:

1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work! Preheat your standard oven to 375°F or your convection oven—fan “on”—to 325°F.  Blanch the garnish vegetables.  Cut a small pineapple into 6-8 wedges after trimming the leaves emanating from the top—don’t cut them all the way off, but “block” them so that they’re more attractive.  Rub them with salad oil and set aside until it’s time to broil them.  Be sure to have your broiler or your barbeque pit turned on or if you have an overhead oven broiler, do this before you bake the opakapaka.

a.      Broil the pineapple wedges on both sides, you want to somewhat cook the fruit as much as you want to get crisscross charcoal lines on it; when you have, set them aside and keep them warm.

2.      Make the Blood Orange Maltaise Sauce by doing the following: have a saucepot on the stove with simmering water in it ready.  Using a stainless steel bowl, scramble the egg yolks with the cold water and once you have, hold the bowl in one hand above the hot water while whisking constantly with the other.  Hold the bowl so that it’s just above the water but not touching it.  Continue whisking without letting up.

3.      At first, the mixture will look like liquid as you whisk it but then you’ll notice that it’s expanding and getting a little bit foamy.  Keep watch on the bottom of the bowl, NOW!

4.      As you continue whisking the mixture, you will see that it’s beginning to solidify and as soon as you see it showing signs of SCRAMBLING, pull it out of the pot immediately but all the while still continuing to whisk furiously in order to homogenize it and to prevent any damage being done to it.  Whisk in the lemon juice now.

5.      When it appears to be smooth, place the metal bowl inside a China bowl with a towel laid across it to keep the stainless steel bowl from slipping.  Now with one hand whisking constantly, begin dribbling the drawn butter in along the sides of the bowl using a ladle.  Every time that it shows there’s too much liquid in the bowl and the egg yolks can’t handle it, STOP THE PROCESS AND WAIT UNTIL THEY CAN! And if the yolks seem like they’ve had enough butter, stop and don’t force them to take any more!

6.      When you have accomplished a light, velvety sauce, blend in the remaining ingredients and check the final flavor: it should be a tangy-sweet, citrus-flavored hollandaise sauce and if it needs a little sweetener, add it to taste, whisking it in gently along with the parsley flakes and blood orange zest.  If your sauce begins to thicken on you during the holding time, simply whisk in a little bit of warm water.

7.      Note: the big problem with hollandaise sauces is the holding temperature: normally, anything within the Danger Zone; that is, between 45°F on the low end and 140°F on the high end is at optimum risk for the development of harmful bacteria that can lead to foodborne illness and what’s more, eggs are high in protein and protein is one of the prime things favored by these bacteria.  You cannot hold the members of the Hollandaise Family of Sauces above 140-145°F without risk of them breaking so the only thing you can do is to hold them as close as you can to your primary heat source (i.e., steam table) so as to keep the emulsion from breaking.  The thing you need to do is to use them within 30-60 minutes and then discard them and start fresh.  This is what professional chefs have to do several times during their shift.

8.      The Opakapaka: dust the fish with seasoned flour and then shake off the excess; set aside.  Heat the vegetable oil in a large heavy-duty skillet over medium heat and when it’s hot, add the fish and brown lightly on one side.  Season to taste with the Kosher Salt and Pepper seasoning and then turn the fish over.  Begin on their back side, turn over to their front side, and then turn over to the back side.  Add the garnish vegetables and the Chablis and deglaze the pan.

9.      Place the skillet in the oven or if you cannot do this, transfer the fish filets to a sheet pan sprayed with PAM or some such other food release spray and then place on the middle rack of your preheated oven and bake 4-5 minutes or until the fish tests done.  Check it for firmness and also its color: it should be a solid white and not opaque like raw fish.  Also, if there are any remaining bones, they’ll be protruding from the surface.  Remove the fish then at this point.

10.  Serve the Baked Opakapaka on each of four plates in the following manner: place a square of ti leaf atop each plate and then place an opakapaka filet atop it.  Do this at the six o’clock position and behind each portion, place a broiled pineapple wedge. At the ten o’clock position, place a mound of rice pilaf and at the two o’clock position; place a spoonful of sautéed vegetables like carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower.  Ladle the blood orange Maltaise Sauce over each fish filet and then sprinkle freshly minced parsley across the plates.  Place an edible flower* atop each fish portion and finally, sprinkle the Broken Glass Garnish around the rims of each plate.  Be sure to always use LARGE serving plates or platters when presenting a fish such as this.  The presentation is extremely important.   Anyhow, once you’ve set up the plates according to your liking, present them to the guests and watch the reactions: they’ll be stunned.

This is the Broken Glass Garnish formula:

(#1305) BROKEN GLASS GARNISH




Yield: about 1 cup / Mis-en-place: about 20 minutes:



Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
.25
Cup
3/16” square-cut carrots
Rinsed
.25
Cup
3/16” square-cut red cabbage
Rinsed
.25
Cup
3/16” square celery
Rinsed
.25
Cup
3/16” square cut red bell pepper
Rinsed



Method:

11. Rinse cabbage well, and then toss all ingreds together. Let them dry a little bit at room temp then keep on the cold line. I will tell you when to utilize this garnish which is a very attractive one; it reminds me of the stars in the heavens.

This is a very important garnish that you will use on all sorts of things so keep it available at all times. Here’s your Seasoned Flour recipe:

(#1592) SEASONED FLOUR II




1. About 2.5 cups:




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
2.5
Cups
All-purpose flour

1
Teaspoon
Cayenne pepper

1
Teaspoon
White pepper

1.5
Teaspoons
Hungarian paprika

1.5
Teaspoons
Granulated garlic

1
Tablespoon
Kosher salt

2
Teaspoons
Parsley flakes




Method:

12. 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.

Hawaiian pink snapper or opakapaka is one of the joys of living in the Hawaiian Islands.  There are so many different fish available there that are seldom seen on the Mainland so if you can find it in a fresh fish store or at a fishmonger’s, buy it.  Remember: fresh is always preferable but if you find it frozen and you live in the Midwest, buy it.  Red snapper can generally be substituted for the various snappers in recipes such as this.  Whatever you do, remember this maxim: Never overcook your fish, if anything, serve it just a touch under on a HOT plate.  The hot plate will do the cooking. 

*Use nasturtiums, pansies, or rose petals that you’ve cleaned.

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

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.

Tomorrow is our last day and then another one of my colleagues, a new author, Chef Itzi Nakamura will be coming in and she will be doing the Father’s Day Menu for her debut.  It will be a classic one, I’m sure, following the guidelines set by Stinkbug and I am so excited for her.  I know that when I made my debut last year around the holidays, it was very exciting for me and that my numbers were very high so after tomorrow, I do hope you will welcome her happily and let her know that the Elemental News of the Day readership is one filled with culinary class! Aloha!                                

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 a picture of 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.
Chef Cheryl La Tigre writes from Honolulu, HI.
---30---

The END Commentary for Saturday, June 02, 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.

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



Recipe created by Chef Cheryl La Tigre on March 20, 1992 in Honolulu, HI.

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