Three Course Meal with Chef Tony

Sunday, January 2, 2011

While visiting my bestie Michelle in New York City, I met one of her good friends - a pastry chef! Finally, a chance for me to see and learn how it's really done. Chef Tony was so wonderful to cook us a three course meal consisting of a Shrimp and Grits appetizer, a Pan-Seared Sole served with a bed of rice and finally, Tony's specialty, a homemade Brioche dessert. Beware, this meal is filled with a chef's favorite ingredient...butter!


A view of Columbia's campus from M's condo!

Chef comes prepared with his tools and prep work

Appetizer: Shrimp and Grits







1. Cook Grits. Begin cooking your grits according to the direction on the box, we used Organic Yellow Corn Grits. Instead of water, use Chicken Stock, this will give your grits more flavor and of course, at the end, be sure to add butter to your grits.

2. Saute Shrimp. As your grits is cooking, saute your deveined and peeled shrimp in butter and olive oil. Season with a bit of old bay seafood seasoning, to taste. Cook for 3-4 minutes on medium high heat, and...add a bit more butter. :)

3. Finish with Lemon Juice. As your shrimp begins to turn pink and your butter completely melts, squeeze the juice of half a lemon into your saute pan - reduce for 30 seconds-1 minute.

4. Plate, Garnish and Serve. Season your grits to taste. Garnish your dish with a bit of parsley and chives.

Main Course: Pan-Seared Sole on a bed of rice


Deglazing the pan with white wine (note the butter!!)

Dressing for the Greens

1. Cook Rice. Cook your rice according to the directions - usually with a 1:1 water, rice ratio. Once done, add a bit of butter to separate the rice grains. Garnish with some parsley.

2. Pan-Sear your Sole. Add a bit of salt onto your Sole. Heat up olive oil in saute pan, once it's hot, add your sole and pan sear on both sides over medium-high heat. Only flip once on each side, you don't want your fish to fall apart.

3. Deglaze pan and make White Wine Reduction. Once your fish is done, add a bit of olive oil and butter to the pan to saute some shallots, garlic and onion over medium heat. Cook until slightly softened, maybe 4-5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of dry white wine to scrape up all the brown bits on the pan. Add more butter, this will help thicken the sauce. Also, add 1 diced tomato as the sauce is reducing. Be sure to use this sauce right away as you don't want the butter to separate from the rest of the liquids.

4. Make Dressing for Greens. Chef Tony asked me to make a dressing for the spring salad that he brought, so I went to my go-to recipe of a Balsamic-Honey Reduction. A similar recipe can be found in my Brussel Sprouts post. Basically, saute shallots or onion in olive oil over medium heat, once it's softened, add a balsamic vingear and honey mixture - usually with a 1:1 balsamic and honey ratio. Cook for a few minutes until the sauce is reduced, be sure to watch it so it doesn't burn! Toss greens in reduced dressing.

5. Plate the Fish! Rice. Top with Fish. Add White Wine Sauce. Top with Balsamic-Honey tossed greens. Garnish with parsley. Drizzle with a bit of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Serve.

Dessert: Brioche with Strawberries and Vanilla Ice Cream








1. Melt Butter, Add Honey. Cook this over medium heat so it doesn't burn.

2. Slice Brioche. Chef Tony came prepared with his homemade Brioche, an eggy french bread. Delicious.

3. Cook bread in mixture. As the brioche begins to cook in the honey and butter, the honey will thicken and begin to caramelize over the brioche, and will look like the picture on the right.

4. Plate and Serve. Sprinkle a little sugar on top of the brioche. Add Ice Cream of your choice. Serve with strawberries. (I believe Chef Tony previously added some sugar to the strawberries to help bring out the flavor an make it more sweet)

Thanks again Chef for this wonderful meal, and hopefully won't be our last. :)

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