The first entry in our new Great Chef Recipe Files comes from Marco Ferraro, the talented top toque at Wish at The Hotel in South Beach. Ferraro was born in Italy, tutored at The French Culinary Institute in New York, trained at Michelin two-star Le Muscandin in Mougins, and followed up with two-years at Vongerichten's Jean-Georges in New York. In other words, the guy has cred.
The recipe is lengthy, but other than removing the hearts from artichokes (which can be a prickly task), each step is pretty straightforward. I don't know about you, but I'd sure be impressed if somebody invited me to their home for dinner and brought this bright, summery dish out from the kitchen.
I'd also be happy with a bottle of Les Charmes, Chardonnay, Macon-Lugny, Burgundy,
2007, which chef Ferraro recommends as a suitable match with the snapper: "The wine is green-gold in color, fresh and vibrant with
aromas of hazelnut, citrus flower and acacia honey. It will complement
and enhance the flavor of the snapper and squash, and with its
clean, crisp and beautiful lasting flavor on the finish it will not
overpower any ingredients."
Steamed snapper with summer squash, tomato, artichoke and basil
Executive Chef: Marco Ferraro
Tomato Confit (Ingredients/Directions)
5 cloves garlic, smashed
Handful each fresh thyme, basil
1 Tbsp whole black peppercorns
Take the skin off the tomatoes and cut in half, de-seed. On a sheet pan, lined with parchment, place the garlic, fresh herbs and black peppercorns. Place tomatoes on top and season with a pinch of salt, white pepper, sugar, salt and a splash of olive oil. Cook in a 225 degree oven until they soften but don't break apart. Reserve.
Summer Squash Puree (Ingredients/Directions)
1 shallot, fine dice
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 Tbsp butter
1 lb. fresh summer squash, cubed
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 oz. fontina cheese, grated
Sauté the squash in olive oil until tender but not overcooked. Season with salt and pepper. Remove and refrigerate. Place a medium sized ring mold on a sheet pan. Mix together one cup of the squash and three tablespoons of the puree and press into the ring mold. Dust with crispy panko breadcrumbs (see below) and baked in a 375 degree oven for five minutes. Reserve. (The squash recipe renders four molds.)
Sweat the shallows on low heat with the 1 Tbsp oil and butter. Add the squash, season with salt and white pepper. Cook until tender. Add the thyme and let heat through for a few minutes; remove to blender and puree until smooth. Place in a bowl and whisk in the fontina cheese. Reserve.
Four fresh artichoke hearts, stems attached
Handful crushed garlic cloves
Half bunch fresh thyme, fresh rosemary
1/4 cup whole black peppercorns
Add all the ingredients to a small pot of boiling, salted water. Boil 'til the artichoke hearts are fork tender; drain and reserve.
Crispy Panko Breadcrumbs (Ingredients/Directions)
4 oz. butter
8 oz. panko breadcrumbs
In a large pan, melt butter 'til foaming, then add the breadcrumbs, a little salt and white pepper. Toss the crumbs to avoid burning. When they are crispy and light golden brown, remove to a sheet try, covered with parchment paper, and allow to cool to room temperature.
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4 6 oz. snapper filets
4 Tbsp olive oil
4 tsp butter
8 Tbsp water
Season the snapper filets with salt and cayenne pepper. Place in an oven pan, skin side down, topped with a Tbsp of olive oil, 1 Tsp. butter and two Tbsp of water. Cover the entire tray with foil and cook in a 325 degree oven for 4-5 minutes. Flip the filets and cook for an additional 5 minutes, still covered.
Place the squash molds in the center of a plate. Add two pieces of the tomato, one piece on each side of the cake. Place artichoke next to the tomato. The snapper sits directly on top of the cake; drizzle with basil oil (optional) and top with a pinch of sea salt