Previously, on tastingmenu.wordpress.com –
So I finally figured out how to do the Top Chef season 5 dish from Chef Eric Ripert. I realized I needed to prepare the components for the lemon confit miso, mushroom consomme and the court bouillon used to cook the fish. Realizing the first critical path step was to make the lemon confit, meant I needed to start this dish TWO weeks before I really wanted to make it. But then, how would I make the lemon conft miso paste? Fortunately, I got some help from Matsuhisa-sama from his Nobu: The Sushi Cookbook (p. 151) – ‘Yuzu Miso Sauce‘ suggesting blending 1/2 cup miso with 1/2 T yuzu or lemon puree (otherwise known as 1/2 T of zested lemon confit peel).
So I started making the miso paste by filtering 3/4 c yamajirushi shiro miso into a mix of 2 T + 1 t boiling water and 2 T + 1 t
nikiri sake (sake with alcohol cooked off). Once that was done, I extracted 1/2 cup of that mix and got ready to add 1/2 T of the
lemon confit. In making the lemon confit miso, I apparently made a mistake. When I read the instructions to ‘use only the
peel’, I misinterpreted the instruction to mean “zest the peel of the lemon confit”. Using my microplane zester on the meyer
lemon confit just left a gloppy mess no where near the 1/2 T that I needed. So I had to try and recover by zesting a cleaned
untreated meyer lemon and a regular lemon blended with the residue of the zested meyer lemon confit. At that point, I had enough to mix into the miso paste.
Next time, I’ll just cut away te lemon pulp and mince the confit peel as finely as possible.
I then turned my attention to the mushroom broth that would be poured into the serving dish. I found Chef Ripert’s mushroom broth/consomme recipe at: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/a-meal-from-a-true-cook/
The broth apparently needed:
1/2 pound button mushrooms
8 cups water
1/2 t 4:1 salt/pepper mix
I would have to cook the button mushrooms in 8 cups of water. I would have to bring the ingredients to a boil then to lower to
a simmer – cooking it for 2 hours. The cooking process should reduce the liquid by 1/4 to 2 cups. Strain and press the
mushrooms to release any liquid. To season the concentrated broth to taste with salt and pepper, I would use 1/2 t of 4:1
salt/pepper mix. Once that was done, I could set it aside and reserve it for plating.
Since the original dish from Top Chef was baked mahi mahi, I tried in vain to find the mahi mahi and had to fall back to halibut. But how to cook the fish the way that Chef Ripert does? An article at Food & Wine ( http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/halibut-orange-miso-sauce-and-fennel-salad ) suggested baking seasoned halibut portions in a 400 degree oven
(sitting in a bath of 1/4 c of water) for about 8-10 minutes. So I made a mix 4:1 salt/white pepper and seasoned 3 portions of
skinned halibut fillets. I poured in the water and popped the fish into the 400 degree preheated countertop oven for about 8 minutes. At around 8 minutes I took the fish out and tested it for doneness by inserting a metal skewer through the thickest part of the fish (like Chef Ripert does at: http://www.wsj.com/video/cooking-fish-with-chef-eric-ripert/8DDD0AFF-0D69-4F18-9D4B-147E56DAEEEE.html – see time indices: 3:10-3:24). It was just perfectly warm! [ By the way, You’ll notice that Chef Matsuhisa does something similar when he cooks his black cod miso (as I believe was filmed for ABC News Nightline years ago)].
So I got out my deep Revol plates, mounded about 4 tablespoons of the lemon confit miso in the center the plate and placed a portion of the cooked halibut on top.
After the plates were finished (and wife helped out by preparing a 2 separate stir fries of eggplant and slivered carrots with enoki and garlic), I poured about 1/4 cup of hot mushroom consomme each into the plates and served.
Chef Ripert was right – if I’d poured in the consomme too early/soon, the flavor of the lemon confit miso would have overpowered the broth. My wife and I both enjoyed the flavor of Chef Ripert’s dish, as it were. We were surprised how well the lemon confit tied the miso and consomme flavors together to highlight the baked halibut fillet. I’d like to make this again this summer, learning from the mistakes I made in making this dish. I have to wonder what the dish would taste like if I used shiitake mushrooms in place of the button mushrooms. I think it’s safe to say that I’ll probably feature this as the fish course this Christmas’s meal.