Jamie Bissonnette's recipe for becoming an acclaimed chef includes a heaping spoonful of rock 'n' roll. As a teenager, he toured in a punk rock band but found his true calling in the kitchen.
So he went to culinary school, then cooked his way across Europe and the U.S.
Now he's chef and co-owner of three restaurants, two in Boston, and the latest is Toro in New York.
He won Food and Wine Magazine's first-ever People's Choice Award for Best New Chef, and the James Beard Foundation named him Best Chef: Northeast for 2014. Plus, he has a new cookbook, "The New Charcuterie."
Here's how to make a few of his signature dishes: Paella Valenciana, Hay Roasted Heirloom Carrots, Lentils with Scraps, Flatiron Steak with Romesco and Calcots, Winter Greens, Churros, Yogurt Mousse and a Rebujito to drink!
1 cup calasparra/bomba rice
10 threads of saffron
1 cup sliced spanish chorizo
¼ cup of the following: diced red pepper, sliced scallion bottoms, sofregit ( 1 onion small diced and cooked in olive oil,
Add 2 cups of tomato paste, slow toast down for 5 min) and spanish onions that have been
Sautéed in olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1 cup chicken breast/thigh meat
1 ½ cup of lobster stock, 1 ½ chicken stock, 1 ½ vegetable stock
1 tsp. Salt
5 top neck/count neck clams
½ cup of frozen english peas/blanched english peas
¼ cup sliced scallion tops, olive oil and sea salt to garnish
Garlic, onion, sofregit, scallion bottoms, chicken, chorizo, salt & pepper in paella pan and
Sautee for 4-5 min.
Add: rice and saffron, stir around evenly coating and toast for 4-5 min. Evenly distribute/flatten out rice in pan and add all stocks and turn the heat up to high. Once boiling add the clams and cook 5-10 minutes till they open up and rice grains are clearly visible. Add mussels and turn down to medium heat, once mussels open add shrimp and peas, keep on medium heat till shrimp and rice are both cooked creating a crispy bottom called "socarrat", adding stock as necessary.
Garnish with olive oil, scallion tops and sea salt.
Hay Roasted Heirloom Carrots with Argan Oil, Hazelnuts and Yogurt Dressing
Courtesy of Ken Oringer (www.toro-restaurant.com)
Ingredients (Serves four):
8 ounces hay
1 pound mixed heirloom carrots
4 ounces goat butter
3 ounces of Greek Style yogurt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon onion seeds
⅓ cup toasted hazelnuts
½ teaspoon sumac
1 tablespoon fried garlic
1 teaspoon diced preserved lemon
12 pieces nasturtium leaves
3 teaspoons Argan oil
½ teaspoon grated cinnamon stick
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Melt the goat butter in a large sauté pan. Add carrots. Season the carrots with salt and pepper. Add the hay on top and ignite with a blow torch. Once it is lit, cover it with a lid and shake the pan. Place in the preheated oven and roast for 10 minutes until carrots are tender. Set aside.Mix the yogurt and lemon juice in a bowl. Season the yogurt mixture with salt and pepper. Set aside.
TO SERVE: Place the carrots decoratively on a plate. Place onion seeds, hazelnuts, sumac, fried garlic, preserved lemon and nasturtium leaves on top and around. Grate the cinnamon stick over the dish. Drizzle with Argan oil. Spoon a dollop of yogurt on top. Serve warm.
Flatiron Steak with Romesco and Calcots (spring green onions)
Courtesy of Jamie Bissonnette
Serves 6-8 ppl
3# OBE Flat Iron Steaks (ask your local butcher to source this for you. In Boston the Butcher Shop will often carry this, or one could substitute skirt steaks) http://www.obeorganic.com/
2# Calcots (spring onions) If not available, thick scallions and scapes would work.
Marinate the Flat Iron in Spanish Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Crushed Garlic.
To Serve: Grill the steaks on both sides to desired doneness.
While steak is cooking, season the Spring onions with olive oil, salt and pepper. Char them on the grill, being sure to completely cook the white parts tender.
Let the steak rest for 3 minutes before slicing.
Plate steak slices on a dinner plate top with calcots, and Romesco. Drizzle with more Extra Virgin Olive Oil to serve.
Yield: 1 Quart (945 ml)
Romesco is a traditional sauce made in Catalonia, Spain, where it is served during the spring onion festival. This is a delicious sauce that goes well with grilled meats, ham, salami or sausage.
2 dried cascabel chili peppers
1 Spanish onion, julienned
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1 cup (237ml) extra-virgin olive oil
5 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 red bell pepper, chopped and seeds removed
1 red jalapeno pepper, chopped and seeds removed
3 Roma romatoes, chopped
¾ cup (180g) marcona (Spanish) almonds, toasted
½ cup (120g) hazelnuts, toasted
1 ½ cup (180ml) water
2 tbsp (30ml) red wine vinegar
Soak cascabel peppers in water for 1 hour, then remove seeds and chop.
Season onion with salt and pepper, then cook in ½ cup (118ml) olive oil until tender. Add garlic and cook until tender. Add peppers and cook 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and toasted nuts. Cook for 2 hour, adding ¼ cups (60ml) water at a time to prevent sticking.
While the mixture is still warm, puree it while adding remaining olive oil and vinegar. Strain if desired. Season with salt and pepper to taste. It keeps, sealed and refrigerated, for 5 days.
Winter Greens Salad
Courtesy of Jamie Bissonnette
1 each radicchio
1 each Belgian endive
1 each castelrosso cheese
½ cut Marcona almonds, chopped
10 each radishes, sliced thin
2 each persimmon, ripe- peeled, seeded and medium diced
3 oz manchego cheese, sliced into 1/8 inch pieces
¼ cup celery leaves, picked and cleaned
10 each white anchovies, chopped
⅓ cup sherry vinegar
1 cup arbequena varietal extra virgin olive oil
To taste sea salt and black pepper
Clean and dry lettuces. Cut into random pieces about 1.5 - 2 inches in length.
In a small bowl, add anchovies, vinegar and olive oil. Mix with a fork.
In a large bowl add the lettuces and the rest of the salad ingredients, except the vinaigrette.
Remix the vinaigrette and drizzle ⅓ into the bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Mix, and taste, adjust seasoning as needed.
Serve with lettuce on the bottom and radishes, persimmon, and cheese pulled and placed to the top.
Lentils with Scraps
Yield: 2 Quarts (1.8L)
I love lentils and lentil soups. At the restaurant we often serve things on top of lentils. Around the kitchen there's always some kind of leftover meat around, cooked or uncooked - scraps of sausage on the casing machine, or the end of a salami roll that can't be sliced. I will freeze those pieces then use them when making lentils for added flavor.
1 Cup (240 g) leftover scrap meat
1 White onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 fresh bay left
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
Seasoning of choice (e.g Old Bay, curry, etc.)
2 Cups (480g) lentils
2 cups (8473ml) stock, any kind
Render the scraps with the onion, garlic and bay leaf. Add the carrot and celery and cook 5 minutes. Add the lentils and seasoning of choice.
Heat the stock to a boil. Add the hot stock to the lentils. Cover, then cook in a 300 F (149 C) oven for 20 minutes. This keeps, sealed and refrigerated, for 5 days.
1 ½ cup of water
1 ½ cup of flour
½ lb butter
1/8 cup of salt
1/8 cup sugar
1# Bitter Sweet Choc (small chopped)
1/2 # Glucose (or corn syrup)
1/4 # Sugar
1 orange, peel and juice only
1 each cinnamon stick
pinch cascabel chili powder
pinch spicy smoked paprika
Chocolate sauce method:
Add all ingredients to a put, except chocolate. Bring to the boil. Gently pour over the chocolate (in a mixing bow) stirring as you add until combined.
Add butter and water to a large pot over medium heat until boiling and add flour, salt, sugar, stirring vigorously to make a batter. Remove from heat and slowly add the eggs, folding them in (be cautious not to overmix). Pipe from a pastry bag into 350 degree oil (each churro should be about 3-4 inches long) and fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towel. Coat in cinnamon and sugar while hot and top with spiced chocolate sauce.
375 g Greek Yogurt
25 g sugar
50 g heavy cream
7.5 g Vanilla Extract
6 g of gelatin sheets
300 g of heavy cream whipped to stiff peaks
10 g of salt
1. Bloom gelatin
2. Add gelatin, 50 g of heavy cream, vanilla and sugar and cook until gelatin is completely dissolved.
3. Add gelatin mixture to yogurt.
4. Fold yogurt mixture into whipped cream.
**The caramel recipe should yield about 4 cups. Please use the same recipe just take out the glucose.
Yield: 4 cups
1 qt of heavy cream
1.6 kg butter, cubed
60 g star anise
60 g fennel seed
1 kg sugar
300 g glucose
50 ml pastis
1. Simmer heavy cream with star anise and fennel seed.
2. Caramelize sugar and glucose.
3. When the desired color is reached, Add Dairy to stop the cooking of sugar.
4. Whisk in cubed butter slowly.
5. Strain and cool.
6. Once cooled, add pastis or other licorice liqueur.
Courtesy of Toro Beverage Director Caitlin Doonan
In a highball with ice:
2.5oz fino or manzanilla sherry
Top with sprite!
If you prefer a lemon/lime soda with fresh citrus, you can substitute .5oz lemon juice, .5oz lime juice, 1oz simple syrup and top with club soda