THE Dish: Chef Mary Sue Milliken's Alaska black cod veracruzano

(CBS News) Chef Mary Sue Milliken is the co-chef and owner of the popular Border Grill restaurants in California and Las Vegas. She also owns and runs the gourmet taco truck the Border Grill Truck.

Special section: Food and wine

The chef starred in over 400 episodes of "Too Hot Tamales" on the Food Network and was runner up on Bravo's "Top Chef Master" during season three. Milliken has also co-authored five cookbooks.

She is a founding member of the Chefs Collaborative, which is a Boston based sustainability centered non-profit chef network. This year is the 20 year anniversary of the collaborative and they recently released their first-ever cookbook.

She and her "Too Hot Tamales" co-star and business partner, Susan Feniger, have been the preeminent ambassadors for authentic Mexican cuisine in the U.S. for over 25 years.

She joins us with her ultimate dish.

Alaska black cod verracruzano

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless Alaska black cod, cut in 4 portions

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 to 3 jalapenos, stemmed and sliced in 1/4-inch disks

1 lime, cut into 8 wedges

1 tomato, cored and seeded, cut in strips

1/2 cup Spanish green olives (picholines) or kalamata olives, sliced

1/2 bunch fresh oregano leaves, roughly chopped

1/2 cup white wine

3/4 cup fish stock or clam juice

1. Heat one very large or two medium sized sauté pans over medium high heat for a minute then add olive oil.

2. When hot, add fish fillets seasoned with salt and pepper and turn the heat to very high. Sear the fillets until golden brown and flip to sear on the other side.

3. Remove fillets from pan and reserve on a rack over a plate to catch juices.

4. Return the pan (or pans) to the heat, add onions, and cook, stirring often over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes.

5. Add the garlic, jalapeno slices, lime wedges, tomatoes, olives, and oregano and sauté briskly for 1 minute more.

6. Add white wine and reduce by half. Add fish stock and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and return fish filets along with the juices to pan to finish cooking, covered, about 1 to 3 minutes depending upon the thickness of fillets.

7. Taste broth and adjust seasoning, then serve immediately in soup plates with a generous puddle of broth and garnish of vegetables atop.

Heirloom Bean and Bacon Tostada

Heirloom Bean Salad:

1 1/2 cups dried heirloom beans, a couple different varieties

3 to 4 bay leaves

1 small onion, cut into thick slices

2 cups trimmed green beans and yellow wax beans, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

4 ounces slab bacon or 4 thick slices bacon, cut into 1/16-inch batonettes

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1/2 tablespoon honey

1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 to 2 canned chipotle chiles, stemmed, seeded, and minced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

3 to 4 jalapeño chiles (red and green), stemmed, seeded, and finely diced

3 green onions, trimmed and thinly sliced

6 6-inch corn tortillas, fried until crispy

1 1/2 cups frisee lettuce, torn into pieces, for serving

1 ripe California avocado, halved, seeded, peeled, and sliced, for serving

6 pieces crispy Serrano ham (optional), for serving

Cilantro Aioli:

1 bunch cilantro

1 lime, juiced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1. Cooking each variety in a different pot, cover beans with water. Add bay leaves and onion slices, diving evenly between pots. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat, simmering gently, covered, for 45 to 75 minutes or until beans are cooked through and creamy inside. Remove from heat, cool to room temperature, remove bay leaves and onion, and drain thoroughly.

2. Meanwhile, fill a saucepan with water and bring to a boil with a very large pinch of salt. Cook green and yellow beans until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and scatter on a platter lined with paper towels. Set aside to chill in the refrigerator.

3. When all beans are ready, fry bacon in a skillet until crisp then drain on paper towels. Transfer a spoonful of bacon fat to a large mixing bowl and add olive oil, vinegar, honey, mustard, chipotle chiles, salt, and pepper. Whisk to form vinaigrette. Add all cooked beans, jalapeno chiles, green onions, and crispy bacon and gently toss to evenly coat. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt, pepper, and vinegar as needed.

Vegetable Pie with Potato Crust

Crust:

2 to 3 baking potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened, for buttering pie plate and brushing crust

Filling:

2 large bunches beet greens and stems

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)

1 teaspoon sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

6 cloves garlic, sliced

Zest of 1/2 lemon

1 cup whole milk

6 ounces crumbled feta cheese

3 eggs

1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted in a dry pan until golden

1. For the crust, preheat oven to 400 degrees and bake potatoes until done all the way through, about 35 to 45 minutes.

2. Cool slightly then peel and crush the flesh with a fork.

3. Add sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste and chill.

4. Spread a thick layer of soft butter all over a chilled 10-inch glass pie pan and press the mashed potato mixture into the pan to form a 3/8-inch thick crust. Brush with melted butter and bake crust for about 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

5. Remove from oven and set on rack to cool.

6. Turn oven down to 350 degrees F.

7. For the filling, separate beet greens from stems, dicing the stems and chopping the leaves. (You should end up with about 2 cups stems and 3 to 4 cups greens.)

8. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium high heat.

9. Add onion, salt, and freshly ground pepper and sauté until translucent and soft.

10. Add garlic, lemon zest, and diced beet stems and continue to cook until beet stems are soft.

11. Add greens and cook a few more minutes, stirring often.

12. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl to cool slightly.

13. Make custard by whisking together the milk, eggs, feta cheese, and salt and pepper to taste, and then stir into vegetable mixture. Pour filling into pie crust and bake for 20 minutes.

14. Remove from oven and sprinkle top with toasted pine nuts and then continue baking another 20 minutes or until custard is set in the center. Serve hot or at room temperature.

  • Shoshana Davis

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