Chef On A Shoestring

Original air date: May 19, 2001.

Chef Rick Moonen
Oceana Restaurant
NY, NY

Menu:
Radish Salad
Cioppino
Lemon Granite

Radish Salad

Ingredients:
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon horseradish
1 teaspoon white miso
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
6 oz. Radishes, trimmed and sliced very thin (a mandolin works best)
1/2 European cucumber, very thinly sliced

Method: In a bowl, combine the vinegar, horseradish, and miso. Whisk to combine. Whisk in the oil and mustard. Add the radishes and toss.

Arrange the cucumber slices on four dinner plates in circles, slightly overlapping each slice. Mound equal amounts of radish salad in the center of each plate. Drizzle the cucumbers with any remaining vinaigrette (yes, it will be pink) and serve.

Cioppino
Yields 4 main course servings.
Chef Rick Moonen adds potato chunks to this traditional Italian fish stew to make a hearty meal.

Ingredients:
1 2 lb. bag of mussels
1 cup white wine
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, peeled, and cut into chunks
2 stalks of celery, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
1 green bell pepper, cut into chunks
6 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
2 Idaho potatoes (1 1/2 pounds), washed and quartered, then cut into chunks (hold in a bowl of water to keep them from turning brown)
1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon chile flakes, depending on how spicy you like it
1 28 oz. can of crushed tomato with Italian herbs (if plain, add dried basil, oregano, and thyme)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
12 oz. of salmon steak, center bone and pin bones removed, skinned and cut into chunks
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 cup loosely packed freshly parsley, chopped

Method: Combine the mussels and white wine in a large pot over high heat, cover, and cook until steam begins to stream out from under the lid; about 4 minutes. Turn off the heat and let mussels stand for a few minutes. Remove the mussels from their shells into a bowl, reserving all the steaming liquid in the pot. Strain steaming liquid over mussels. Discard shells.

Place a large pot over high heat. Add 1/4 cup of olive oil. When hot, add the onion, celery, and bell pepper. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring. Add garlic, stir, and cook for a minute. Add the potatoes, cook another minute, then add the chile flakes, tomatoes with juices (rinse the can with little water and add that to the pot, too, to get all the juices) and the steaming liquid from the mussels. Season with salt and pepper, add the bay leaf and cover.

Let the stew come to a simmer (it takes about 3 minutes). Turn the heat to medium low, and let cook for 40 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.

Meanwhile, combine the fish chunks in a small bowl, cover with lemon juice. Season with salt, toss to coat, and set aside.

Add the fish chunks to the stew, stir, and raise the heat to medium. When the stew begins to simmer, about 1 1/2 minutes, let it simmer for 30 seconds, then add the mussels, stir, and cover. Turn off the heat and let it stand until ready to serve. It's ready to eat in 10 minutes; don't leave it for more than 30.

Lemon Granite
**It is very important to freeze the serving dishes. This will prevent the delicate granite from melting too quickly.**
Yields 4 servings.

Ingredients:
2 cup water
1 Cup PLUS 1 Tablespoon of syrup
juice of 2 lemons, plus the zest of one, finely chopped

*Note: to make a syrup bring 1 1/4 cup of sugar and 1 cup water to a boil, remove from heat and cool.

Method:
Combine the cooled syrup with 2 cups water and pour into a rectangular plastic container, one with a tight fitting lid. Add the lemon juice, and zest. Stir well. Cover tightly and put in the freezer for 30 minutes or until half frozen. Remove the granite from the freezer, and using the tines of a fork, give it a good stir. Cover and return to the freezer for 1 1/2 hours, or until completely frozen.