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Chef On A Shoestring

Chef John Hogan
Restaurant Savarin
October 9, 1999


half loaf French bread, sliced evenly on bias
6 ounces dried, salt cod
2 medium size red skin potatoes, cleaned, skins left on
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup olive oil
8 ounces heavy cream
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
tobasco or cayanne pepper to taste
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped for garnish
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, for garnish

The toast can be prepared ahead of time using day old bread. Slice the bread into bite sized pieces. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan. Lay the bread slices across the bottom of the pan and toast until golden on the bottom. Flip the slices over and brown the opposite side. Remove from pan and reserve.

Place cod in bowl and cover with cold water. Let the cod soak for 48 hours in the fridge, changing the water two or three times. Discard the water and cover the cod with whole milk and let it continue to soak for another 12 hours in the fridge. The cod should be moist to the touch at this point.

Remove the cod from the milk and discard the milk. Place the cod in a sauce pot and cover with cold water. Place on the stove over medium heat and bring to a boil. Remove the sauce pan from the heat. Leave the cod in the water, set aside and let cool to room temperature. When it has cooled, chopped into 1 inch pieces and reserve.

While the cod is cooking, place the heavy cream in a medium size sauce pot over low heat. Let the cream cook for approximately 15 minutes until it has reduced by half. When the cream has reduced remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

Scrub the potatoes, place them in a sauce pan and cover with cold, salted water. Bring to boil over medium heat and cook until the potatoes are fork tender. While the potatoes are cooking, heat the olive oil and garlic together in a skillet over medium heat for about 3 minutes. Do not let the garlic brown. Remove the garlic oil and the potatoes from the heat. Remove one potato from the water and peel it carefully using a vegetable peeler. Be careful it will be hot, you may need to hold it with a clean dish towel. Immediately shred the hot potato on a box grater into a small bowl. Quickly peel and grate the second potato. (You should have about 3 ounces of cooked, shredded potato for every 6 ounces of dried cod fish.)

Place the shredded potato, chopped cod and reduced and cooled cream in the bowl of a food processor and puree to combine. It is important the potatoes are hot when they are combined with the other ingredients to prevent them from becoming starchy. With the food processor running, slowly drizzle in the warm garlic oil from the skillet. Season the mixture with salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Add tobasco or cayanne pepper if desired. The cod can be stred in the fridge for up to three days.

When ready to serve, empty the mixture into a medium size sauce pan and place it over low heat and stir continuously to re-heat. Place a small spoonful of cod puree on top of each slice of toast and serve immediately while hot. Sprinkle parsley and drizzle extra virgin olive oil over top.

Sauteed Liver with Sweet and Sour Cabbage
with Pureed Split Peas and Celery Root

For Liver:
11/4 pound calf liver
1 large onion, sliced
11/2 pound head red cabbage, core removed and shredded
1/4 pound slab smoked bacon, rind removed and reserved
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, stems removed for garnish
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons coriander seed, toasted and crushed (optional)
3 ounce balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon butter

For the celery puree:
1 pound celery root
1 tablespoon butter
salt and fresh round pepper to taste

For the pea puree:
8 ounces dried, split green peas
1 clove garlic, whole and peeled
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon butter

For the sauce:
2 tablespoons honey
3 ounce balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons coriander seeds, toasted and crushed
1 tablespoon butter

Peel the celery root like you would a raw potato. Dice the root into ½ inch pieces and place in a pot of cold, salted water. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Continue to boil for about 20 minutes until the root is fork tender. Remove from the heat, drain and shake off the excess water. Let the celery root pieces air dry. When the celery root has dried completely, place it in the bowl of a food processor with 1 tablespoon of butter and puree. Season with salt and fresh ground pepper. Return to sauce pot over low heat and keep warm until ready to serve.

At the same time the celery root is cooking, place the split peas in 1 quart of cold salted water. Add the reserved bacon rind and whole clove of garlic. Bring to a boil. Continue to boil until the peas are soft about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain. Shake off the excess water and place peas, bacon rind and garlic in the bowl of a food processor with 1 tablespoon butter. Puree until smooth and keep warm.

Cut the bacon into ½ inch pieces. Brown the bacon over medium heat in a large skillet for about 4 or 5 minutes until it has a nice even brown color and the fat has cooked off. Do not drain the fat from the pan. Add the onions to the pan. Sweat the onions but do not let them brown. Add the cabbage and continue to cook until the cabbage is wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the honey, vinegar and coriander if you chose. Stir to combine. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Let the cabbage and onions braise for about 30 minutes until the cabbage is very tender. Remove the cabbage and onions from the skillet to a bowl and keep warm.

In a skillet large enough to hold all the liver, heat 2 tablespoons canola oil and one tblespoon butter until it is smoking. Cut the liver into 4 equal portions and season with salt and fresh ground pepper. Place in skillet. Sear on one side until brown, about 3 minutes. Turn and sear other side until brown. Continue to cook until it reaches desired doneness. For medium doneness the liver should cook about 3 minutes on each side. Do not overcook. Liver that has been cooked too long turn mealy and loses its flavor. Remove the liver to a plate and keep warm. Return the skillet to the heat. Add all the ingredient for the sauce and using a wooden spoon, scrape the liver bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook until the butter has melted and the ingredients are well combined, about 1 minute.

To serve, place the cabbage on one half a dinner plate, top with a piece of liver and pour sauce from skillet over liver. On other half of plate, neatly dollop a spoonful of celery root puree and a spoonful of split pea puree. Garnish with parsley leaves. Serve immediately.

French Toast with Poached Plums

For Plums:
4 plums, halved, pits removed
1 cup red wine
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cinnamon stick
3 whole cloves
1 star anise
handful whole black peppercorns
dash lemon juice (optional)

For Toast:
8 thick slices country French bread
2 eggs
2 ounces heavy cream
pinch of salt
pinch of ground cinnamon
pinch of sugar
2 tablespoons butter

For Garnish:
powdered sugar
6 ounce heavy cream whipped to soft peaks

Stir sugar into the red wine and pour into sauce pan large enough to hold the plums. Place plums cut side up in the sauce pan. Add spices and lemon juice and cover. Cook over low heat for about 45 minutes until the plums are very soft and the liquid has reduced by half. Remove from the heat. Let plums cool to the touch and slice into eighths.

While plums are poaching, prepare the toast. Whisk togther eggs, heavy cream, salt, cinnamon and sugar. Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Melt butter in the skillet. Dredge the bread in the egg mixture. Place the dredged bread in the skillet. Cook until golden on bottom side. Flip and cook opposite side until golden, about 3 minutes per side.

Place two slices of toast on each dessert plate, top with plum slices and a dollop of whipped cream and garnish with powdered sugar. Served immediately.

Cost Breakdown
Salt Cod
Heavy Cream

Spilt Peas
Celery Root

Heavy Cream


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