It's not often you meet someone who traded one white coat -- a lab coat as a pre-med student -- for another, including a chef's toque. But Bill Brodsky, who comes from a family of medical doctors, did just that.
New York born and influenced early on by New England seafood styles, he later lived in Texas and the deep South, picking up ideas and ingredients he took back to Boston. These days, he is Chief Culinary Officer of Boston Nightlife Ventures, supervising several restaurants, including the popular "Wink and Nod" -- a kind of culinary incubator for young chefs on their way up -- and his newest, Southern kin cookhouse.
Here are some of Brodsky's signature dishes:
Yields four servings
3 oz canola oil
8 Andoille sausage (1" cylinders)
1 tablespoon shallot, minced
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 cup red bliss potatoes (quartered, pre-blanched)
2 ears corn cob (1" cylinders)
16 oz tomato shrimp fumet
16 fresh gulf shrimp
2 tablespoons diced tomatoes
2/3 cup okra, 1/2 inch pieces cut on bias
1 tablespoon chive, parsley, tarragon, chopped and mixed
Fennel fronds for garnish as needed
1. Season the scallops with salt and pepper and sear them in a small braising pan over high heat in the canola oil, remove from the pan and reserve. Sear the Andouille sausage links for two minutes and turn the heat down to medium.
2. Add the minced shallots to the oil in the pan. Cook 20 seconds.
3. Add garlic and cook an additional 20 seconds.
4. Add mussels, precooked potatoes and precooked corn and deglaze with the tomato-shrimp fumet.
5. Add fresh shrimp, fresh okra and tomatoes and cook one minute.
6. Add back in scallops and a 1/4 teaspoon of minced chives, tarragon and parsley.
7. Heat the scallops up and serve.
8. Garnish with fennel fronds.
Yields 1 pint
2 oz canola oil
1 tablespoon onion
1 tablespoon fennel, sliced
1/2 garlic clove
1/4 pinch saffron
2 oz white wine
2 oz diced tomato & juice (Pouch)
1 quart shrimp stock
1/2 bay leaf
1/4 cup okra, bias cut
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp water
1. In a small stock pot over low heat, slowly sweat the onion, fennel and garlic for 10 minutes in the canola oil. Add the saffron and white wine and bring to a medium simmer for 25 minutes, or until the wine is reduced by 75 percent.
2. Add the tomato, shrimp stock, bay leaves and okra (if available) and turn down the heat, slowly simmering for 45 minutes.
3. Make the water and cornstarch into a slurry and whisk it into the broth. Cook for five minutes.
4. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve and refrigerate until ready to use.
2 cups self flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon Kosher salt b
2 teaspoons salt
1 taplespoon sugar
5 oz butter, diced, cold
1 cup buttermilk, chilled
1. Preheat your oven to 475°F.
2. Sift the flour, salt, and sugar together into a bowl. Dice the butter and shortening andadd it to the bowl. Pop the mixture into the freezer for 20 minutes.
3. After the flour and butter is chilled, pulse the mixture a few times in a processor untilit resembles coarse meal.
4. Place the flour mixture into a pre-chilled bowl and add the buttermilk. Mix JUST untilcombined. If it appears on the dry side, add a bit more buttermilk. It should be verywet.
5. Turn the dough out onto a floured board. Gently PAT (do NOT roll with a rolling pin)the dough out until it's about 1/2" thick. Fold the dough about 5 times, gently pressthe dough down to about 2 inches thick.
6. Use a round cutter to cut into rounds. Discard the scraps.
7. Place the biscuits (1/2 inch apart) on a non-greased sheet pan.
8. Bake at 475-degree for 10-12 minutes- the biscuits will be a beautiful light goldenbrown on top and bottom. Do not over bake.
Note: The key to real biscuits is not in the ingredients, but in the handling of the dough. The dough must be handled as little as possible or you will have tough biscuits.
You can make these biscuits, cut them, put them on cookie sheets and freeze them for up to a month. When you cook frozen biscuits, bake at 450°F for about 20 minutes.
For cheddar biscuits, add 8 oz grated cheddar.
Yields 4 quarts
4 sticks butter
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Cut the butter into chunks. Place it into an electric mixer bowl and let it sit out for 30 minutes to soften.
2. Beat at low speed, using the whisk attachment toloosen the butter.
3. Increase the speed to medium and add the honey,cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Beat until wellcombined, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove butterfrom bowl and place it in a pastry bag.
Coconut cream pie
150 g sugar
45 g cornstarch
1 g salt
5 egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup toasted sweetened coconut
1 3/4 oz butter
1 teaspoon Brandy
1 cup heavy cream, cold
2 oz sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup toasted coconut
1. Whisk the sugar, cornstarch and salt together in a large sauce pan.Add the yolks, vanilla, whole and evaporated milk and whisk together. Cook over medium heat until the mixture starts to thicken.Once thickened, add the pre-toasted coconut and simmer for seven minutes over medium low heat. Be sure to stir the mixture for the entire seven minutes to avoid burning.
2. Remove from the heat and pour into a large bowl. Let cool 20 minutes. Whisk in the brandy and butter until it is completely incorporated.
3. Pour into the pre-baked pie shell and refrigerate until ready for use.
4. To finish the pie, make whipped cream by whipping one cup of heavy cream with 2 oz of sugar and 1 tsp vanilla until it forms a stiff peak.
1/2 tasp shallot, minced
2.25 oz cooked egg yolks (additional)
9 cooked eggs (reserve)
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp grain mustard
1 tsp Dill pickle, pureed, drained
1.5 oz mayonnaise
.75 tbsp capers, chopped
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp truffle oil
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
1/8 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp dill, chopped
1. Cut the very bottom of the eggs on both sides so they will stand up straight. Cut them in half and carefully scoop out the yolks with your finger. Reserve the whites for later. If necessary, rinse the whites to clean them
2. In a food processor, combine the yolks with rest of the ingredients (except the dill) and puree until very smooth. Adjust seasonings with salt, pepper and lemon juice.
3. Fold in the dill and place the mixture in a pastry bag and reserve for use.
Yields 2 quarts
1 cup mustard seeds
1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
1 cup lemon juice
6 cup water
2 tbsp dill, chopped
1. Toast the mustard seeds in a pan for five minutes until the aroma comes out.
2. Add the liquid and simmer for 40 minutes on low.
3. Cool in the refrigerator.
4. Add the chopped dill and mix well.
5. Store in the refrigerator.
Pickled red onions
Yields 3 cups
2 cups red wine vinegar
1 fresh bay leaf
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
2 cups red onions, rings
1. Combine the first set of ingredients in a stainless steel pot and bring to a boil.
2. Cool down to room temperature and then add the red onions.
Smoked tomato-horseradish-ranch dressing
Yields 1 cup
1 oz tomato puree
1 teaspoon horseradish, prepared
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke, Mesquite
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1. Combine all and mix with a hand blender.
2. Reserve for use.
1 L bourbon
2 oz bacon fat liquefied
1/4 teaspoon ground smoked chipotle
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne
1. Combine all, let sit 24 hours in refrigerated space. Strain.
2 oz Tasso bourbon
1 large Demerara sugar cube
3 dashes angostura bitters
splash soda water
1 piece pork rind
1. In mixing glass, middle sugar cube, angostura, and soda until dissolved.
2. Add Tasso Bourbon and ice. Stir 30 seconds. Strain over large ice cube and garnish with a spiced pork rind.