Great American Seafood Cook-Off Recipes

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Chef James White showed off some of the recipes he is going to use as he competes in the Great American Seafood Cook-Off in New Orleans.

Click here for more information on the Great American Seafood Cook-Off

Pan Seared Whisker Fish (Kansas Catfish)
Serves 4
Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds locally raised sustainable fresh catfish filets, cut into 3-4 ounce pieces, two fillets per guest.  Diamond score skinned side.
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Pepper, fresh ground, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 4 tablespoon cornstarch

Directions
Heat a large sauté pan with sunflower oil over medium-high heat. Season the fish generously on both sides with salt and freshly ground pepper. Dust with cornstarch. When the oil is almost smoking, add the fish fillets. Skinned side should be browned first. Let the fish cook until the flesh pulls away from the pan, about 5 to 6 minutes. Quickly flip the fish to sear the other side, 1 to 2 more minutes. Transfer the fish to a warming plate for service.

Wheat Beer Beurre Blanc
Serves 4
Ingredients

  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 8 ounces of Free State Brewery Kansas Wheat beer
  • 2 ounces fresh lemon juice
  • 8 ounces of Sweet European Style butter, cubed
  • Kosher salt and white pepper, to taste

Directions
Combine the shallots, beer, and lemon juice in a saucepan over high heat and reduce to 2 tablespoons. This will take about 10 minutes.
Reduce heat to low and add cubed butter to the reduction. Whisk butter into the reduction until the mixture is fully emulsified and is thick and smooth. Season with salt and white pepper to taste.

Fried Sunchoke Chips with Rosemary Salt
Serves 4
Ingredients

  • 1 pounds unpeeled sunchoke (Jerusalem artichokes), scrubbed
  • Vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary

For perfectly thin chips, use a mandolin with an adjustable blade
Directions
Fill large bowl with cold water. Slice sunchoke into thin rounds (about 1/16 inch thick). Immediately drop into bowl of water to prevent browning. Rinse and drain 3 times. Then pat very dry with paper towels.
Pour enough oil into large deep skillet to reach depth of 1/2 inch. Submerge bulb of deep-fry thermometer into oil; lean top of thermometer against skillet rim.  Maintain heated oil to 375°F. Mix 1 tablespoon salt and rosemary in small bowl. Using fingertips blend well, rubbing salt and rosemary together.
Working in small batches, fry sunchoke slices until golden brown, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes. Using skimmer, transfer chips to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle chips with some rosemary salt.

Bulgur Wheat Salad
Serves 4
Ingredients

  • 1 cup bulgur wheat
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 cups stock, fish or chicken, hot
  • 1/4 cup parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 plums, peeled, pitted, diced
  • 1 teaspoon preserved Meyer lemon, fine diced
  • 2 teaspoons sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup corn, fresh, roasted
  • 1/4 cup fresh fennel, diced, sautéed, cooled to room temp
  • 2 teaspoon fresh garlic scapes, fine bias cut, sautéed with fennel, cooled to room     temperature
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries, soaked in warm water, drained
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice, fresh squeezed
  • 2 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Kosher salt, to taste

Directions
Combine the bulgur wheat with 2.5 cups water and the salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to a simmer and cover with a lid.
Continue cooking for 15 to 20 minutes or until the bulgur has absorbed all of the water. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Let the bulgur cool slightly, and then make the salad. Fold in the parsley, plums, preserved Meyer lemon, sunflower seeds, corn, fennel, scapes, cranberries, lemon juice and sunflower oil, then season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Set aside.

Glazed Heirloom Carrots
Serves 4
Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 bunches heirloom carrots, scrubbed
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 large sprig fresh thyme, leaves only
  • Kosher salt and pepper to season
  • 2 tablespoons honey

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400º. In a medium roasting pan, toss the carrots with butter, shallots and thyme, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Place pan in oven and toast, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, or until carrots are tender.
Remove from oven and drizzle honey over carrots. Toss to coat. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.

Chive Oil
Ingredients
1 bunch fresh chives
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Directions
Roughly chop chives and transfer to a blender. With the machine running, add the oil and salt through the feed tube and process until smooth.
Transfer to sauce pot and bring to a simmer. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, over an ice bath, pressing against the solids with the back of a spoon to extract as much oil as possible. Transfer to a squeeze bottle and refrigerate until needed, up to 2 weeks. (Bring to room temperature before using.)

Preserved Meyer Lemon
Ingredients

  • 8-10 Meyer* lemons, scrubbed very clean
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt, more if needed
  • Extra fresh squeezed lemon juice, if needed
  • Sterilized quart canning jar

* The milder Meyer lemons work very well for preserving in this way, although regular lemons will do as well.
Directions
Place 2 Tablespoons of salt in the bottom of a sterilized jar.
One by one, prepare the lemons in the following way. Cut off any protruding stems from the lemons, and cut 1/4 inch off the tip of each lemon. Cut the lemons as if you were going to cut them in half lengthwise, starting from the tip, but do not cut all the way. Keep the lemon attached at the base. Make another cut in a similar manner, so now the lemon is quartered, but again, attached at the base.
Pry the lemons open, generously sprinkle salt inside and outside the lemons.
Pack the lemons in the jar, squishing them down so that juice is extracted and the lemon juice rises to the top of the jar. Fill up the jar with lemons; make sure the top is covered with lemon juice. Add more fresh squeezed lemon juice if necessary. Top with a couple tablespoons of salt.
Seal the jar and let sit at room temperature for a couple days. Turn the jar upside down occasionally. Put in refrigerator and let sit, again turning upside down occasionally, for at least 3 weeks, until lemon rinds soften.
To use, remove a lemon from the jar and rinse thoroughly in water to remove salt. Discard seeds before using. Discard the pulp before using, if desired.
Store in refrigerator for up to 6 months.

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