Congratulations to Dawn Viola for her first culinary win! She won a First place, gold medal in the ACF Master Chef Challenge with her recipe: Buttermilk-Poached Snapper with andouille grits cake, endive-apple slaw with sweet tea vinaigrette, bouillabaisse beurre blanc, fried oyster, smoked tomato concasse, and wilted greens.
The ACF Master Chef Challenge (K-9 Professional Category) took place on April 24, 2012 at the Wind Creek Hotel & Casino in Atmore, Alabama with 14 professional competitors and 6 Junior competitors.
Again, congratulations on your First Place Gold Medal, Dawn!
Dawn shares her award-winning recipe with us…
1/2 cup yellow (coarse ground) grits
1 cup chicken stock, divided
1 tablespoon rendered andouille oil
1 small shallot, minced
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup half and half
1 beefsteak tomato, peeled
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 quart low fat buttermilk
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
4 (3 1/2-oz) snapper fillets
Endive-apple slaw, sweet tea vinaigrette
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons brewed sweet tea
1 garlic clove, minced
1 ounce julienned endive
1/2 ounce julienned Granny Smith apple
1/2 ounce julienned fennel
Bouillabaisse beurre blanc
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons clam or mussel liquor
1/4 teaspoon pernod (optional)
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon saffron
1 small shallot, minced
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
Wilted chard and baby Romaine
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, smashed
3 large chard leaves, chopped
1 bunch baby Romaine
14 ounces olive oil
1/4 cup brown rice flour
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
pinch kosher salt
1/2 cup seltzer
4 shucked oysters
For the grits, soak grits in 1/2 cup of the stock overnight. In a small saucepan heat oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add shallots and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add garlic, cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add grits and remaining stock; stir vigorously until grits reach the first starch phase, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add half and half, stir vigorously 3 to 5 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat, transfer to a parchment-lined hotel pan; keep warm until ready to serve.
For the smoked tomato, remove the outer portion of tomato meat; discard seeds. Place tomato in smoke box. Place salt in smoke box; ignite chips and cover box. Let stand 20 minutes. Remove tomato and salt from smoker, cut tomato into fine dice. Season with smoked salt to taste just before serving and garnish with fennel fronds.*
For the buttermilk-poached snapper, using a paper towel, pat fish dry. Roll fish into rounds, set aside. In a small straight-sided sauté pan heat buttermilk, thyme, bay leaf, garlic, salt and peppercorns over medium-low heat until liquid registers 155 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Submerge snapper in buttermilk and cover with a buttered parchment round. Remove pan from heat. Cover and let stand 30 minutes. Uncover and flip fish. Cover and keep warm in poaching liquid until ready to serve.
For the endive-apple slaw with sweet tea vinaigrette, in a small bowl whisk together vinegar, oil, sweet tea and garlic; add salt and pepper to taste. In a small bowl toss together endive, apple, celery, and vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
For the bouillabaisse beurre blanc, in a small saucepan whisk together vinegar, liquor, pernod, tomato paste, saffron and shallot over medium heat. Bring to boiling. Cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 1 tablespoon, about 4 minutes; strain mixture and return liquid to pan. Reduce heat to low. Whisk in 8 tablespoons of butter, one at a time, until mixture is thick. Remove from heat; keep covered until ready to serve.
For the wilted chard and Romaine, in a small sauté pan heat oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add garlic and chard, cook until chard begins to wilt, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat, remove garlic. Toss in lettuce and season with salt to taste. Cover with parchment; set aside, keep warm until ready to serve.
For the fried oysters, pat oysters dry; set aside. In a small saucepan heat oil over medium-high heat until temperature registers 380 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together flours and salt; stir in seltzer until well mixed. Dip oysters in batter. Transfer oysters to hot oil; fry until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove oysters from oil and transfer to a cooling rack. Season with salt to taste.
To plate, place a small pool of beurre blanc on plate. Using a ring mold, spoon grits on top of sauce to form a cake. Place snapper on top of grits, top with slaw. Place oyster on top of slaw, top with smoked tomato, garnish with fennel fronds. Place greens to the side of sauce.
*Regular diced tomato can be substituted if smoking is not an option.