2 6-8 inch canoe cut beef femur bone (you can find these from any supermarket with a butcher counter, or one of the great stands at the west side market)
1 bunch flat leaf Italian parsley, washed and stems picked off
3 shallots, skin removed and sliced into thin rings
2 tbls nonpareil capers, rinsed
Juice from one lemon
6 tbls extra virgin olive oil
6 tlbs red wine vinegar
6 tbls water
3 tbls sugar
1 tbls kosher salt
pinch of good flaky sea salt
1 loaf of sour dough bread, cut in half length wise and then cut into 1 inch slices, each drizzled on both sides with extra virgin olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper
Preheat your oven to 550 degrees or your grill to 700 degrees. Charcoal grilles work best, but any hot oven or grill can work.
In a small sauce pot, add red wine vinegar, water, sugar, and kosher salt, and bring to a boil.
In a small bowl, add sliced shallot rings. When the vinegar liquid is boiling, pour over the sliced shallots while still hot. Allow pickled shallots to cool down to room temperature.
Pick flat leaf parsley, reserving the leaves for this dish, and the stems for stock or soup. Wash and allow to dry on a clean kitchen towel.
In a small bowl, juice the lemon, careful to remove any seeds and with a fork, or a small whisk, slowly stir in the extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Once oven or grill is hot, place bone marrow on a sheet tray, or pan that will hold it and place it in the oven. If on a grill, close the lid.
Cook for about 7-10 minutes. You’re looking for the bone marrow to be soft all the way through with a spoon or butter knife, but not so hot it is starting to melt away. When finished, remove from oven or grill and season with an even amount of flaky sea salt and black pepper.
On another side of the grill or oven, toast the sour dough bread until golden brown on both sides.
In a small bowl, add cooled and drained pickled shallots, capers, and flat leaf parsley and dress with the lemon vinaigrette, season with salt and pepper.
Place bone marrow on a plate, top with the parsley salad and vinaigrette from the bowl, and your grilled pieces of bread.
Use small spoons or a marrow spoon to spread marrow onto toast and top with parsley salad with capers and pickled shallots.
Whole Branzino with nuoc cham and herbs
1 whole branzino or any other whole white fish that is about 1 pound, scaled, washed, fins removed.
1 lemon, sliced into rings
2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, washed and picked
1 bunch cilantro, washed and picked
1/4 fish sauce (I use 3 Crabs brand, but Red Boat is another very good brand)
4 limes juiced
1 lime cut into wedges
1/4 cup water
4 tbls brown sugar
2 serrano chiles, sliced into very thin rings
2 fresno chiles, sliced into very thin rings
2 cloves garlic, smashed and fine minced
1/2 shallot, peeled, minced very fine
Extra virgin olive oil to coat fish
Salt and pepper to season fish.
flaky sea salt
Preheat oven or grill to 550 degrees.
Season fish with salt and pepper all over, including inside the cavity. Inside the cavity, place 2-3 lemon rings, and 2-3 sprigs of thyme.
In a small bowl, add lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, water, sliced chiles, garlic, and shallot, and mix to combine. Taste, and adjust seasoning if necessary. The nuoc cham should taste balanced, not too salty, not too acidic from the lime juice, not too sweet from the sugar. If too salty add more water, if too acidic add more water, if too sweet add more fish sauce.
Drizzle whole fish with extra virgin olive oil, and place directly on grill grates, or if using an oven on a large sheet tray. Roast for about 7-10 minutes, until the meat is just barely white translucent.
Place cooked whole fish on a platter, place picked herbs on top and spoon nuoc cham over fish and herbs, and garnish with limes and flaky sea salt
Bacon and Eggs
2lb large slab bacon, sliced into 4 inch long pieces that are about 1/2 in thick (you can get this from any of the meat stands at the west side market, your local butcher, or from your supermarket butcher) should yield 8 thick slices at least.
4 egg yolks
1 stick of butter melted
1 cup apple cider vinegar, reduced by half, reserve 2 tbls
4 tbls local maple syrup
1 stick(4oz) unsalted butter cut into small cubes and frozen
4 cups self rising flour
1 1/2 cups cold buttermilk
2 tbls melted butter
Oven to 250 degrees.
For the Bacon: On a large rimmed sheet tray, place bacon slices and slowly cook in 250 degree oven until fat is rendered and bacon is tender. About 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool.
For the béarnaise: In a large steel bowl over a pot of simmering water, add egg yolks, reduced apple cider vinegar(without the reserve 2 tbls) and whisk continuously, until eggs are tempered and smooth, being careful to not scramble the eggs. Should look like a smooth sauce, and ribbony.
Slow stream in the butter while whisking, until emulsified and sauce like. Keep in a warm place until serving.
For the biscuits: Preheat oven to 475. Freeze the butter cubes. In a food processor, add the self rising flour, and the frozen butter cubes and pulse to combine. On a large, clean work surface, pour out flour butter mixture and make a well. Adding a little at a time, gently add buttermilk, and cut in. DO NOT KNEAD. Once buttermilk is combined, it will look like a rough shaggy dough. Using a rolling pin, gently roll together into a homogenous dough, about 1/2inch thick and rolled into a rough square. Using a knife or a pizza cutter, cut into 2x2 squares and place on a greased sheet tray about 1 inch apart. Reform extra dough pieces and re-roll into a square and repeat cutting. Bake in a 475 degree oven for 4-5 minutes until risen and golden brown. Brush with melted butter. Yields 8-10 biscuits. Allow to cool to room temp.
To Assemble: In a small nonstick pan over low heat, melt 1 tbls butter and gently fry 1 egg at a time until sunny side up. Season with salt and pepper and repeat until all 4 whole eggs are cooked. Keep warm until assembly.
In a saute pan over medium heat, sear 4 bacon slices at a time until crispy and hot, until all 8 are cooked. Slice biscuits in half.
On 4 large plates, stack sliced biscuit, then 2 slices bacon, then top with 2-3 oz of the béarnaise sauce, a sunny side up fried egg, and top with minced chives.