In the final week of the Madame Zingara’s Chef Showcase, between 10 – 16 July, the Sidewalk Cafe’s very own head chef – Warren Carney – will be treating diners to his amazing dishes. Over the past six weeks the talented finalists have been impressing patrons with their incredible food. Now it’s time to vote for your favourite of the six menus! Here’s the dish that got Warren Carney into the final – doesn’t it look delicious? NORWEGIAN SALMON (Served with confit potatoes, vanilla cauliflower pure, asparagus, baby fennel, liquorice reduction and a lime and saffron vinaigarette) Ingredients: 4x 160g portions of Norwegian salmon, skin off and deboned 12 medium potatoes 300g salted butter 1 clove garlic 12 spears of asparagus 1250g punnet baby fennel 1 head cauliflower 5ml vanilla extract ½g saffron 10ml lime juice 30ml extra virgin olive oil 100g organic liquorice (try to find some with no gelatin present as it is a fish dish and is harder to melt) 10ml balsamic vinegar Fish stock (makes 1 Litre): 1 carrot ½ an onion 1 stick celery 500g white fish bones water Directions: Salmon: After you’ve made sure that there are no bones in any of your salmon portions, carefully slice each portion as evenly in half as possible. You should be left with eight evenly sized pieces (two pieces per person). Keep in a clean sealed container in the fridge for later. Confit potatoes:
- Crush the clove of garlic and put it in a saucepan along with the butter.
- Bring the butter to a boil letting the garlic infuse, then quickly set aside, allowing the butter to settle.
- Spoon the frothy whiteness off the top and then pour the now clarified butter into a shallow saucepan, leaving the cloudy sediment behind.
- Peel all the potatoes, keeping the peeled potatoes in water as not to let them oxidise and turn brown.
- Start cutting the potatoes, removing the round edges so that you are left with a perfect cube shape (3cmx3cm).
- Use your first potato as your template and replicate this shape with the rest of the potatoes to ensure that they all cook evenly and for the same length of time.
- Spread the cubes evenly in the clarified butter and place in a pan over medium heat (the butter should cover half of each potato).
- Cover the potatoes directly with some grease-proof paper and wait for the butter to simmer, then turn the heat down to low.
- Check the potatoes every five minutes until they turn golden, then turn the potato on its side and keep repeating this process until the whole potato is golden. Thereafter, remove it from the butter and set aside.
Tip: Take all your off cuts from the potatoes; keep them in water to be used for mash or chips for another meal. Vanilla cauliflower puree:
- Bring a medium pot of water to the boil and season with salt.
- Prepare a bowl of ice water as well.
- Cut evenly sized florets of cauliflower, only leaving the stalk and leaves behind.
- Remove all leaves and cut the stalk into blocks no thicker than the stem of the florets (this ensures even cooking).
- Blanch the cauliflower for three-five minutes depending on the size or until just cooked (al dente).
- Remove from the boiling water and immediately transfer to the ice water (refresh), thus preventing the cauliflower from cooking further and making sure it retains its colour.
- Once the cauliflower is cool, place it in a blender, add the vanilla extract, and blend until it becomes puree.
- Remove the puree and pass through a fine sieve or chinoise, to ensure all lumps are removed.
- Check seasoning and set aside.
Asparagus and baby fennel:
- For the asparagus, it’s a simple blanch, refresh and set aside-as above.
- For the baby fennel, slice off the bottom of the bulb and peel off the individual layers. Trim the tops at an angle and wash thoroughly.
- Blanch the fennel in salted water and also refresh. Set both aside.
Liquorice reduction: (100g organic liquorice, 1L fish stock and 10ml balsamic vinegar)
- Place the above ingredients all in a medium pot and cover with water.
- Bring it to the boil, reduce immediately to a simmer and let it carry on simmering for two hours.
- Strain the stock off all ingredients and then strain again through muslin or fine cloth to remove all impurities.
- Chop the liquorice finely and place it in a sauce pan along with the vinegar.
- Cook for one minute and cover with some fish stock.
- Simmer and allow the liquorice to dissolve, adding more fish stock or water as needed (if the reduction gets too thick).
- Check seasoning and set aside.
Saffron and lime vinaigrette:
- Soak the saffron in the lime juice for five minutes to render off the nice yellow colour.
- Use salt and sugar to season and balance out the acidity of the lime juice.
- Add the olive oil a little at a time, whisking all the while to create an emulsion.
- Check seasoning and set aside.
- If the mixture splits, whisk again to combine.
- Season the salmon with salt, and in a hot pan or flat top, place the fish presentation side down in some light oil, and cook for two minutes or until golden.
- While cooking the salmon heat some of the butter used for the potatoes in another pan.
- Slice the asparagus stems at an angle up until the spear and sauté along with the baby fennel. Season and keep hot.
- Deep fry the potatoes to reinstate the crispiness and reheat the cauliflower pure and liquorice reduction.
- By now the salmon should be halfway cooked and ready to go, so flip the salmon and cook for a few seconds, keeping the salmon medium rare, or as preferred.
- First place the two salmon pieces equally apart on a hot plate, and arrange three confit potatoes in between and around the salmon.
- Quenelle the cauliflower and vanilla pure and place at an angle next to each potato.
- Place one asparagus spear/head on top of each potato and sprinkle the sliced bits naturally around the plate.
- Take three or four of the baby fennel layers and lean them evenly around the plate against the potatoes and salmon.
- With a teaspoon, place three little beads of the liquorice reduction around and near the edge of the plate.
- After all three beads have been placed, use the spoon, per bead, in a flicking motion to create a streak of liquorice reduction.
- Finally, drizzle the saffron and lime vinaigrette onto the plate with a spoon.
- Garnish with fennel fronds or dill and serve.
Warren first discovered his passion for food when he travelled abroad and landed a job in a restaurant kitchen in New York. Upon his return home, he immediately enrolled at Silwood Kitchen where he graduated with a Cordon Bleu Grande Diploma. His first position was at the acclaimed La Colombe in Constantia where he worked as a pastry chef for a year. He is currently the head chef at Sidewalk Café in Vredehoek. Don’t miss a moment of the action! Book your table at the Sidewalk Café in Cape Town on 021-461-2839 or visit sidewalk.co.za. For more details visit madamezingara.com.