Seared Black Cod over Beluga Lentils with Roasted Zucchini and Roselle Relish

2 Black Cod fillets
4 oz Dried Roselle petals
2 Tbsp orange blossom honey
2 Tbsp minced red onion
1/4 c water
2 Tbsp fresh Thyme
2 Tbsp fresh rosemary
2 Tbsp fresh marjoram
1 c beluga lentils
1 zucchini
1Tbsp l'Estornell Olive oil or ghee salt
  • Pour 1 c lentils into 2 1/2 c cold water & bring to a simmer & cover, place into preheated 325 degree oven for 40 min until done.
  • Cut zucchini into half moons and set aside
  • In small sauce pan bring water, honey & roselle to a simmer, cover and let stand for 20 min. Remove petals, & reduce liquid to sec (almost dry) and pour back over petals
    Add raw minced onions
  • Toss zucchini with olive oil, salt and fresh cracked pepper
    when lentils are done, increase oven temp to 450 degrees and put zucchini in to begin roasting
  • In seasoned black iron skillet, place 2 Tbsp of olive oil or ghee and heat until smoke point while oil is heating, sprinkle flesh side of fish with salt then, when oil is fully heated, place it flesh side down into pan and turn off heat.
    let sizzle for 2 min then flip skin side down
  • turn burner back on and cook for 2 minutes
    place pan into 450 degree oven and allow 4 minutes cooking time per 1 inch thickness of fish
  • When putting the fish in, check on the zucchini and pull it if its ready. If not, pull it when you take out the fish.
  • To plate, remove lid from lentils, add fresh herbs and season to taste with salt. Place lentils in center of the plate. Place zucchini around lentils. Place cod, skin side down, on top of the lentils and garnish with roselle relish.

Cider Roasted Chicken

A seasonal dish prepared only when all ingredients are at their prime
1 PA Chicken
2 Apples
1 Qt Apple Cider
2 Onions
1 Bunch Thyme
1 Bunch Rosemary
1/4 lb Fingerling Potatoes 1 Bunch Kale
1/4c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Preheat oven to 325F
  • Take Pennsylvania chicken out of package, remove neck and giblets, and wash under warm water. These organic chickens free roam on pasture and the flavor is amazing.
  • Apply salt liberally inside and outside and under neck flap and allow to sit at room temperature to rest for approximately 20 minutes
  • While the chicken is resting, dice apples and onions, stem and rough chop herbs and mix all together.
  • Start sauce by putting 1 quart of apple cider and chicken neck and giblets into sauce pan and bring up to a simmer
  • Prep fingerling potatoes by washing them, tossing in Extra virgin olive oil or fat of your choice and a sprinkling of salt and fresh cracked pepper.
  • When the chicken has rested long enough, rinse it thoroughly, including under the neck flap to remove salt.
  • Stuff the bird loosely with the apple, onion, herb mixture. This adds flavor and also helps the chicken to roast more evenly. Toss the remaining mixture into the simmering cider and giblets
  • Rub the skin of the chicken with olive oil to help it to brown, dust it with sea salt, truss it, and put it into preheated 325 degree oven for 35 minutes
  • Prep kale by stemming, chopping into bite sized pieces and tossing with about 3 Tbsp olive oil, coating all sides. Spread out onto baking sheet and dust with salt.
    When chicken has been in oven for 35 minutes, increase temperature to 350 degrees and add fingerling potatoes into the oven. Set timer for 20 minutes.
  • When timer goes off, check temp of chicken and pull it out if it has reached 165 degrees. Look at potatoes and pull them out as well if they are baked and toasty. Put Kale into oven to toast for 8 minutes. SET A TIMER
  • Move chicken onto serving dish and use some of the hot cider stock to deglaze the pan, pouring those drippings back into the sauce.
  • Strain the sauce and place back onto stove, increasing heat to high.
  • Make an arrow root slurry by mixing 1 Tbsp of cold water with 1 tsp of arrow root.
  • When sauce has come to rolling boil, thicken it by whisking in arrow root slurry
Serve family style by placing potatoes and toasted kale on serving platter with chicken and serving sauce on the side, or serve restaurant style by cutting bird in half using large butcher knife or cleaver. place 1/2 bird skin side up on plate, add potatoes and kale and drizzle with sauce.

Mushroom Risotto

6C Mushroom Stock
1/4C l'Estornell
1 white onion Diced
1.5 c Lombardi carnaroli rice
1 bottle of white wine you will need only 5.C for the rice but this is a long process and I want you to be prepared
Tt Natural salt
4t Seven Star Cream
1/2 C Hombre Parmigiano Reggiano Stagionato thyme
1/2 BU Thyme
1/2 BU Sage
Mushroom garnish
2 tablespoons olive oil
Fresh Thyme
Tera Dolce Mushrooms
Hen of the Woods
Black Trumpet
Blue Oyster
Herb Scraps Seasoned Water

        I prefer to use this brand of dried mushroom, because it’s always a superior product. Often times will bind both mushrooms especially in the dried state you will receive the good the bad and the ugly. What I mean by this is there will be well formed mushrooms, bits and pieces of mushrooms, and this motion dust collects on the bottom. Tera Dolce will sell chaf, but they advertise it as chief, it still taste better than most of their competitors. So when reconstituting mushrooms, or even seaweed you need to think about the fact that it will taste like whatever liquid you reconstituted in. Conservation flavor and taste is key in making exceptional dishes. So I would ask the cook why would you want to head water because water is basically tasteless. In the past I have used several different methods and reconstituting these ingredients. In some of my salads I may use rosewater or orange blossom water. In other applications I would reserve all of my herb scraps and make a simple herb stock. As verbs or aromatics you cannot use a protracted cooking process to make the stock just to think of it more like a tea. This means that it should take you about three minutes to make the stock, and remember to season.

        Try to mix like mushrooms with like mushrooms so in the list of ingredients for this recipe you’ll see that there are mushrooms of different families. I would divide them into three categories porcini, is in its own class in this recipe, then you have your head of the woods in your blue oyster mushrooms in their class, and black trumpet mushrooms and chanterelle in their class. So in reconstituting your mushrooms you will want to reconstitute them in separate batches according how I laid out above. Sleep

        One of my greatest pet peeves is when a chef decides to call a mushroom risotto wild mushroom risotto. Don’t get me wrong I love good mushroom risotto, don’t try to sell me button mushrooms and its cousins the cremini and portobello as a wild mushroom.

        When making risotto, there are a few options that you can use as far as rice. The best rice, as far as I am concerned, is carnaroli. I believe it is superior to its cousin arborio because it is higher in amylose and it is a longer grain. The higher amylose makes for more creamy rice; to the point where you can make a vegan risotto that is creamy and has the close to the same as rice with cream. The longer grain provides a nicer mouth feel.

        Concerning the stirring of rice, I’m fairly convinced that at some point a journalist from Gourmet food magazine or some other American publication ventured into Italy to learn this dish, risotto. As most new people in the kitchen, they become roadblocks and hindrances rather than helpful assets. I can almost assure you that the Italian chef in this kitchen pointed to the risotto pot and said something to the effect of, make sure you stay there and stir that pot until it’s done. The truth of the matter is risotto does not need to be stirred continuously.

        Concerning oils and fats, during my tenure in Spain, I was educated by one of the locals concerning their classic dish paella. They made the point that in the times of olde, calories were in short supply. So the peasant was continually looking to increase their calorie intake. It's done through the consumption of olive oil. They were not kidding! There was olive oil in everything. To the point that there were even desserts that were made with the stuff. There was so much olive oil in the diet that I got sick and lost a ton of weight. The chef I was working with at the time had to send out a courier to get me butter. Let that sink in. I needed someone to bring me emergency butter. Butter saved my life. It didn’t save my life, but the chef knew that I need fat in my diet and if it was not going to be olive oil it was going to be butter. But this same principle applies to making the risotto. The addition of a liberal amount of oil allows for the risotto rice to heat evenly and increase the surface temperature so you can crack the surface of the rice in order to release the starches.

Notes on making the dish:

        You are going to use more oil than you think that you will need. The oil serves the important function of heating the rice. You probably could have figured that out. However, more specifically it heats it evenly and will aid in the release of the amylose that will create smooth and creamy rice. NO COLOR! NO COLOR! In the kitchen, there is an acronym GBD gold brown and delicious. You have French fries GBD; you have toast GBD, tater tots GBD. Do you see the pattern? GBD refers to the caramelization of starches. When you’re making risotto you want to stay away from caramelization. This will also include not browning the onions when the onions are added. There are certain kinds of rice that I would caramelize the onions, but in general, it adds a muddy flavor to risotto. Moreover, for some reason having a creamy muddy dish put in front of me does not appeal to me.

        Many people have a severe misunderstanding of the word garnish. Often times you hear the word garnishes think of sliced orange which is partially and in this day and age those flowers. The classical definition of the garnish truly defined the food. So you had a lobster bisque first off the disc itself had very little cream in it. Traditional lobster bisque would have been made with rice made with lobster stock. This would have been puréed into a Portage which is a French word for thick soup. The lobster meat would’ve been added at the end as to not overcook it. This was the “garnish” of the lesser best. Sometimes herbs would have been added to some dishes but everything added to the dish headed to the dish not just visually. So with this garnish were basically adding the texture which is crunchy as well as aromatics from the herbs.

Before you start.


Get your dosages ready
1st dosage is cold or at least room temperature 2nd dosage is hot
3rd dosage is hot
4th dosage is cold



Preparing the garnish:

        So going to take some of the silk mushrooms preferably have the black trumpet and half of the central. Toss the rehydrated mushrooms with a liberal amount of olive oil some salt and some fresh herbs preferably time and sage. Place in a sheet tray and roast at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes. remove from oven and let cool. Reserve these mushrooms for service. These mushrooms hold for about three days at room temperature and make an excellent snack. In the kitchen I have to fight people off with a stick.

In a cold saucepan or rondeau place, olive oil and rice turn on heat to med-high. Stir to thoroughly coat the rice with the olive oil. Let heat and stir intermittently, so that the rice will heat evenly. Once the rice is starting to get hot add your onions. Okay, what is hot? Would you touch it? Yes = not hot. Hell no! = hot. This is the best way that I can explain this culinary principle. So once the rice is starting to get hot add the small diced onions. Stir to incorporate the onions. NO COLOR! By now it should sound like light rain and have the smell of light sulfur. At the first sign of any caramelizing add the first dosage. You want this dosage to be cold, you want the sizzle and cracking. This helps to fracture the rice grains and release the amylose. This first dosage should cover the rice by about half an inch. At this point you want to give up a few stirs with the spoon. At this point you want to reduce the to a fast simmer. When Rice boils as well as other grains and legumes creates different zones in the cooking pot that are higher and cooler temperatures. This causes whatever it is that your cooking to cook unevenly. So as the liquid lowers to the point of the rice being exposed you’d want to add your second dosage. Again give it a few stairs to incorporate the liquid into the rice and again the liquid should be about 1/2 an inch above the level of the rice. At this point we want to stir and make sure that it’s not sticking to the bottom. If it is sticking to the bottom do not panic. Turn the heat off and let the rice sit for about two minutes at this point the rice will release from the bottom of the pot and you can continue the cooking process. Once the race becomes exposed again you are ready to do one of two things. The first is if you are in a restaurant situation or you are entertaining at home you can stop the cooking process at this point the finish later when you’re ready to serve. I typically do this by putting it in a hotel pan. The home cook this will be a brownie tin or a 9 x 13 casserole dish. Place this in the refrigerator to arrest the cooking process. Otherwise continue by adding the third dosage of liquid and again staring fully incorporate the liquid into the rice. At this point season to taste.


Notes on seasoning:

It’s very important whenever you make a dish like risotto not over season because you’re continually cooking away your liquid. Often times the commercial kitchen you have somebody making soup in the season it before has a chance to cook down to its appropriate viscosity or concentration flavor. This compounds the amount of salt that’s in the dish. This is happened to me, once.

Rosemary and Sea Salt Encrusted Pork Loin with Fig Mustard Wine Reduction and Smashed Fingerling Potatoes Garnished with Wine Soaked Pepper Corns & Wilted Dandelion



For the pork

  • 1 1\2 pound organic pork tenderloin
  • 3 5-inch sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 cup Fleur de Sel sea salt


For the potatoes

  • 1 pound fingerling potatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. wine soaked peppercorns
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • Fleur de Sel to taste


For the sauce

  • 1 cup
  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup organic fig preserve


For the dandelions

  • 1 bunch dandelion
  • 2 Tbsp finely diced white onion
  • 1Tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • Fleur de Sel to taste

I The fingerling potatoes

  1. Rinse 1 lb. fingerling potatoes and sprinkle with sea  salt to taste.
  2. Place into 350 degree oven for 20 min. or until soft
  3. While potatoes are roasting, prepare sauce and begin prepping pork

II The sauce

  1. Whisk red wine, fig preserve and dijon together in small saucepan
  2. Set on stove & bring to a simmer


III The Pork

  1. Pick 3 5-6 inch sprigs of fresh rosemary. Remove leaves and mince with a very sharp knife. A dull knife will crush the rosemary and make it bitter.
  2. Choose a pork loin, about one and one half pounds. Tie with 1 knot every 2 inches.
  3. Mix minced rosemary with one quarter cup of sea salt and liberally season entire surface of pork loin, making sure to get the ends.
  4. Turn oven down to 325 degrees, pull out the potatoes if they are still in and are finished cooking and set aside to cool.
  5. Place pork loin into 325 degree oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until internal temperature reads 155 degrees.


IV The Dandelion

  1. Chop 1 bunch of organic dandelion into 3 inch segments
  2. Sautee 2 Tbsp finely diced white onion in olive oil until translucent
  3. Add chopped dandelion and cider vinegar and toss to wilt.

V Finishing the potatoes

  1. Pull out pork and set on counter to rest
  2. In crease oven temp. to 400 degrees
  3. Pinch each fingerling potato until it pops.
  4. drizzle potatoes with melted whole butter.
  5. Garnish with cracked, wine soaked peppercorns
  6. Put into oven about ten minutes


VI Plating

  1. Remove strings from pork roast.
  2. Put potatoes and dandelion down on plate.
  3. Slice pork into quarter inch thick medallions and place onto plate.
  4. Drizzle with mustarda



Strawberry, arugula & salmon salad with goat cheese & balsamic vinaigrette



  • 1 8 oz portion wild caught Alaska King Salmon
  • 8oz seed to table organic arugula
  • 1 c Food & Thought farm fresh organic strawberries, hulled and quartered.
  • 1/4 C. goat cheese
  • 1/4 C Food & Thought organic balsamic vinaigrette


The Salmon

  1. Skin the salmon, remove the blood line, and cut into half inch wide strips
  2. Put olive oil into heavy bottomed Skillet over high heat and heat until oil is shimmering, but not smoking
  3. Season salmon lightly with sea salt and place into heated skillet.
  4. Allow to sear and sizzle briefly on each side
  5. Remove to paper towels to drain and rest while salad is prepared.




The Salad

  1. Toss arugula and strawberries lightly with balsamic in a large bowl
  2. Arrange tossed salad onto large plate
  3. Lay salmon strips over salad
  4. Garnish with crumbled goat cheese and season to taste with freshly-cracked pepper.

Courtesy of:

Chef Don Splain Jr.

Don Splain Jr