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The Restaurant
at The Egremont Inn

South Egremont, Massachusetts

Specialty Recipe

Recipes and Techniques

For use with Pan-Seared Chilean Seabass with Shiitakes and Leeks and Fillet of Sole Meuniere.

Basil Chiffonade: Tomato Concasse:
Start with a fresh bunch of basil with good-sized crisp, shiny green leaves. Wash the herb if there is any grit at all and then pat dry with a terry or paper towel. Completely remove the leaves from the stems. Take 8 or so leaves and pile 1 leaf on top of another, the largest leaf on the bottom. Roll the leaf wad into a tight roll, starting from side to side. With a very sharp knife, carefully slice the leaf wad into 1/16- to 1/8-inch pieces, as if you were cutting a jelly roll. The result is a pile of basil "strips" which add wonderful flavor, texture, and color to your sauces. Basil chiffonade can be used whenever a recipe calls for fresh basil and is particularly good in tomato sauces served over pastas.
Basil chiffonade should be used when it is prepared. The basil will tend to turn brown if held for more than an hour or 2.
This is the term used for peeled, seeded, and evenly diced raw tomato. It is often used for color and interest in texture and to add tomato acid to a sauce or butter.

Bring a quart of water to a rolling boil in a 2- to 3-quart saucepan. Take 4 or 5 Roma tomatoes and, with a sharp paring knife, make a shallow incision on the bottom of each tomato in the from of an X. Also, remove the base of the stem as if cutting out a cone shape, piercing the tomato no more than 1/2 inch. This will allow the boiling water to loosen the tomato skin from both ends of the fruit. Drop the tomatoes into the boiling water for 15 to 30 seconds (the riper the tomato, the shorter the time in the water). Using a slotted spoon, remove the tomatoes and plunge them in a bowl of water and ice. This will immediately stop them from cooking. Peel and quarter each tomato and remove all seeds. Evenly chop each tomato into small dice (1/16 of an inch).
The diced tomato, or concasse, will keep for up to 48 hours in a refrigerator. You will find the effort is well worth the complexity and balance it can give to many dishes.
Curry Flour:
In a large bowl, mix 2 cups of all-purpose flour with 1/4 cup of a mild curry powder. Flour is used to protect the fish from sticking to the pan and to seal in the moisture of the fillet. The light curry flour gives the fish a beautiful color and just a hint of flavor.
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