Sautéed Rockfish on Arugula with Scallop-Lobster Tortellini
Simple sautéed fresh fish is served on a bed of arugula -- “melted,” says Chef Steve Young; we would say wilted. The scallop-lobster tortellini could make a separate appearance all by themselves as an appetizer.
- Tortellini Pasta
- All-Purpose Flour - 1-1/2 cups
- Salt - 1 teaspoon
- Brown Eggs - 2 large
- Tortellini Filling
- Scallops - 4 large
- Lobster Meat - 2 ounces
- Egg White
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1/2 cup
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Basil leaf - 1 large
- Fried Eggplant Nests
- Eggplants - 4
- Canola oil for deep-frying
- Yellow Bell Pepper - 1, roasted (see Cooking Basics)
- Red Bell Pepper - 1, roasted (see Cooking Basics)
- Champagne vinegar - 2 tablespoons
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil - 1/3 cup
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Cilantro Sprigs - 1, stemmed and minced
- Unsalted Butter - 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (see Cooking Basics)
- Rockfish Fillets - four, 7- to 8-ounce, (alt. any firm white-fleshed salt-water fish), cut in half
- Arugula - 4 bunches (rocket)
- Beurre Blanc - 1 cup (recipe below)
- Lobster Oi - 2 tablespoons (optional; see Cooking Basics, Oils)
- Beurre Blanc (Makes 1 cup)
- Shallots - 2, minced
- Dry white wine - 3 tablespoons
- White Wine Vinegar - 2 tablespoons
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 2 tablespoons
- Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
- Unsalted Butter - 1 cup, cut into tablespoon-size chunks
To prepare the pasta: Combine the flour and salt and make a mound of seasoned flour on a work surface. Make a crater in the top and break the eggs into the crater. With your fingers, work the eggs into the dough, gradually incorporating all the flour. Do not overwork the dough; work only until it is smooth. Form the dough into a smooth ball. Wrap the ball in plastic wrap and set aside to rest for 20 minutes.
Working with one-third of the dough at a time, roll through a pasta machine 4 to 5 times, following the manufacturer’s directions, until the pasta is very thin and pliable. Repeat with the other sheets. With a scalloped or plain 3-1/2-inch cutter, cut 12 circles from the dough. Set aside for the tortellini.
To prepare the filling: Put the scallops and lobster meat in a food processor and pulse 3 times. Add the egg white and cream and puree; add the lemon juice while the machine is running. When smooth, check and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Keep the filling cold by placing the bowl containing the filling in a larger bowl of ice while using the mixture. If not using immediately, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
Lay the tortellini on a work surface. Put a generous teaspoon of filling in one of the tortellini and fold the pasta in half. Moisten the edges and press to seal, forming a scalloped margin. Fold into the traditional tortellini shape: holding a half-circle tortellini in your hands, fold in the points, overlapping them in front of the filled portion and pressing to hold them in place; they may be “tacked” with a little water if necessary. Set aside and fill all the other tortellini. Put in the refrigerator.
To prepare the eggplant: Use a mandolin or spiral slicer to cut the skin of the eggplants into very thin long strips (1/8-inch or less). Heat the oil to 370 F in a deep-fryer or deep saucepan. Working with one fourth of the eggplant strips at a time, drop a tangle of strips gently into the hot oil and fry just until crisp, about 15 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon or skimmer and drain on paper towels. Repeat until all the strips are fried and you have four clusters of fried eggplant strips.
To prepare the dressing: Peel the roasted peppers and dice the flesh into 1/4-inch dice. Heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the pepper dice. Cook for 1 minute. Stir in the Champagne vinegar and season with salt, pepper, and cilantro. Set aside; keep warm.
To finish the tortellini: Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium. Put a basil leaf in the water. Add the tortellini, a few at a time. Start the timing when they float to the surface, cooking them for 2-1/2 minutes from that time. Remove with a slotted spoon or skimmer and drain on a towel. Keep warm.
To cook the fish: Heat a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and cook until the solids at the bottom of the pan just begin to brown. Add 4 pieces of fish. Sear quickly on one side, about 30 seconds, then turn and sauté on the other side, 30 seconds to 1 minute, depending on the thickness of the fillets. Keep the fillets separated in the pan as they sear. Remove with a spatula and drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining fish.
Place the arugula in the pan and reduce the heat to medium; add the remaining tablespoon of butter and toss until the arugula wilts, or “melts.”
To serve: Divide the wilted arugula among the serving plates. Place two pieces of fish on each, one slightly overlapping the other, atop the arugula. Position three tortellini at the 12 o’clock, 4 o’clock, and 8 o’clock positions on each plate. Spoon beurre blanc around the arugula on the plate. Drizzle with lobster oil (optional). Top each with a fried eggplant cluster.
Combine the shallots, wine, and vinegar in a medium, non-aluminum saucepan or sauté pan and cook over medium heat until the liquid is reduced to about 2 tablespoons. Whisk in the cream and reduce the heat to medium-low; cook until reduced again to about 3 tablespoons. Season with salt and pepper. Whisking rapidly, add a piece of butter. When it is nearly melted, add the next piece, continuing until all the butter has been added and the sauce is light in color and slightly thickened. If drops of liquid butter appear at any point, remove the pan from heat and whisk in the next few bits of butter off the heat until the temperature of the sauce cools again. Use immediately or keep the sauce warm in an insulated bottle until ready to serve.
Note: The sauce may be begun as much as a day ahead and prepared to the point at which you add the seasonings; cover and refrigerate. When ready to continue, warm the reduction over medium-low heat, then proceed.