In this week's chef and tell interview with Jensen Cummings, the exec chef of Row 14, he sings the praises of Alamosa striped bass, which he procures from Colorado Catch located in -- where else? -- Alamosa. "It took a trip to Alamosa, in a plane that I'm pretty sure had duct tape holding together part of the wing, along with a drive on bumpy, dusty roads at almost 90 miles per hour and a wholesome country family to make me realize that Alamosa hybrid striped bass is amazing served raw," details Cummings, who shares his own recipe for Alamosa striped bass crudo with Cafe Society readers.
"Me, the cultured, well-traveled, adventurous chef that I pretend to be was schooled in the dust bowl that is Alamosa," jokes Cummings. "Seriously, I was humbled and excited to learn that such a great fish could be served raw -- one of my favorite ways to eat fish, and now it's my job to spread the word."
Alamosa striped bass crudo with watermelon radish, oven roasted grapes, micro cilantro and honey horseradish vinaigrette Serves 4
1 pound striped bass filet, skinned, removed of rib bones and sliced into thin "sashimi" cuts 4 ounces white seedless grapes 1 piece watermelon radish, peeled and julienned 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1/2 cup honey 2 ounces fresh grated horseradish 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar 1 cup olive oil 1/4 teaspoon chile flake (espelette or paprika) 1 tablespoon water 1 tablespoon Italian parsley, chopped Salt and pepper to taste
For the grapes
1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. 2. Place grapes on a sheet tray in the oven for 4 1/2 hours, allow to cool, then slice in half.
1. Place all ingredients except olive oil and parsley into blender and blend at medium speed until all ingredients are incorporated. 2. Slowly drizzle olive oil into mixture until emulsified. 3. Add parsley and blend until incorporated. 4. season with salt and pepper to taste
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1. Place bass slices into center of the plate. Season lightly with salt. 2. Drizzle vinaigrette over top of fish. 3. Place radish, grapes, and cilantro randomly around the plate.