Chef Esteban Capdevila creates a new versio of the noteworthy recipe of Chef José Antonio Sánchez Torres from Restaurante Els Vents in San Juan de Alicante (Spain). This recipe of Seabass pastry and red shrimp is an honorable tribute to the first Chef to ever be awarded a Michelin Star in Alicante city, José Manuel Varó, father of Modern Alicantian Cuisine, who also inspired his pastry on the legendary Chef Paul Bocuse, prime mover of nouvelle cuisine, who died in 2018 at 91 years old.
It is key to rely upon great raw materials for this recipe: fresh, clean flavor and good texture. The firmness and smoothness of the Aquanaria Seabass, both features obtained thanks to their more than 4-year breeding in the rough waters of the Atlantic Ocean, grants this recipe its full potential.
The red shrimp is a Mediterranean culinary gem; it has a signature flavor, a mixture of sweetness and sea saltiness. It’s named after its reddish shell. Highly treasured since they are scarce and very hard to catch – in water they seem transparent. It can be found in Denia, Palamós and Huelva (Spanish territory). They are quite appealing nutritionally speaking, as they are rich in iodine.
In this recipe, the red shrimp is used in a pastry together with the Seabass. Despite the fact that the pastry is originally a bakery preparation, currently is gaining popularity with other kind of recipes. Combining fish and shellfish is quite common, however, in this case, you can also get an eye-catching color blend between the whitish from the Seabass and reddish from the shrimp.
- Use the Seabass loin and 150 grams of fresh fennel and process the raw fish through osmosis in a liquid brine prepared with Winbi Agua de Mar (Winbi Salty Water). Drained and set aside.
- Gently melt half of the shellfish heads and butter, squish and drain, then decant for clear up. Set aside and make the béarnaise sauce as the garnish – there are many ways to cook it, in this case, we will use tarragon vinegar, the melted butter cooked with shellfish heads and a slight touch of mustard, mashed with traditional ingredients. Spare some melted butter for the end of the cooking.
- Dry up the osmotized Seabass loins. Add white pepper.
- Peel off the shrimps – do not throw away the heads, shell and legs – splice altogether as carpaccio – freeze a bit for better handling. Wrap shrimp carpaccio around loins, use the remaining shrimp heads to make a juice crushing them through a fine sieve. Pour juice on top of shrimp-wrapped loins. Cover with plastic film and marinate in fridge for 20 minutes minimum.
- Place shrimp-wrapped loin on pastry sheet. Coat edges with mixture of egg yolk, water and salt. Place another pastry sheet on top, without it over-layering. Place another pastry sheet of the same size. Egg yolk will glue it all together.
- Coat top pastry sheet also with mixture of egg yolk and a bit of shrimp butter we had previously saved.
- Place in over at 195ºC – 15 minutes in mixed oven with 10% humity level. Depending on loin size, it may need more cooking time. Closely watch bottom part of pastry to see if fully cooked before taking it out of the oven.
Set out slice of pastry with béarnaise sauce.