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Putterham Grille: Chef Michael Hincman Demonstrates Three Aromatic Mediterreanean Dishes

Putterham Grille: Chef Michael Hincman Demonstrates Three Aromatic Mediterreanean Dishes

Executive Chef / Co-owner of Putterham Grille of Brookline Michael Hincman explained to the LIVE audience at the Sons of Italy Lodge how to make the following Mediterranean dishes:

Homemade Greek Pita bread topped with Chickpea Cucumber Puree, Demi Horiatiki Salad and Imported Feta

Tomato Bisque: Plum Tomato, Red Onion, Brown Sugar + Fresh Basil

Pan Seared Sea Scallops, Tiger Shrimp Risotto with Sweet Corn niblets, asparagus, Creamed Lobster Fumet, Aged Balsamic + White Truffle Oil

Chef Michael explains in detail how to prepare each Mediterranean fare and how each ingredient blends and balances the dishes deliciously. The ingredients are fresh, local and aromatic.  Recipes below.

Steve LaCount, chef/owner of Chiara shares with us his Chef’s Tip of the cooking technique called brining – appropriate for pork and poultry.  Brining adds moisture and flavor.  Find out how Chef Steve makes the sauce.

Restaurant Interview: Carol visits Chef Michael at Putterham Grille, and asks him how he got involved in the culinary industry, his experience, the creative dishes he prepares at the Grille and by watching the interview segment, you can tell how passionate he is about food.

RECIPES:
Mediterranean Pita (makes 5 pita, serves 10-20)
Five 8 inch greek style pita or flatbread
1/2 english cucumber, seeded + shredded
1.5 cups greek yogurt
1.5 cups pureed chickpea
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
juice from one lemon
1.5 cups  imported Greek feta cheese
12 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 english cucumber, seeded + diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
10 kalamata olives, dices
10 peperoncini, diced
Method
1. Toast 5 Greek style pita bread @ 350* until it has acquired a coarse exterior, @ 6 minutes.  Do not overcook the pita, it will become brittle and unpleasant
2.Puree the chickpeas with 1/2 cup olive oil, a pinch of salt + pepper, and half the juice from one lemon.  Set aside
Seed and grate 1/2 English Cucumber.  Mix the grated cucumbers with the yogurt, a pinch of salt and pepper, and the remaining lemon juice.  Combine the Chickpea Puree and Cucumber Crème.

3.  Dice all of the garden vegetables.  Mix with one cup of the feta cheese and remaining olive oil, a pinch of salt + pepper.

4.  Spread the chickpea cucumber pure over the toasted pita.  Place the demi horiatiki salad over the prepared pita.  Sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese and Greek olive oil.  Cut each pita into 6 wedges.

Tomato Bisque– Makes @ 1.5 gallons, serves 10- 20 

6 pounds 7 ounces canned plum tomato, drained, juice reserved
2 TB brown sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 pound unsalted butter
2 medium red onions, diced
3 Tb tomato paste
1/2 cup all purpose white flour
pinch of allspice
one gallon vegetable or chicken stock
one quart heavy cream
pinch of salt + pepper

Method

1.  Line a 20 x 11 inch baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Place the drained plum tomatoes on the lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle with the brown sugar.  Bake @ 350* for @ 30 minutes, until the brown sugar has caramelized, tomatoes have become wilted, and most of the excess juice has evaporated.  Set aside.

2. Using a medium sized stock pot, saute the diced red onion in olive oil and unsalted butter over a medium heat for 2 – 3 minutes, until it begins to soften.  Add tomato paste, allspice and flour, mix well.  This will create a roux like paste.

3.  Add the roasted tomatoes, tomato juice, and vegetable stock.  Mix very well, scraping the bottom before any of the paste has a chance to stick, and later burn.  Stir continuously throughout the simmering process. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low.  Continue to simmer covered for 15 – 20 minutes.

4 .  Using a hand held immersion blender, puree the contents of the stock pot until completely smooth.

5.  Add heavy cream, salt and pepper to taste.  Stir well.  If desired serve with a chevre croistini.

Pan Seared Sea Scallops, Tiger Shrimp Risotto w/ Cherry Tomato + Asparagus, Creamed Lobster Fumet. Serves 10

Thirty pieces 10 – 20 size sea scallop, muscle removed, patted dry, seasoned with salt and pepper
3.3 cups par cooked aborrio rice (use standard risotto method, only use 1/2 amount of standard water)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
one pound of poached tiger shrimp, tails removed and diced
40 cherry tomatoes, halved
1.5 pounds of large asparagus, coarse stem removed and diced
1/4 pound unsalted butter
5 cups water
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 cups lobster stock
1 Tb roux
1 cup heavy cream
White truffle oil
Aged Balsamic Vinegar
Pinch of salt + pepper

Method

To make the Lobster Fumet

1.  Bring lobster stock to a simmer

2.  Slowly add roux.  Whisk until well combined.

3.  Add heavy cream, salt + pepper to taste

To make Risotto

1. Using a large heavy bottomed sauté pan or medium sized stock pot,  combine aborrio rice, asparagus, cherry tomato, shrimp, cheese, butter, water and a pinch of salt + pepper.

2.  Bring to a simmer over medium high heat, stirring continuously.  When most of the liquid has become absorbed, remove from heat and let stand

To Sear Scallops

1.  Place a heavy bottom (18/10 gauge stainless steel recommended) over medium high heat for several minutes, until the pan has become hot (@350*)

2.  Pour in just enough oil to coat the pans surface.  Roll the oil around the pan.  The oil should shimmer without smoking.  Place but do not crowd enough scallops into the pan to fill it to roughly 60% capacity.  There should be enough space between each scallop to allow for undisturbed flipping.  After 2 – 3 minutes, after a golden brown crust has formed on one side of the scallop, turn the scallops over and repeat on the other side.  There are verticle lines which will become apparent, and the scallop will become bouncy to the touch when complete.

3.  Remove scallops from the pan, place on a clean, cool baking sheet to rest.

4.  Portion the risotto, @ 1 cup for each plate.  Place 3 seared scallops atop the risotto.  Finish with warm lobster fumet, and a drizzle of aged balsamic + white truffle oil.

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