Top Chef Masters, Season 1, Episode 5, Elimination Challenge
In a large non-reactive stockpot combine all 11 of the above ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes. Keep simmering slowly.
Brandade of Shrimp and Scallop
Skin the cod, remove all of the pin bones with a pair of pliers or cut out the bones with a sharp knife. Dice the flesh into large chunks. Place the cut pieces into a large stainless bowl over ice and season heavily with salt, toss to distribute the salt.
Dice the scallops and shrimp and place into a separate bowl over ice. Do not salt the scallop and shrimp. The court bouillion will season them enough. Remove the bowls from the ice and split the court bouillion into two batches.Strain the boiling hot court bouillion over the cod and the scallop/shrimp mixture. Immediately cover the bowls with plastic wrap and let steep for 1/2 hour. Drain off the court bouillion and reserve the cooked fish and seafood.
In a large heavy rondeau over medium heat add the olive oil and the onions. Cook for 10 minutes while stirring with a wood spoon. Add the garlic and cook for 5 additional minutes. Add the cooked cod and stir to break up the fish. Add the pureed potatoes and the heavy cream. Taste the mixture and season with salt and pepper. Stir the mixture and simmer to reduce the creamy mixture until the cream is mostly absorbed and the consistency becomes similar to thick oatmeal. Add the capers, tea, the cooked shrimp, the cooked scallops and chives. Stir to incorporate everything and cool off in a large hotel pan in the refrigerator. Let this mixture cool overnight in the refrigerator.
In four separate hotel pans set up a breading station. Place the flour into the first pan, then the egg mixture and finally the panko in the third pan. In the fourth pan sprinkle a small layer of panko to keep the final cakes to rest on. Take the cool mixture and form 3-4 ounce cakes by hand and lightly flour the outer surface by rolling the cake in the flour.
Place in the egg mixture and then coat with the panko bread crumb to completely cover the brandade cake. Row the complete cakes into the pan lined with panko and refrigerate until ready to cook.
In a medium non-reactive stockpot add the chicken stock and the sliced shallots. Bring to a simmer and reduce by 2/3. Slightly cool the shallot/stock reduction and add it to a blender while it is still warm. Add the mustard, yolks and vinegar. Turn the blender on low speed and start to incorporate the two oils until the consistency of the vinaigrette becomes creamy. Taste the vinaigrette and season it with salt and pepper, add the truffles and blend briefly. Store at room temperature until the cakes are cooked.
With a plastic Japanese mandolin shave the fennel into a large stainless or glass bowl. Squeeze the fresh lemon juice over the shaved fennel, add the olive oil and season with salt. Allow to stand for 5 minutes and then toss in the frisee lettuce to evenly coat everything.
On a small plate place a small pool of the truffle vinaigrette. Fry the prepared brandade cakes in a deep fryer set at 350 degrees for 4-5 minutes until golden brown, crispy and hot in the center. Drain on a paper towel and place in the center of the vinaigrette pool. Top with the fennel salad and serve right away. Enjoy!