We take our hearts (and stomachs) to San Francisco and visit The Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton. Here, at one of California's
four restaurants to earn Mobil's Five-Star award, an Iron Chef highlights modern French cuisine with Japanese influences.
Tags:French Japanese Fusion Salmon Recipe,French fusion Salmon recipe,Modern French recipes,seafood recipes,Behind the Burner,modern French cuisine,Ron Siegel,salmon Recipe,Salmon with Ron Siegel,The Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton
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Vivia: Hi, I’m Vivia Gagnani. Set in beautifully scenic Nava hill, the Dining Room in the Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco, is San Francisco’s only mobile 5 star dining. Here, an iron chef creates modern French cuisine with stunning Japanese influences. So let’s go behind the burner and meet the chef. I’m here with executive chef Ron Siegel. I see tomatoes and basils and all those wonderful things that I enjoy this summer. Chef Ron: We’re going to do king salmon with tomato gelee. Little basil seeds and some bowls of basil. So the first thing I would do to make this dish is I start by making tomato water. And the beauty of tomato water is your extracting all the flavor of the tomato, but you’re going to have it be clear like it would be as if it’s water. Vivia: And so what kind of tomatoes are these? Chef Ron: These just yellow tomatoes. But I recommend people do is I use the juiciest ones possible. You want something that’s got a lot of juice in it, because the more juice you have, the more water you’re going to extract from them. And a pinch of salt because salt as we all know, draws moisture out of anything. Vivia: Absolutely. As the tomatoes gets process it just releases more and more juice and water. Chef Ron: Exactly. You can add like basil to it if you wanted. And you’re going to get that flavor. I like to hang the water. And the easiest way is to take a napkin, one that you don’t care that much about. Because you’re going to stain it a little bit, and then I just tie the old slip knot and so it’s in there. So it holds it. Over our plastic container, so you could see the juice is kind of in there. And you can really smell it, I mean you could see it’s starting to drip down. Right. I recommend making this part the night before. I leave it out, because if it’s out, it stays warmer and drop faster. Leave it out for a few hours, and then once it strain, I put it in the fridge and then the next day go back and make your gelee. What we can do real quick, because this takes a few minutes. We can bloom this basil seeds. So these are just lemon basil seeds. You can get them at any specialty supermarket. And there’s two ways to do this. You can use extremely hot water, which will make them turn like that. Or you can just take regular cold tap water and just kind of run it. Add a little bit of water to it, and just mix it up. Vivia: They’re plumping up a little bit. Chef Ron: They’re plumping and they are starting to become a little more transparent. I want it to be spreadable. So we’ll be able to move it around it on the plate. What I’ve done is I grab two sheets of gelatin. Vivia: And this is something people are afraid of. You’re going to show us it’s easy. Chef Ron: It’s so easy. So what you do is you lay the sheets down gently, so they’re separate and you kind of put them in water. And it will take about 5 minutes or so at least to soften them. While that’s happening, we’re going to very gently warm up our tomato water which is on the stove. So we grab some toy box tomatoes here. Vivia: They’re nice and little. Chef Ron: Nice and little, and something that you can just get at almost any grocery store. Vivia: So what’s a good tip for buying tomatoes? Chef Ron: Well, I always think you should buy a ripe tomato like a farmer’s market that’s arriving off the plant. Right off the plant and then just brought to the market. As oppose to going to a store where, generally speaking, they’re buying so many cases that they’re generally are a little under ripe so they can last longer and not thrown away. I’m going to take a little bit of extra virgin olive oil, and I’m just going to pour it very gently on top. Just a little bit, just to kind of let it pick a little bit of that flavor. I’ll put a pinch of salt in there. Vivia: It’s going to draw out the moisture. Chef Ron: It’ll draw a little bit of moisture. And so what I like to do is I like to squeeze it out of my hand to get that excess water out of it because that’s going to change the recipe. So I generally just place it right in there. Vivia: Into your warm tomato water. Chef Ron: And you can see, if you can, how it instantly almost completely dissolves. Vivia: Right. Chef Ron: So you want to gently stir it. Vivia: So the technique is a slow whisk. You don’t want to incorporate too much air. Chef Ron: Very slow. You want this pour into a lid. And what we’ll do is we’ll put it in our refrigerator. We already picked about two bunches of basil. I’m adding a little bit of salt, and what’ll do is that’s going to help the flavor of the basil, brings out the flavor. And we’re just going to add the basil. Vivia: And it’s mostly the leaves not necessarily the stem. Chef Ron: Yeah. You don’t want the stems, just because it’s going to be harder to puree. Plus the leaf is where you’re getting all this great color from. You can see the water instantly boil, and that’s really what you want. You don’t want it to simmer, because then you’re kind of defeating the whole purpose. I’m just scooping that out, and then I just put it in a strainer. And the reason why I keep in a strainer is because it’s easier to get the basil. I don’t have to fight with the ice later. And you never want to leave anything in ice water too long, because if you do the flavor of that vegetable or herb is going to go to the water. Vivia: It’s too watered down. Chef Ron: Basically, what I’m going to do is I’m going to wring this out a little bit. And so I put it in a napkin. And the reason why I like to wring out is I don’t want any water in it. We’re going to add this to the blender. You want to add enough oil to make the blender spin, and other than that the less oil you add the greener. Here’s our final product. So basically it just kind of soften that out. We’re just going to go ahead and pour this right into there. Vivia: Just when you thought you didn’t have anything to do with your newspaper rubber band, it becomes something. Chef Ron: Right. Vivia: So we’re seasoning our fish. Chef Ron: We’ve lightly seasoned it with salt. Now we’re going to put pepper. Vivia: Is that white pepper? Chef Ron: Yeah, that’s white pepper. We’re going to put a little bit on both sides. Vivia: So how do you pick your salmon? Chef Ron: You want it to be firm and free of blemishes and just a nice piece. I prefer to use butter when I’m cooking fish, because I think the flavor’s real good with fish. So basically, I’m just going to push off to a lower heat. You always want to flip away from yourself not toward yourself, because you’ll splatter hot oil. Vivia: So that’s the technique, flip away from yourself. Chef Ron: So what we’re going to do is we’re just going to take this out now. We’re going to let it rest. Vivia: So we’re ready to plate. Chef Ron: We’re going to take a little bit of basil here. And we’re just going to chop it up, just to put this down on the plate to hold the tomato in place. I just cut it down like that. And then I take an offset palette knife, really small. Then I just kind of slide it right underneath there. Vivia: That looks very pretty. Chef Ron: Yes. Vivia: That’s a great way to start. If it was me, I would just cut a square, because a squares a lot easier to cut than a circle. Chef Ron: Go back to our basil seeds which have fully bloomed at this point. We’re just kind of lay this down on the plate. And it adds a nice little texture to the dish. We’ll put the basil all down real quick. And I’m just going to cover the gelee up. Vivia: It’s a harmony of both flavors and color. Chef Ron: Yeah. So now we sit down and get a chance to enjoy this. And it’s basically the king salmon dish with the tomato gelee and different toy box tomatoes. The basil, basil seeds, and lots of different textures. Vivia: Texture I think is the key component in this dish. It’s just the mix of the flaky fish, the beautiful tomatoes which have been sitting in oil, so they’re now a little softer. The gelee, the oil and the seeds, I mean, a harmony of really amazing summer textures. Cheers. Thanks for having us. Stay tuned to Behind the Burner, where we give you the tips, tricks, and techniques that are lighting the culinary world on fire.