4 courses with chef Michael Thomson

Chef Michael Thomson, of Michael’s Cuisine on West 7th, shares his recipes for a delicious 4-course meal.

Chayote squash soup

Ingredients:

2 1/2 baking potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

1 1/2 medium white onion, julienned

3 garlic cloves, whole, crushed

1/4 cup corn oil

6 chayote squash, peeled and diced without pit

1/2 gallon rich chicken broth

1 cup heavy cream

Salt and pepper to taste

Toasted croutons for garnish

Instructions:

Sauté onion, potatoes and garlic cloves in corn oil until lightly browned and potatoes release their starch.

Add the chicken broth and simmer very slowly for 15 minutes.

Add the chayote squash and simmer slowly for another 25 minutes or until the potatoes and chayote squash are tender.

Add heavy cream and season with salt and pepper.

Remove from fire.

Purée in blender. Strain into a clean container.

Cool in an ice bath and refrigerate until use.

Tortellini with creamy sun-dried tomato and basil sauce

For 6 persons

Ingredients:

2 pounds tortellini (multicolored if possible)

3 liters creamy sun-dried tomato and basil sauce (recipe follows)

2 cups rich chicken broth

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chiffonade

Salt and pepper to taste

Garnish:

Parmesan cheese

Cracked pepper

Fresh basil leaves

Directions:

In a saucepan, heat the cream sauce to a boil and add the basil.

Season with salt and pepper and, if necessary, dilute with the remaining chicken broth.

Cook the tortellini in salted water until al dente and drain.

Add the cooked tortellini to the cream sauce and simmer for a few minutes to blend the flavors.

Garnish with cracked black pepper, Parmesan and fresh basil leaves.

Creamy sun-dried tomato and basil sauce

Ingredients:

1/2 pound whole butter

1 cup shallots and garlic, minced

4 tablespoons fresh cracked pepper

1 pound sun-dried tomatoes

1 liter of dry white wine

4 cups chicken soup (recipe follows)

6 cups rich chicken broth

2 liters heavy cream

1/2 pound fresh basil, stems and leaves

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Remove the basil leaves from the stems and chiffonade. Reserve the whole stalks to cook with the tomatoes.

Rehydrate the tomatoes for several minutes in boiling water to soften them. Cut into 1/4 inch julienne strips.

Sweat shallots and garlic in butter in a saucepan over medium heat until lightly browned. Add the tomatoes, whole basil stalks, season with salt and pepper and sauté for a few minutes. Add the wine and simmer slowly until the liquid is reduced by half.

Add the velouté, four cups of broth and heavy cream. Whisk until well blended and simmer slowly for 10-15 minutes.

Remove all basil stems and discard. Add the chiffonade of basil leaves and mix well.

Cool and refrigerate.

Chicken soup

Ingredients:

8 tablespoons of butter

8 tablespoons of flour

1 liter rich chicken broth

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

In a small 2-quart saucepan, melt the butter, add the flour, and cook for several minutes to create a roux.

Add the chicken broth, mix well and bring to a slow boil.

Simmer 15 to 20 minutes, skimming off the foam from time to time.

Bake at 350 F, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and skim.

Strain the sauce through a fine strainer to remove lumps.

Bar Roc Doc

For 6 persons

Ingredients:

6 bass fillets with skin (7 ounces)

6 teaspoons Roc-Doc Rub*

2 tablespoons Mazola corn oil

4 tablespoons whole butter

12 ounces chipotle lemon butter sauce (recipe follows)

6 tablespoons fried capers (recipe follows)

Directions:

Prepare the Chipotle Lemon Butter Sauce.

Season the sea bass with Roc-Doc Rub.*

In a cast iron skillet over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons corn oil until almost smoking.

Place the seasoned sea bass fillets in the skillet and sear evenly on all sides.

Add butter and continue to sear until crusty and deep golden in color – fish should only be cooked through.

Remove the pan from the heat and place it in a 350 F oven for 6-8 minutes to complete the cooking process.

To serve: Place 1 cup mashed potatoes on a serving platter. Place the cooked sea bass over the potatoes and top with 2 ounces of the lemon chipotle butter sauce. Serve with the vegetables of your choice, garnish with fried capers and a sprig of fresh cilantro.

*You can find Roc-Doc Rub at Michael’s Cuisine. If you don’t have Roc-Doc Rub, you can use salt and pepper for seasoning.

Chipotle Lemon Butter Sauce

Ingredients:

1/2 pound whole butter

2 tablespoons whole butter

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1/2 cup chopped shallots and garlic

1 cup fresh lemon juice

4 whole chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (canned)

2 tablespoons adobo sauce (from can of chipotle)

1/2 cup heavy cream

Directions:

Remove the stems and seeds from the chipotle peppers. In a food processor or blender, purée the chiles with the adobo sauce.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan. Add shallots, garlic, salt and pepper and sauté slowly until lightly browned.

Add the chipotle puree and sauté for a few more minutes.

Add lemon juice and reduce to 1/2 cup liquid.

Whisking constantly, slowly add the remaining butter (cut into small pieces) until incorporated.

Remove from the heat, add the cream and mix well.

Strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Fried capers

Ingredients:

1/2 cup capers (empty of liquid)

1/2 cup olive oil

Directions:

In a small skillet, heat the olive oil until almost smoking.

Add the capers and fry for several seconds until they pop like popcorn.

Remove from oil and drain on paper towel to remove all oil.

Ancho chocolate soufflé dessert

Ingredients

1 liter ancho chocolate pastry cream, room temperature (recipe follows)

1 cup reserved egg whites for the meringue

1 cup meringue sugar

1 teaspoon cream of tartar salt

2 cups Grand Marnier custard (recipe follows)

1 orange for the “zesty” garnish

1 shaker can powdered sugar

6 x 8-ounce soufflé ramekins

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Remove plastic wrap from custard and, in a large stainless steel/glass mixing bowl, whisk until smooth.

In a deep bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until fluffy and add the cream of tartar and salt. Mix well.

Increase the speed to high and slowly add the sugar, beating until the egg whites form stiff peaks.

Using a large rubber spatula, fold one-third of the meringue into the pastry cream and mix well.

Add the rest of the meringue to the pastry cream and, using the rubber spatula, gently fold, up and down the sides and in the center, until no white marks remain, keeping the mixture light, airy and smooth.

Fill the soufflé molds almost completely. The cups should be filled with a straight edge, so tap the cup lightly on a cutting board to adjust the batter level. Run your thumb around the inside edge of the soufflé pans to prevent the dough from sticking and to help the soufflés rise for a neater final presentation.

Place the soufflé molds on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in the preheated oven. Bake for 16 to 22 minutes.

Your soufflés should be served straight from the oven with a quick dusting of sugar on top and a topping before they have a chance to deflate.

Ancho chocolate pastry cream

Ingredients:

2 1/8 cups of milk

1/2 teaspoon ancho powder

3/4 cup cocoa powder

6 egg yolks

1/2 cup flour

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla

2 1/2 tablespoons Kahlua

3 ounces of butter

1 1/2 pounds Belgian dark chocolate, melted

Directions:

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the milk, ancho powder and cocoa powder almost to a boil.

Make a paste with the egg yolks, flour, sugar, vanilla and Kahlua.

Slowly add milk to temper egg mixture; stir all the milk into a smooth batter.

Return the batter to the heavy bottomed saucepan and cook over medium heat.

Beat constantly with a wooden spoon until thick and smooth.

Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and chocolate.

Purée in a food processor to obtain a smooth, satiny pastry cream. Place in a container, press a plastic film on the pastry cream. Cool and refrigerate.

Basic custard

Ingredients:

4 egg yolks

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 cup milk

1 pinch of salt

2 tablespoons Mexican vanilla (or vanilla pods)

Directions:

In a bowl over simmering water (bain-marie), beat egg yolks and sugar until cooked to a consistency that forms thick ribbons.

In a saucepan, bring the milk and vanilla almost to a boil.

Slowly add the milk to the egg mixture (adding milk too quickly can overcook and scramble the eggs). The mixture should coat the back of a wooden spoon.

Remove from the heat and cool on ice. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.