I am proud to report the Sciabica Olive Oil dinner was a resounding success! Thanks to all the diners who have passed along rave reviews. If you didn't have the chance to join us for the dinner last week, no worries! SOHO's Chef Joe has shared the recipes for two of the evening's most popular dishes – the olive oil poached sea bass and lemon-basil olive oil ice cream. Many guests said the ice cream was one of the night's highlights. Skeptical at first, they were converted after the first spoonful. Smooth and silky, the lemon-basil olive oil ice cream was both deliciously sweet and refreshing.
Lemon-Basil Olive Oil Ice Cream Recipe (makes about 1 quart)
1 1/3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 cup heavy cream
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup lemon olive oil blended with 8 large basil leaves, then strained (Chef Joe used Sciabica's lemon extra virgin olive oil)
Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. Pour the cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top.
In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir into the cream. Whisk the lemon olive oil and basil leaf blend into the custard vigorously. Stir until cool over an ice bath. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator. Freeze in an ice cream maker.
Of course, one cannot survive on dessert alone (although I've tried!). With that in mind here is the recipe for the olive oil poached sea bass with julienne vegetables and arugula pesto (serves 4).
4 each 2 oz. sea bass medallions (halibut or cod may be substituted)
Salt and pepper (to taste)
3-4 cups extra virgin olive oil (Chef Joe used Sciabica's Sevillano Valley fall harvest olive oil).
Note: More or less olive oil may be used depending on the size of the pot. The smaller the pot, the less oil is needed to cover the fish.
1 small carrot (peeled, julienne)
1 stalk celery (peeled, julienne)
1 small leek (white portion only, julienne)
2 tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper (to taste)
1 oz arugula
1 tablespoon pinenuts
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic
salt and pepper (to taste)
In a small pot, heat olive oil to 125 degrees. Season fish and submerge for 20-25 minutes.
In another small pot, simmer carrots, celery, and leeks with butter, salt and pepper until barely soft.
In a blender, mix arugula, pinenuts, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper until smooth.
Serve fish on a bed of simmered vegetables and top with pesto.