Crudo, translated from Italian or Spanish, means “raw.” Translated by Kyle Koenig, Executive Chef at The Preston House & Hotel in Riverhead, it means, in a word, delicious, with an elegant interplay of sea bream, serrano chili, dried black olive, yuzu and mint.
“The texture of the fish is my favorite,” says Koenig. “I believe it to be a perfect fish for raw applications. To me, it’s medium-fatty, white flesh, not too lean, and just the right amount of fat that you want. With just a little salt, you get a real light sweetness. The fat helps since the vinaigrette we use it highly acidic. It lightly cooks the fish by the time it reaches the guest, similar to a Peruvian Tiradito.”
Preston House Beverage Director Jessica Koenig recommends the dish be paired with Paumanok’s Chenin Blanc or Picato “Vermentino” from Punta Crena, La Guria, Italy. As a Valentine’s Day gift to all you lovers of local culinary excellence, Koenig shares this recipe, straight from the heart…and his kitchen.
If you’re more comfortable leaving the cooking to the professionals, visit theprestonhouseandhotel.com to reserve your table.
Sea Bream Crudo with Yuzu, Dried Olive, Serrano Chili and Mint
½ Cup yuzu juice
½ Cup orange juice
½ Cup lemon juice
¼ Cup lime juice
4 Medium shallots (sliced ¼ inch)
8 Bunches cilantro
4 Bunches basil
1 2”-Piece ginger (unpeeled, sliced ¼ inch)
1 Piece lemon grass (bruised)
1. Place all ingredients in a bowl and place in refrigerator overnight so flavors can marry.
2. Strain through a fine mesh strainer or paper towel and place in a squeeze bottle.
3. Reserve for later use.
Dried Black Olive
2 Cups pitted niçoise olive
1. Make sure olives are drained of any oil or brine they might be packed in.
2. Place on a parchment lined sheet tray and put into an oven that is off but the pilot is lit overnight. If you own a dehydrator place at 140 degrees till completely dry.
3. Place into food processor and pulse till a breadcrumb consistency.
4. Store in a lidded container with a little paper towel underneath to absorb any excess moisture.
2 Cups picked mint
½ Cup grapeseed or any other neutral oil
1. Place oil in the freezer while preparing herbs.
2. Bring a small pot of water to a boil.
3. Blanch Herbs for 10 seconds then shock in cold water to stop cooking.
4. Drain off all excess water and rough chop.
5. Place oil and herbs in blender and puree till smooth.
6. Season lightly with salt and strain through coffee filter.
1 Sea Bream filet (skinless and pin bones removed)
2 Tbs mint sliced thinly
1 radish (sliced paper-thin)
1 Serrano chili (sliced paper-thin)
1. Slice Sea Bream 1/8-inch-thick and divide among 4 serving plates. Season lightly with Sea Salt.
2. Drizzle each plate with yuzu juice. There should be enough to fill in the gaps between pieces of fish, but not swimming in the juice.
3. Place one slice of chili on each slice of fish, so each bite is even in heat.’
4. Sprinkle sliced mint and olive over the fish.
5. Drizzle the mint oil in the negative space between the fish.
6. Arrange the radish sporadically on the plate. The more random I believe the better the look.
7. Finish by garnishing with micro cilantro and serve immediately as the citrus juice will begin to cook the fish.