The fall season has begun, but you probably have some fruits and vegetables left over from your summer garden! Today, Chef Donna shows us how to make a tomato scampi, inspired by a popular “Top Chef.”
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Tomato Scampi, by Bravo’s Top Chef Sam Talbot
For those of you who love Top Chef, you’ll love this fantastic recipe courtesy of Sam Talbot, chef, author and television personality made famous by being voted the “Fan Favorite” on Bravo’s Top Chef. Sam shares this recipe from his cookbook The Sweet Life: Diabetes without Boundaries. Diagnosed at a young age with juvenile diabetes, Sam lives with a profound understanding of the impact of food on life and life on food. And, that has become the driving force for his cooking style and recipes. Sam believes anyone can eat great food on a regular basis, and his book The Sweet Life proves it!
Chef Sam Talbot appears this weekend (Saturday, September 28th at 2:30 PM) at Whitaker Center and this recipe is just a sampling of what he’ll be cooking up on stage to showcase all the great foods our local farms are bringing to market. If you’re lucky enough to have a CSA share, you’re baskets are no doubt overflowing with super ripe and super delicious tomatoes. In his book, The Sweet Life, Chef Sam features this recipe for Heirloom Tomato Scampi (just like shrimp scampi) with a great method for cooking fish, which alone make the book a must!
Top Chef Sam Talbot appears at Whitaker Center on Saturday, September 28 for Harrisburg’s first-of-its-kind culinary theatre presentation, Farm to Talbot’s Table! Tickets are just $20 for Adults and $10 for Juniors and include a meet and greet/book signing session after. For more information and tickets, go to WhitakerCenter.org/sam_talbot.
Recipe: Heirloom Tomato Scamp
From Striped Bass with Heirloom Tomato Scampi, by Sam Talbot
The Sweet Life: Diabetes without Boundaries (Rodale Books, 2011) used with permission.
This one is Italy, pure and simple. Which is precisely what Italian cuisine is all about: Get yourself fresh, pure ingredients in season, plus some fine, real condiments and seasonings, and put it all together without a lot of fuss, and ecco! A simply superb meal, as health as they come an as good as eating gets. It’s also beautiful on the plate. Note that scampi does not, in fact, mean shrimp, as many people think, but rather refers to the popular lemon, garlic, and oil preparation for shrimp in so many red-sauce Italian joints.
3 tablespoons Roasted Garlic Oil (recipe below)*
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 shallots, finely diced
1 tablespoon fennel seeds, toasted in a dry skillet
4 celery ribs, sliced ¼ inch thick
1 tablespoons drained, chopped capers
¼ cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
3 pounds mixed heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 cup tightly packed hand torn fresh basil leaves
4 pan seared and oven roasted sea bass filets
To make the scampi: In a large skillet, heat the garlic oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, shallots, and fennel seeds and cook, stirring frequently, until the shallots are translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the celery and capers and cook until the celery has softened, about 2 minutes. Add the wine to the pan and cook until it is reduced by half, about 1 minute. Add the vinegar, lemon zest and juice, tomatoes and basil and cook for 1 to 2 minutes to incorporate the flavors and heat the tomatoes through.
Serve the sea bass fillets topped with the tomato scampi.
*Roasted Garlic Oil is easily made by combining about 20 peeled cloves of garlic to 2 cups grapeseed oil. Over low heat, slowly cook the garlic uncovered for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the cloves mash easily with the back of a fork. Store the cooled oil and garlic cloves in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks