Raspberry ribs with tuna tataki and blooming onion

By The Marilyn Denis Show
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Get ready to serve the summer feast that you've been waiting for!

SERVES
4
 TO
5
TOTAL TIME

Ingredients

For the tuna tataki:

  • 200 grams tuna (Albacore loin will work just fine; but sushi grade is also a great choice)
  • 125 grams fish sauce caramel (below)
  • 500 milliliters nori-matcha cotton candy
  • 2 plantain (cut on a bias into 2.5 centimeter pieces)

For the fish caramel:

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup cream

For the blooming onion cake:

  • 4 sweet onions, cut vertically – remove the outer layers and reserve the center 4 layers
  • 1 c buttermilk ranch (below)
  • Lemon balm (red-veined sorrel would be great, or just fresh dill and fennel frawns)
  • 2 cups squid ink tempura mix (below)

For the buttermilk ranch:

  • 300 milliliters buttermilk (the higher quality, the better – you want that lemon tang)
  • 100 milliliters mayonnaise
  • 1/4 bunch of dill frawns
  • 1/2 lemon (zested)

For the squid ink temura mix:

  • 200 grams all-purpose flour
  • 30 grams corn starch
  • 20 grams baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon squid ink
  • 1 can of club soda

For the raspberry ribs:

  • 2 full-racks of St. Louis-cut ribs (trimmed down w/o sinew)
  • 2 cups smoky-sweet dry rub (below)
  • 2 cups raspberry agrodolce (below)
  • 3 jalapenos (2 brunoise and 1 left whole)
  • 1/4 bushel cilantro, brunoised (reserve the stems for the agrodolce)
  • 1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds, roughly chopped

For the dry rub:

  • 30 grams coriander seed
  • 30 grams whole cumin
  • 30 grams fennel seed
  • 30 grams mustard seed
  • 30 grams onion powder
  • 30 grams garlic powder
  • 30 grams kosher salt
  • 30 grams black pepper
  • 30 grams cayenne pepper
  • 30 grams smoked paprika
  • 100 grams brown sugar

For the raspberry agrodolce:

  • 2 pints of raspberries
  • 1 Jalapeno, de-seeded
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 medium sized onion, rough cho
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • Chopped cilantro stem (reserved from picked cilantro)
  • Salt, to taste

Directions

For the tuna loin:

  1. Remove any sinew, or just general soft/unappealing parts of the tuna that may be left on. Anything that looks like it can’t be eaten raw, most likely is not.
  2. Bring skillet with oil on high heat, season fish thoroughly and sear quickly and evenly – let rest and cool in the fridge until entirely cooled
  3. Cut into small 30 gram (or slightly smaller) slices that fit neatly on the chip – if you’re having trouble keeping it on the chip, cut the fish down to more approachable size.

For the plantains:

  1. Fill deep pot with enough oil to fully submerge the plantains and fry them; cut plantains into two centimeter rounds on a bias (a fancy word for an angle).
  2. Heat oil to 300 F (keep an eye on it!), blanche plantains in oil until soft; remove from oil onto tray lined with paper towel.
  3. Smash plantains with the heel of your hand to make a “smushed” chip shape; now it’s time to re-fry!
  4. Bring oil up to 350F (keep an eye on it…again!) and place smashed plantains in oil until crispy and delicious.
  5. Remove from oil & season with salt (tajin is also great for this).

For the fish caramel:

I like to go heavy on the fish sauce to provide the unctuous, intense flavour that pairs nicely with the caramel

  1. Stir together and place pan on medium heat until liquid becomes golden brown (try not to agitate the pan or else the sugars will crystalize) – add in cream once caramel starts to turn golden and stir vigorously.
  2. Once caramel begins to tighten up, add in fish sauce (add it to taste, some like it more intense than others; but be mindful of the colour – the darker the caramel the more difficult it is to use)
  3. Nori Cotton Candy – unless you have a cotton candy machine this will be a difficult one to execute; instead of cotton candy I would recommend crushing up a sheet of nori with one teaspoon of white toasted sesame and 1/2 lime zested

Plating: Brush sliced fish tatki with fish caramel and generously top with nori blend. Place plantain chip down, add a dot of caramel to hold it in place then place the garnish fish on top. Voila!

For the onions:

  1. Cut vertically, discard or repurpose outer layers; keep that tear-drop shape of the onion by not removing top of onion (where the green sprouts out).
  2. Cover inside of onion w/ canola and heavy salt, sear in pan on high heat until onion becomes slightly tender.
  3. Remove from heat & dry on paper towel-lined tray to remove excess oil – the onion should be caramelized, borderline charred; separate each layer to create onion “petals".

For the buttermilk ranch:

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender, blend at high until smooth and a nice vibrant green.
  2. Season to taste with salt & a splash of vinegar (red wine or cider goes great).
  3. Place in a squeeze bottle if you have one.

For the squid ink tempura mix:

This recipe works best if the tempura is kept ice cold (place a bowl inside another bowl of ice, combine all dry ingredients (if you can’t get squid ink, don’t sweat it – it’s more aesthetics than anything); you will also need a deep pot of oil (a liter or so should do) at 350F for frying the batter.

  1. Pour in cold club soda until a paste texture is achieved (similar to pancake batter consistency).
  2. Using a fork, dip it into tempura mix and drizzle over the hot oil, remove tempura bits from hot oil and let cool on paper towel-lined tray. The tempura bits should be crispy and crunchy.
  3. Rinse & pick fresh herbs for garnish.

Plating: Arrange onion petals in a circle so that each point sticks out and looks (sort-of) like a flower; slowly drizzle the buttermilk ranch into each onion petal to fill it with this light green against the white onion; drop a handful of tempura bits into the center of the onion flower (hence the “blooming”) into a nice mound then cover with fresh rinsed/picked herbs to add a splash of colour

For the ribs:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 225F.
  2. With the dry rub on the ribs, set up two sheets of tinfoil down on oven-safe tray; place ribs on and brush thoroughly with sauce (both sides); cover with second set of tinfoil wrap to create tight-wrapped packet (fold the edges to retain the heats & flavour).
  3. Place in preheated oven (crucial) for between three and half to four hours – give them a check at the three hours mark just to make sure they are on-point. Reserve drippings in a separate pan and reduce until it gains a glaze-like consistency (it should coat the back of a spoon), then re-glaze the ribs.
  4. Set oven to broil (a grill would do the same work) and place glazed ribs about 15 centimeters below heat source – let the sugars cook and become sticky/charred to your liking.

Plating: Remove from the oven, carefully cut the ribs into desired portions and cover (literally cover) with garnish.

For the dry rub:

**Ultimately, make whatever rub you like – I use this because I like that smoky, sweet spice; but any rub you prefer will go great as well.

  1. Toast seeds and grind until fine.
  2. Mix together thoroughly and rub all over ribs thoroughly; leave overnight in fridge (covered) to marinate until the morning.

For the raspberry agrodolce:

  1. Sweat out onions, jalapeno and garlic until they begin to soften; add in washed raspberries.
  2. Let raspberries cook out until they begin to breakdown.
  3. Add in vinegar & sugar until it starts to tighten up – the pectin in the raspberries will cause this to happen.
  4. Blend agrodolce until smooth.

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