Friday, December 1, 2023

Taste of the Dominican

Luca Banfi, chef at Beach Club by Le Cirque, shares three recipes popular with visitors to Casa de Campo.

Mango Salsa with Yautia Chips

2 cups diced mango

1/4 cup minced onion

1/4 cup red pepper, finely diced

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons mint, chopped

1 small chili (optional, can add more or less to desired spiciness)

Salt and pepper to taste

Lemon juice to taste

Preparation: Mix all the salsa ingredients together in a bowl and season to taste.

2 medium-sized yautia roots (yucca also works well)
Preparation: Peel yautia and thinly slice. Rinse sliced yautia slices to remove excess starch. Deep fry at 375 degrees until crispy.

Plantain Gnocchi with Fresh Tomato Sauce

3 green plantains
1 medium Idaho potato
2 eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
5 cups of flour
1 tablespoon salt

Olive oil
White wine
3 to 4 ripe tomatoes, diced
1 onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 sprig of basil

Preparation: Peel plantains and cut lengthwise in quarters; cut away black seeds in middle (seeds will discolor the gnocchi). Peel and cut potato in small chunks. Combine plantain and potato in a pot, cover with water and add salt. Bring to boil and cook until plantain is tender. Strain plantain and potato and puree mixture using a ricer. Combine eggs to plantain puree.

On a counter, make well with 3 cups of flour and Parmesan; reserve rest to use later when rolling out the gnocchi. Knead mixture until flour is incorporated and dough is fairly firm with consistency of Play-Doh. Roll flour into long tubes and cut into 3/4-inch long cylinders. Roll cylinders against back of fork to shape gnocchi. Cook gnocchi in salted boiling water until they float to top of pot.

When that happens, add 2 tablespoons olive oil in pan and cook onion over medium heat until onion is soft. Add garlic and tomatoes and splash of white wine and continue cooking over medium heat until tomatoes have cooked down to a sauce consistency adding a little bit more wine if they dry out. Toss gnocchi with tomato sauce and finish with freshly chopped basil and grated Parmesan.

Veal Medallions with Peperonata and Brie

24 ounces veal tenderloin, cut into 2-ounce portions

4 ounces Brie

1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 yellow onion
2 ripe tomatoes
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon capers
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil
1 sprig basil

Preparation: Wash and seed peppers and slice into thick strips. Slice onion, dice tomatoes. Add onions to pot with 2 tablespoons of olive oil; cook over medium heat until soft. Add sugar and vinegar and reduce. Add peppers, garlic and tomato and cook over medium low heat until mixture has a sauce-like consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste; finish with chopped basil and capers.

Season medallions with salt and pepper. In heated sauté pan, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, add medallions and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side (or to desired completion). Serve on top of peperonata. Garnish with a slice of brie right on top.

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