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GET FLAVORFUL: Seared Branzino

Chef Ted Torres shares a simple, delicious recipe for pan seared Branzino he calls a play on a Puerto Rican recipe usually made with Red Snapper. The sauce is similar to a Caribbean creole sauce. The dish is served with asparagus and sweet plantains. Enjoy the demo, then make a meal for yourself to enjoy. You deserve it!

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Pan Seared Branzino by Chef Ted Torres

CHEF TORRES’ PAN SEARED BRANZINO

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Lightly tossed the asparagus in some vegetable oil and place on a roasting sheet. Set Aside. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Peel the yellow plantain and and dice. Heat a pot with shallow cooking oil (about a 1 to 2 cup) over medium heat. Gently place the plantains into the pot and begin to cook and agitate so the plantains can move freely because they would become stuck together and will not cook evenly. Once the plantain become golden brown (the natural sugars of the plantain will caramelize) remove and place on a paper towel to drain. Set aside.  
  3. Season both sides of the Branzino (Fish) with salt and pepper. When seasoning you should sprinkle the surface of the fish. Be careful to not over salt season. Heat a pan over medium heat. When the pan is hot Gently place the fish in the pan (presentation side first). When placing the fish in the pan be gentle and flip away to not splash and prevent the oil burning you.  
  4. Sear until the the edges become golden brown or your desired doneness. Flip away and cook the other side. After about 3-4 minutes remove and drain. 
  5. While fish is cooking place the asparagus into the oven and cook for about 5-8 minutes. Then remove. Set aside. 
  6. In the same pan you cooked the fish you can add the onion and sauté over medium heat for a minute or two. Then add the peppers and cook for a minute or two. Then add the garlic and cook for about a minute. Then add the wine and reduce. Reduce to about 1/4 of its original volume. 
  7. Once the wine is reduced then add the tomato sauce and let the sauce come together, Stir occasionally. Once the sauce comes together, Turn off heat and finished with chopped cilantro. 
  8. Place sauce down onto plate. Then add the the Branzino, followed by the asparagus and then place the plantains. 
  9. Enjoy 

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:

KARL SCHMID

 New York native chef, Ted Torres’s love affair with food began at an early age, when he was introduced to authentic Puerto Rican cuisine from his mother and grandmother. Torres kept those traditions alive when he moved to Pennsylvania to pursue his career in culinary arts.

Ted Torres

It all began when I was 19 years old. I was living in New York and I had no direction. I just needed a fresh start, so that’s when I moved to Philadelphia and I went to the Restaurant School, the rest is history.

KARL SCHMID

 In 2013, he competed against three other chefs on the Food Network’s cooking competition series, Chef Wanted with Anne Burrell. The prize, a coveted executive chef position at New York City’s famed Victor’s Café.

Ted Torres

And that was a great experience, a really, really, really fun time. And I like the competition, so.

KARL SCHMID

 After two grueling tests and dinner services, Torres won. But he turned down the prize job offer to continue his career in Philadelphia.

Ted Torres

My whole life changed, it shifted and created more confidence in me, in my career.

KARL SCHMID

 In 2015, Chef Torres decided to venture out and pursue his own catering company. COA Catering.

Ted Torres

You know, after, like maybe, 20 years of working for somebody else, I felt it was time to challenge myself. I reached a point in my career that I was executive chef, but then you’re not really like, pushing yourself, where I decided to open up COA Catering.

KARL SCHMID

 When the coronavirus pandemic spread through the United States, Ted’s catering company struggled to stay afloat.

Ted Torres

I’m used to doing weddings, events, big things, for 200 people. And I don’t think that’s gonna happen anytime soon. COVID-19 shut down the whole industries, I know that things are, you know, uncertain. I think this is a good time to try to innovate, to do the best we can. Today we’re going to be making pan-seared branzino, served with roasted asparagus, some sweet plantains, and a tropical Creole sauce. I have two beautiful filets of branzino, show it a little bit of love. I have asparagus, toss it with a bit of oil, salt and pepper, And then toss it. And then put it in the oven. I preheated my oven to 350 degrees. I put the filet down, and I push it away. I always push the fish away so the splatter doesn’t get on your hands, you don’t wanna burn yourself. And then while that’s cooking, I’m gonna start working on the sweet plantains. I’m gonna dice it. You can see the nice little crisp on the outside of the fish. I’m gonna use the same pan to make my sauce. The first thing I’m gonna put in, is Spanish onion. Red bell peppers, diced. And then I have some green, and I just fill that in. And my garlic. I’m gonna add some diced tomato. Get ready for your sweet plantains. Now you gently lay it in the oil, gently. Then, I have a little bit of wine right here. Let it reduce, so you can put the alcohol out and all you want is really the flavor. What I’m gonna add after it reduces is a little bit of, it’s like a, tomato sauce. A spoonful of. You can also add a little bit of fish stock. I’m adding a little bit of water. And right before I’m gonna plate it, I’m gonna finish it with fresh cilantro. You always wanna add your herbs at the end. Sweet plantains are done. See. Golden brown delicious. We’re gonna put a little bit of fresh cilantro. There you have it, folks. Pan-seared branzino, with roasted asparagus, sweet plantains and a tropical Creole sauce, and I hope you enjoy.

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