TASTES OF SICILY. Chef Paolo Gionfriddo of Rosso reintroduces classical Italian cuisine beyond pizzas and Aglio E Olio, and shares a few simplified reciPes from his idyllic hometown in Sicily
Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, boasts a unique culture, along with an incredible wealth of art and culinary offerings. For the last part, Sicily shares many similarities with the classic staples of Italian cuisine, although most recipes include a distinct touch of fresh seafood. This appreciation for the rich bounty of the oceans is why Paolo Gionfriddo feels so connected with Indonesia. The abundance of seafood of the archipelago clearly appeals to his Sicilian soul and clearly transpires in these special recipes (portioned for one person each, by the way) he creates for DA MAN.
“We grew up with all kinds of seafood, [including] baccalà which you’d call codfish here,” chef Paolo begins while adding some finishing touches to the first dish of the day. “And we have a lot of different sauces and creams to go with the fish.”
The tall chef recounts how these dishes represent various highlights of his upbringing—how the codfish evokes Sunday lunches with his family while the perfection of strip loin reflects his culinary training. The Sicilian native has come a long way, indeed, from cutting his teeth in Michelin-starred restaurants in Italy—one of which was run by celebrity chef Marco Pierre White—to helming a prestigious kitchen in the United Arab Emirates before settling down in Indonesia.
Now calling Italian restaurant Rosso at Shangri-La Hotel, Jakarta, his home away from home, chef Paolo couldn’t hide his smile when asked how the city has been treating him so far. “I like it here; people eat everything—they aren’t afraid to try something new and that’s why I can create new menus with confidence,” he gushes excitedly. “This menu for DA MAN, it is all me: It’s something that you will find in South Italy, although I added a little bit of extra details. But don’t be fooled by the presentation,” he giggles. “Trust me, it’s not hard to make any of these.”
Cod Baccalà with Saffron Potatoes Cream and Shimeji Mushrooms
Codfish is a very common staple in South Italy. This particular dish is normally served during lunches, and you can play
around with the recipe, perhaps omitting the duck breast slices when necessary. Also, you can alternatively use your hands to shape the codfish and potato mixture.
• 140gr black codfish
• 1gr fresh thyme
• 5gr chopped fresh garlic
• 1 dry bay leaf
• 40gr boiled mashed potatoes
• 1 potato (for the cream)
• 5gr chopped parsley
• 10gr grated Parmesan or Grana Padano cheese
• 1 pinch Italian or Spanish saffron
• 100ml full-cream milk
• 1 whole fresh egg
• 50gr breadcrumbs
• 50 all-purpose flour
• 1oz Shimeji mushrooms, chopped
• 2 slices duck breast
Remove the skin from the cod fillets, and cut into small cubes. Bring the milk to a boil and add in the herbs and the chopped garlic and salt. Cook the cod in the milk for five minutes. Strain the cod and mix with mashed potatoes. Add the chopped parsley and the Parmesan cheese. Let it cool down, then arrange the mashed potatoes into a round shape using two spoons. Cover the cod fillets with flour and beaten eggs and breadcrumbs before frying them.
Make the saffron potatoes cream by first peeling the potatoes and cooking them in boiling water. Blend the potatoes with the rest of the water, the saffron and the Parmesan cheese. Put it on the side.
Heat up a pan, add olive oil and garlic, then pan-sear the Shimeji mushrooms. Add the chopped thyme. Move to the duck breast preparation by pan-searing it for two minutes on each side. Let it cool down, and slice the duck with a thin, sharp knife.
For plating, spread the saffron potatoes at the center of the plate. Put the codfish and top with the duck breast slices. Garnish with the Shimeji mushrooms.
Cozze Spaghetti, Mussels, Parsley Cream and Aromatic Breadcrumbs
In its most literal translation, “al dente” means firm. Naturally, Chef Paolo reminds us not to overcook the spaghetti. Feel free to swap mussels with clams or even calamari, as long as it’s fresh. Désirée potatoes is chosen as it really suits mussels, but this can be substituted with any kind. “You can add a little chili, just enough to tingle the palate,” advises the chef.
• 100gr dry spaghetti (Rustichella d’Abruzzo or Barilla)
• 200gr mussels
• 50gr Désirée potatoes, diced
• 5gr chopped fennel
• 100gr cherry tomatoes
• 10gr chopped onion
• 100gr flat-leafed parsley
• 5gr chopped parsley
• 5gr chopped basil
• 50ml chicken stock
• 1gr fresh basil leaf
• 10gr breadcrumbs
• 5gr pine nuts
• 5gr almond flakes
• 5gr Parmesan cheese
First, cook the spaghetti in salted boiling water for approximately 10 minutes. Next up, prepare the sauce by boiling the chopped fennel, chopped onion, diced potatoes and cherry tomatoes for two minutes. Add the spaghetti into the mix and continue cooking for one more minute. Finish up by adding the chopped basil and chopped parsley.
Make the parsley sauce by blanching the parsley in boiling water. Quickly chill the parsley in ice water and then squeeze the leaves to remove most of the water. Blend it with cold chicken stock, then add salt and pepper to taste.
Next comes the aromatic breadcrumbs. The first step for this part is toasting the pine nuts together with the almond and breadcrumbs in a pan or oven for a few minutes. Then, blend all of the ingredients together with a pinch of Parmesan cheese.
For plating, spread the parsley cream on the plate. Then, add the spaghetti and top it with the aromatic breadcrumbs.
Tagliata Di Manzo Beef Strip Loin with Rocket Cream and Caramelized Baby Vegetables
Beef strip loin is the most common choice for Italian Tagliata, which literally means “cut.” While the recipe uses rocket (or arugula) cream, you can otherwise substitute it with (dry) red wine sauce if rocket leaves are unavailable. The level of “doneness” is normally medium-rare, to allow easy steak cutting.
the beef strip loin:
• 180gr beef strip loin
• 5gr fresh thyme
• 1 fresh garlic
• 2gr bay leaf
• 2gr butter
• 10ml olive oil
the rocket cream:
• 100gr imported rocket leaf/arugula (Australian)
• 50ml extra virgin olive oil
• 5gr pine nuts
• 5gr almond
• 10gr Parmesan cheese
• Salt & pepper
the baby vegetables:
• 50gr baby fennel
• 50gr baby beetroot
• 20gr baby carrots
• 200ml chicken stock
• 10gr fresh thyme
• 10gr bay leaf
Pre-heat a non-stick pan, and add olive oil. Pan-sear the beef for two minutes on each side and add butter. Bake in an oven at 220 degrees for five minutes. Ideally, the beef is served medium when it’s 58 degrees at the center.
To make the rocket cream, blanch the rocket leaves in salted boiling water for two minutes. Cool down in ice water to keep the green color. Blend with the rest of the ingredients. In a separate pot, cook all the ingredients of the baby vegetables with the chicken stock, but only briefly to retain their crispy texture.
For plating, spread the rocket cream across the plate. Add the beef slices, and finally place the caramelized baby vegetables on top.
Cioccolato e Caramello Crispy Chocolate with Caramel mousse and Coffee Crumble
This menu encourages the use of cocoa powder so that the cannolo (the “tube”) can be shaped with ease. Grinding a 70-percent dark chocolate bar is possible, but it may be more difficult to create a perfect cannolo.
• 50gr soft butter
• 50gr white sugar
• 50gr egg white
• 50gr flour
• 10gr cocoa powder
the caramel mousse:
• 200ml double cream
• 10ml full-cream milk
• 200gr Valencia oranges
• 20gr white sugar
• 1 egg yolk
• 4gr gelatin leaf
the coffee crumble:
• 50gr soft butter
• 50gr all-purpose flour
• 50gr almond flour
• 20gr coffee powder
• 5gr raspberry
• 5gr oranges, diced
To make the cannolo, blend all the ingredients until smooth. Spread on two sheets of baking paper, creating a 1mm thick layer on each sheet. Bake it at 200 degrees for three minutes. Take it out of the oven, let it cool off a bit, then use a round mold to shape the tube.
Prepare the caramel mousse by boiling the cream, milk and orange skin together. Heat the sugar until it’s caramelized, then add the hot cream and mix well.
For the coffee crumble, mix all the ingredients and cool it in the fridge. Cut into small pieces and bake at 140 degrees
for five minutes. Let the coffee crumble rest for a while. Add the yolk to the coffee crumble and reheat it again until 82 degrees to pasteurize the eggs. Add the gelatin leaf and keep in the fridge for one hour until the mixture thickens.
For plating, fill the cannolo with the caramel mouse and then the coffee crumble. Garnish the plate with mixed berries and diced oranges.