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Filhote with Tucupi and Tapioca

Filhote with Tucupi and Tapioca
Chef Alex Atala of D.O.M. – Sao Paolo, Brazil
Adapted by
Yield:  4 Servings


Fish Stock:
1 bunch leeks, cleaned, sliced lengthwise
1 stalk celery
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
Olive oil
1 clove
2 grams peppercorns
1 bay leaf
2 kilograms fish carcasses, cleaned
250 milliliters white wine

200 grams tapioca

500 milliliters tucupi
2 pimentos de cheiro, crushed
1½ onions, chopped
30 grams cilantro, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed                   
1 jambu branch, chopped
1 chicory root, chopped
1 basil stem, chopped
Salt and pepper

Bacon Flour:
500 grams bacon, chopped
30 milliliters canola oil

4 180-gram filhote fillets
Salt and black pepper
100 grams manioc flour
Canola oil

1 head radicchio, torn
½ head iceberg lettuce, torn
½ head romaine lettuce, torn
50 grams frisee, torn
20 mint leaves, torn
20 chervil leaves, torn
20 parsley leaves, torn
20 chive stems, torn
20 tarragon leaves, torn
Assorted flower petals

For the Fish Stock:
Saute the leeks, celery, onion, and garlic in olive oil in a large stock pot over high heat until translucent. Add the clove, peppercorns, bay leaf, and fish carcasses, then add the white wine and enough water to cover. Simmer on low for 3 hours, then strain and reserve the stock.

For the Tapioca:
Cook the tapioca for 45 minutes in 100 milliliters of the fish stock until transparent, or until a white ball in the center is visible.

For the Tucupi-Tapioca:
Combine 100 milliliters of the tucupi with the pimento de cheiro, half of the onion, and 10 cilantro leaves and reserve. Simmer the remaining onion and cilantro with 80 milliliters of the fish stock, garlic, jambu, chicory, and basil. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes. Add the pimento de cheiro mixture to the remaining tucupi to taste, and then combine with the simmering fish stock mixture. Fold in the tapioca and reserve, keeping warm.

For the Bacon Flour:
Put the bacon in a pan with canola oil and fry on low until crispy. Strain the grease well, and transfer bacon onto paper towel to cool. Once cool, put on a cutting board and crush until the bacon forms something resembling a powder. Cover the crushed bacon with layers of paper towel to absorb as much fat as possible, then replace the saturated paper with clean paper and repeat procedure. Allow the bacon to dry out for approximately 12 hours, then pulverize it in a Vitamix. Spread powdered bacon on paper towel to further dry until service.

For the Filhote:
Preheat oven to 400°F. Season both sides of the filhote with salt and pepper. Combine the bacon flour with manioc flour in a medium bowl. Dredge one side of the fillet in flour to coat, then heat the canola oil in a non-stick pan. Fry the filhote flour side down until a golden crust forms, then turn the fish and fry on the other side for 1 minute. Finish in the oven for 2 minutes.

For the Salad:
In a bowl combine the lettuces, herbs, and assorted flowers.

To Assemble and Serve:
Place a small amount of salad on a plate. Alongside salad, place a layer of the tucupi-tapioca. Place a filhote filet, crust side up on top of tapioca.