New York, NY (February 20, 2005) - StarChefs.com, the insider’s magazine for wine and food, is pleased to announce Akhtar Nawab, of CraftBar, New York as the next featured chef for QuickMeals™ - fast and easy healthy recipes from the country's hottest chefs. QuickMeals use a minimal number of ingredients and require minimal preparation time. Every week, StarChefs features 5 QuickMeal recipes from a different celebrity chef with serving suggestions and wine pairings, plus a shopping list and the chef's ideal pantry.
Akhtar Nawab’s Menu for the Week of February 20, 2005:
Monday: Pressed Chicken Breast, Roncal and Tomato Sandwich
Tuesday: Taliatelle with Pancetta, Cannellini Beans and Picholine Olives
Wednesday: Broiled Quail with Brussels Sprouts
Thursday: Spaghetti with Rock Shrimp and Roasted Tomatoes
Friday: Grilled Black Sea Bass with Jerusalem Artichokes, Chestnuts and Leeks (Recipe Below)
Akhtar Nawab is the executive chef of New York City’s CraftBar, the casual annex next door to Chef Tom Colicchio’s flagship restaurant, Craft. This young chef trained at The California Culinary Academy and counts among his early mentors Chef Loretta Keller of San Francisco’s Bizou. Nawab completed apprenticeships at Bay-area restaurants Jardinière and La Folie before moving to New York City. He joined Colicchio’s kitchen at Gramercy Tavern and four years later moved with Colicchio to Craft as a sous chef when the restaurant opened its doors in 2001. Now at the helm of CraftBar, Nawab interprets Colicchio’s vision of American cuisine with Mediterranean influences.
A subscription to QuickMeals includes new seasonal recipes each week by top chefs like Mario Batali, Bobby Flay, and Daniel Boulud. A QuickMeals subscription is only $54.99 for 12 months with unlimited access to chef recipes, or $9.99 for a super-saver 3-month trial subscription. Upcoming chefs who will be featured on QuickMeals include Akhtar Nawab of CraftBar in New York City, and Matthew Murphy of French Quarter Bar in New Orleans. For more information or to subscribe to QuickMeals, go to www.starchefs.com/quickmeals.
Recipe for Grilled Black Sea Bass with Jerusalem Artichokes, Chestnuts and Leeks (Recipe Below)
Chef Akhtar Nawab of CraftBar—New York, NY
Adapted by StarChefs
Yield: 4 servings
4 medium leeks, white and tender light green parts only, trimmed and sliced in 1/2-inch rounds
5 Tablespoons butter, divided
9 ounces whole, peeled, cooked chestnuts, about 2 cups, available from specialty food stores and some supermarkets
1 pound Jerusalem artichokes, scrubbed well
4 (8-ounce) black sea bass fillets, or other fish with moderately firm texture such as striped bass
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chicken stock, or canned reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked from the stems
Rinse the leeks in cold water to remove any grit and sand. Drain. Blanch the leeks in salted boiling water until just tender, about 4 to 6 minutes. Drain and immerse in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain well and reserve.
Melt 2 Tablespoons butter in a heavy, medium skillet over moderately high heat. Add chestnuts and cook, tossing frequently, until they are caramelized, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and reserve.
Slice Jerusalem artichokes in 1/4-inch thick rounds. Heat 2 Tablespoons butter in a large skillet and sauté rounds over moderately high heat, tossing frequently, until caramelized and just cooked through, about 6 minutes. Season with salt and reserve.
Preheat a grill or broiler. Season the black sea bass with salt and pepper and drizzle generously with olive oil. Place fillets gently on a hot grill, skin side down first (or under the broiler, skin-side up). As the fish contracts, gently press down on the fish so that it flattens out. Cook until skin side is golden brown, then turn over and finish cooking on the flesh side (about 6 to 8 minutes total cooking time for 1-inch thick fillets).
Meanwhile, reheat the chestnuts and leeks in the chicken stock in a medium saucepan. Swirl in 1 Tablespoon of butter to enrich the sauce, if desired. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, divide the leeks and chestnuts among 4 heated plates. Top each with a black sea bass fillet. Scatter the Jerusalem artichoke rounds over each plate and garnish with a sprinkle of thyme leaves.
Round Out the Meal: With rice pilaf and a green salad.
Kid Friendly: Serve leek and chestnut garnish on the side.
Wine Pairing: A nutty or spicy white wine such as the Laimer Grüner Veltliner from Austria.
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