Chef Noel Willhite
Chef Noel Willhite
Spring Run at The Brooks
9501 Spring Run Boulevard
Bonita Springs, Florida 34135
Butter-Poached Sea Bass, Charred Eggplant Emulsion, Split Pea Sausage, and Lemon-Tomato Oil
+ Click image to enlarge

Butter-Poached Sea Bass, Charred Eggplant Emulsion, Split Pea Sausage, and Lemon-Tomato Oil
Chef Noel Willhite of Spring Run at The Brooks – Bonita Springs, FL
Adapted by
October 2010


Lemon-Tomato Oil: 
12 ounces extra virgin olive oil
Peel of 1 lemon
4 ounces tomato paste
2 ounces tomato power

Split Pea Sausage:
¾ cup smoked bacon lardons
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground cayenne
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups dried split peas
2½ cups chicken stock
½ cup heavy cream
2 eggs

Charred Eggplant Emulsion:
2 medium purple eggplants
1 jalapeño
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small thumb ginger, chopped
Vegetable oil
1 cup chicken stock
12 ounces cold butter
1 tablespoon salt

Butter-Poached Sea Bass:
Sea bass fillet(s), boned, cleaned and portioned

For the Lemon-Tomato Oil:
Combine all of the ingredients in a sauce pot and heat up to 170°F. Set aside to steep and cool to room temperature. Discard the lemon peel and  transfer the mixture to a Vita-Prep. Blend on high for 1 minute. Strain through a fine chinois lined with cheesecloth.

For the Split Pea Sausage:
In a hot saucepan, render the bacon half way, then add the onion and garlic and sweat.  Add the spices, salt, peas, and stock and simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool (the peas will be undercooked). When slightly cooled, transfer this mixture to the Vita-Prep. Blend on high, slowly adding the cream and eggs until a smooth "forcemeat" has formed.  (Half the pea mixture can be set aside and folded in to create a more rustic sausage.) Once the mixture is cool, wrap it in plastic to the desired size and vacuum-seal. Poach in a water bath until cooked through.

For the Charred Eggplant Emulsion:
Lightly puncture the entire surfaces of the eggplants with a fork. Char on a grill or over a burner on all sides until the flesh is tender and the skin is dark; char the jalapeño the same way. Wrap both in plastic and set aside to cool. When they’re cool, remove the pulp from the eggplants and the flesh of the jalapeño into separate bowls. Discard the seeds and skin. In a sauce pot, sweat the garlic and ginger in a little vegetable oil. Add the eggplant and jalapeño mixture along with the chicken stock and simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer this to the Vita-Prep and blend on medium, adding the cold butter little by little until an emulsion is formed. Season with the salt. Bring the mixture to high speed to puree very well.

For the Butter-Poached Sea Bass:
Put each portion of sea bass into a vacuum-seal bag, along with a little salt and 4 ounces of butter. Seal and sous vide in a 125°F water bath for 15 minutes. Hold at temperature until ready to serve.