Dinner Delight—Naperville’s Top Chefs Share Their Top Recipes For a Surf ‘n Turf Dinner Party

July 2014 View more

Photography by: Robyn Sheldon

Six of Naperville’s best chefs share their favorite recipes for the perfect surf ‘n turf summer dinner. From a mouth-watering appetizer and zesty side salad, to a sizzlin’ seafood and steak combo and delightful dessert, these chefs are cooking up a summer feast.

Wet Your Appetite

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Chef Filemon Ochoa, Meson Sabika

“I like this dish, because it is a hearty balance of spinach and shrimp with a little kick. Perfect for a dinner party appetizer.” — Chef Filemon Ochoa, Meson Sabika

Gambas con Espinacas
Sautéed tiger shrimp atop spinach with
white wine honey pepper sauce:
Marinade Ingredients and Preparation:
• 5 Tiger shrimp (clean and de•veined), 16 ounces of shrimp for two servings
• Half of a lemon, juiced
• Pinch of paprika
• Pinch of minced, fresh ginger
• Pinch of salt and pepper
• 1 teaspoon of honey
* Marinate clean tiger shrimp with lemon juice, paprika, honey, ginger, salt and pepper for 24 hours.

• 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
• 1 ounce minced shallots
• 1 ounce olive oil
• 1 tablespoon of white wine
• 3 teaspoons of paprika
• Salt and pepper

Sautee the baby spinach and the shrimp with olive oil, shallots, garlic, white wine, salt and pepper separately, and place the shrimp on top of the spinach at the time of serving.

Satisfying Side Salad

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Chef Margaro Ochoa, Francesca’s Restaurants

“A light and refreshing summer corn salad, with roasted corn on the cob and vine-ripened tomatoes. It’s the perfect pairing for any summer dinner party, especially a steak and seafood combination.” — Chef Massimo Salatino, Francesca’s Restaurants

Roasted Sweet Corn Panzanella Salad
Roasted corn salad with shaved red onion, fresh tomato, garlic croutons, and parmigiano
• 3/4 cup roasted corn
• 3/4 cup vine ripened tomato (sliced)
• 3/4 cup garlic croutons
• 1/4 cup red onion (sliced)
• 2 pieces of fresh basil (sliced)
• 2 tablespoons EVOO
• Salt and pepper as needed
• 1 ounce grated Grana Padano cheese
• 1 basil leaf

Roasted Corn Preparation:
1. Shuck and de-silk corn ears.
2. Rinse with cool water.
3. Place on a sheet tray.
4. Lightly coat with vegetable oil.
5. Roast in oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until corn begins to brown. Don’t overcook or dry out.
6. Remove corn and let cool.
7. Using a knife, remove corn from cob.
8. Gently break up the lumps of corn.

Final Preparation:
1. Mix corn (see recipe above), tomato, onion, basil, EVOO, and salt and pepper gently in a mixing bowl.
2. Add croutons and mix again.
3. Plate and garnish with fresh basil leaf.

The Main Course – Surf ‘n Turf

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Chef Eddie Sweeney, Catch 35

“Recently this has become my favorite recipe. I love it because it has both the surf and turf elements that will work great for your dinner. It also features one of my new favorite ingredients, bottarga, which is the roe sack of a grey mullet that has been salt cured and dried. It’s like the bacon of the sea. Of course I pair it with some amazing Nueske’s applewood smoke bacon and a Catch 35 signature fish, Chilean Sea bass.” — Chef Eddie Sweeney, Catch 35

Crispy Chilean Sea Bass with Sweet Pea
Risotto, Bacon Vinaigrette and Bottarga
Bacon Vinaigrette and Croutons

•2 slices thick cut applewood smoked bacon (cut into small strips)
•3 tablespoons grape seed oil
•1 tablespoons shallots (finely minced)
•1/2 cup champagne vinegar
•1/4 cup sherry vinegar
•Juice from one lemon
•1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
•1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
•1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
•1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
•1/2 tablespoon honey
•1 cup extra virgin olive oil
•2 tablespoon Italian flat leaf parsley(chopped)
•5 scallions (green onions) finely chopped
•1 1/2 cups multigrain bread diced ¼ inch thick

In a small saucepan, cook bacon and grape seed oil on low heat until bacon is semi-crispy. Drizzle bacon fat and oil over the diced multigrain bread and bake in a 350 degree oven for seven to eight minutes (reserve for plating).
Meanwhile, add the shallots and both vinegars to the bacon left in the pan and reduce by one quarter. Put into a bowl. Whisk in lemon juice, zest, mustard, black pepper, salt, and honey. Slowly drizzle the olive oil in, while whisking, until all oil is incorporated into the vinaigrette. Finish by whisking in parsley and scallions. This can be held at room temperature for up to one hour before serving.

Risotto Ingredients:
• 5 cups of peas
• 8 cups water
• 1/4 cup Kosher salt
• 29 ounces chicken stock
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 1/2 cup white onion
• Pinch of Kosher salt
• 2 cloves garlic (smashed with side of knife)
• 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
• 5 ounces white wine
• 1/4 cup heavy cream
• 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Bring water and Kosher salt to boil in a sauce pan. Add peas to the water and blanch for 1½ minutes. Drain the water, reserving 3/4 cup of the cooking liquid. Cool peas under cold running water. Puree half of the cooled peas in a food processor and strain the puree. Mix the puree and whole peas together and reserve to finish the risotto.

In the same pot, bring the chicken stock to a slow simmer.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat the onions and oil until they are translucent. Add the rice and cook for one minute to slightly toast the rice. Add the garlic, cook for 30 seconds. Add the wine and cook until rice absorbs it, constantly stirring. Add the chicken stock, ladle by ladle, again constantly stirring until incorporated into the rice. When all of the stock is incorporated, add the heavy cream and reserved peas with puree mixture. Once mixed, fold in the cheese and it is ready to eat. The rice should have a slight toothy feel, but rich and creamy at the same time.

Fish and plating Ingredients:
• 4 filets of Chilean Sea bass (7 ounces each)
• Salt and pepper (to taste)
• 2 cups all purpose flour
• 1 egg
• 1/2 cup water
• 1 1/2 cups Panko ( Japanese bread crumbs)
• 4 tablespoons grape seed oil
• 4 super fresh egg yolks
• 3 cups baby arugula
• 1/2 cup red onions (shaved very thin)
• Croutons from earlier recipe
• Salt and pepper
• 1 ounce bottarga (preserved mullet roe)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat a sauté pan on medium high heat. Season the sea bass with salt and pepper on both sides. Dip the filets into the flour only on one side. Dip them in egg on the same side. Then, dip filets in the Panko on that same side. Reserve filets on a sheet tray or plate. Add the oil to the hot pan. Fry the filets, two at a time, Panko side down first for a minute or two until golden brown. Flip them over and give them another minute on the other side. Transfer filets to a sheet tray. Repeat with remaining filets. Place the sheet tray in the oven until they are cooked – when they can flake easily, or when the internal temperature reaches 130 degrees, about three to five minutes depending upon the thickness of the filet.

Spoon risotto on each plate in a long oval shape. On one side, place the sea bass. On the other side, make an indentation for an egg yolk and place the raw egg yolk. Put a small pinch of Kosher salt on the yolk. In a small bowl, toss together arugula, red onions, and croutons. Dress the salad with a little vinaigrette and a pinch of salt and pepper. Place some salad over the egg yolk and fish. Drizzle a little more vinaigrette around the plate. Finally, grate a small amount of the bottarga over your dishes. Enjoy with three of your friends.

Surf n’ Turf Combination

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Chef Cein Cid, Sullivan’s Steakhouse

“Combining both seafood (lobster) with meat (filet mignon) in this recipe is a perfect combination with a classic taste served as one dish.” — Chef Cein Cid, Sullivan’s Steakhouse

Filet and Lobster
• 2 lbs Live Maine Lobster
• Any size Filet Mignon
• 1 ounce garlic butter
• 2 tablespoons salt
• 1/2 lemon wedge for garnish

Bring two gallons of water to a boil and add salt. Submerge the lobster into water and bring back to a boil. Cook for six minutes. Remove lobster and place into ice bath to stop cooking process. Drain water from ice bath and place lobster belly down on cutting board. Carefully split the lobster with a Chef’s knife from tail to head. Remove innards from tail and body by rinsing under cold water. Remove the meat from the arms (claws) and place in body cavity of lobster. Brush 1/2 ounce of garlic butter over the tail and head of each split lobster then wrap in aluminum foil. Season the filet with salt and pepper and broil to desired temperature. Place prepared wrapped lobster in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. Once the steak and lobster are ready, arrange on a warm plate, add a ramekin of butter and lemon wedge to complete your dish.

Finishing Touch

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Pastry Chef Anne Hjelmberg and Chef George Engel, The CityGate Grille

“Fresh berries with a hint of coconut and almond mixed with a rich brioche, served with house-made almond-caramel sauce, whipped cream, and toasted coconut. This dessert is a real comfort food, further boosted by bright, super-fresh flavors. A great way to finish off a meal.” — Pastry Chef Anne Hjelmberg and Chef George Engel, CityGate Grille

Raspberry Coconut Bread Pudding
• 1-14 ounce can of coconut milk
• 5 thick slice bread, white or brioche
• 6 ounces of sugar
• 1 pint of raspberry
• 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
• 2 ounces slice almonds
• 2 whole large eggs
• 2 ounces cream

1. Cut bread into cubes and toast them in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
2. Heat coconut milk, cream, 5 ounces of sugar, and vanilla in a sauce pan until gently boiling.
3. Beat the eggs in medium bowl, gradually add hot cream mix well whisking
4. Add toasted bread to egg mixture.
5. Allow to soak until all the liquid has been absorbed.
6. Gently fold in raspberry and almonds.
7. Pour into a greased 8×8 pan and top with the remaining sugar.
8. Bake at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes.
9. Serve hot or cold.