Venezuelan chef Patxi Andres walks us through one of his favourite dishes on the menu at Oranj during his residency.
PATXI ANDRES’S ‘GRILLED SQUID, PLANTAIN BEURRE BLANC, RADICCHIO’
Can you tell the Oranj community why you decided to share this dish?
Well, I love plantain and it’s without a doubt my favourite dish from this menu!
And how did you come up with it?
I wanted to do a plantain sauce for one of my dishes, and I thought, will it work if I emulsify the shit out of it to make a beurre blanc?
I made up a recipe, wrote it down, but it ended up splitting, and then my sous chef suggested using fermented plantain water instead of roasted plantain.
We combined both our recipes and infused the butter with Onoto seeds, also known as Achiote in other parts of Latin America, to add some flavour and a brighter yellowy colour.
The grilled squid and radicchio salad took inspiration from a restaurant I did a stint at in Paris called Mokonuts, which is to me, the best place in the world, with the warmest and most hard working people I know, Moko and Omar.
How does it represent your style of cooking?
It’s my version of the wonderful and delicious food that you have at Mokonuts, with a Latin American touch, and my beloved plantain.
How would you mix it up for a Vegetarian?
It goes amazingly well with some grilled asparagus when they’re in season.
Is there a drink you'd want most with the dish?
Papelón con limón. A traditional Venezuelan soft drink made out of Papelón or Panela (unrefined cane sugar), and diluted with water and lots of fresh lime juice. It’s available in any African/Latin American shop. I also think Putes Feministes would go well.
RECIPE: GRILLED SQUID, PLANTAIN BEURRE BLANC, RADICCHIO
For the Beurre Blanc:
4 Ripe Plantains
10g Onoto Seeds
2 Sliced Shallots
300ml White Wine
150ml White Wine Vinegar
For the Radicchio & Dressing:
Handful Fresh Coriander Leaves
1 tbsp Premium Soy Sauce
Sumac, to taste
Maldon Salt, to taste
How to prepare your squid:
Any good fishmonger will prepare your squid for you if needed. However, here are the full steps if you'd like to try this part at home.
Step 1: Pull out the tentacles from the main body. Cut just below the eye and discard the innards. Discard the beak and then trim the long tentacles until they’re level with the main body.
Step 2: Pinch the two fins together, thread thumb underneath and pull them away from the body, along with the membrane. Discard.
Step 3: Pull out the shell or 'quill,’ and then remove the innards using the back of a knife. Cut the squid open, and scrape any more innards out and discard.
Step 4: Score the squid in a crossed motion.
Preparations for the beurre blanc:
Fermented Plantain Water:
Ideally, do this step 4-7 days before trying out the dish to really get the plantain fermenting.
Step 1: Peel and cut 3 of the ripe plantains.
Step 2: Mix 400g of the cut plantain with 12g salt and 400ml water.
Step 3: Leave the mixture to ferment, ideally vacuum sealed or in a tightly-sealed fermentation jar.
Step 4: Once fermented, strain off the plantain, and keep the liquid for cooking with later.
Step 1: Melt the butter gently in a pan.
Step 2: Add the onoto seeds to the pan and leave to infuse for 20 minutes on a very low heat.
Step 3: Pass through a fine sieve into a container.
Step 4: Allow to cool and place in fridge to harden.
Making the beurre blanc:
Once the butter has set in the fridge, you can start making the base of your beurre blanc.
Step 1: Cook sliced shallots with the white wine vinegar and white wine (here we are using Grillo) on a medium heat until reduced by two thirds.
Step 2: Whilst this reduces, preheat your oven to 170 °C.
Step 3: Make a very small incision lengthwise along a 1 ripe plantain. Wrap in tin foil so it steams in there, and bake for 20 minutes.
Step 4: Blend the shallot mixture and baked plantain in a food processor. Gradually and slowly add the strained plantain water until you have a saucy liquid.
Step 5: Cut up the set onoto butter into cubes.
Step 6: Pour the liquid in a saucepan whilst it’s still hot, and bring to a low-medium heat.
Step 7: Start adding cubes of the onoto butter little by little, whilst whisking constantly to ensure it doesn’t split.
Remember that the butter needs to be cold for it to emulsify.
Cooking the squid & radicchio:
Step 1: Heat up 3 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan to a medium-high temperature.
Step 2: Fry the squid with the scored side down until it turns golden and curls up. Remove squid from pan and place on a chopping board.
Step 3: Drop the radicchio in the same pan for 10 seconds and stir until it starts wilting on the edges.
Step 4: Don’t cook any further, and place in bowl where you’ll assemble your warm salad.
Assembling the plate:
Step 1: Slice your cooked squid a chopping board.
Step 2: In your bowl, mix the radicchio with coriander leaves, 1 tbsp soy sauce, a big squeeze of lemon (about 2 tbsp), 1 tsp Maldon salt and 1tsp sumac. Add more of both, to taste.
Step 3: Serve a small ladle of beurre blanc in the middle of your plate. Assemble upwards from the middle into a peak, over the beurre blanc.
Step 4: Finish with another sprinkle of sumac.
Oranj Wine Pairing Recommendation:
Vins et Vollailes, Les Putes Feministes, 2022
Glou glou meets an explosion of layered tropicality and floral complexity. That may sound contradictory, but such is the skill of this all-women wine collective from Paris, who have given some Alsatian Gewürztraminer 10 days maceration while keeping the wine fresh and accessible. Big energy and flavours in lychee, rose and citrus.