On this episode of Plateworthy, chef Nyesha Arrington visits two-Michelin-starred Jean-Georges restaurant in NYC. She joins chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and his executive chef Noah Poses as they develop a new menu item, a swordfish Milanese.
Swordfish has a tendency to become dry if cooked too much, but Poses had the idea to treat it like a veal Milanese. As Vongerichten points out, the meat is very similar to tuna, because it’s a fatty fish, but it looks like pork or veal: “Let’s call it the veal of the ocean,” he says.
They begin by cutting thin slices of swordfish, so as not to make it too thick once the breading is added. The chefs then move on to shallow-frying the breaded swordfish in a pan with grapeseed oil, and once it’s a nice golden-brown color, it’s immediately seasoned with salt, while the oil is hot. This allows the salt to absorb into the fish.
But what takes the breaded swordfish to the next level is Vongerichten’s signature chili ferment sauce, made with jalapeños, orange zest, and salt. Poses points out that while this sauce is not traditional for a Milanese, it gives the fish a nice touch of heat. The jalapeños allow the chefs to control the heat how they want, and the orange zest is added to taste: Vongerichten notes he learned the technique of using zest for flavor while in Japan.
To make the sauce, the chefs combine white wine and brown butter into a heated pan, cooking until it has the color of black coffee. They then add a combination of rosemary, thyme, bay leaf, and parsley for seasoning. The chili ferment is added to this along with chopped parsley, onion, and capers to complete the sauce that will accompany the swordfish.
“We want the first bite to be as exciting as the last bite,” Vongerichten says.