Set the mood with an aphrodisiac dinner

February 8, 2008 5:11:38 PM PST
Make a dinner for two to help set the mood with recipes from the Farallon menu. Here with us today is the Chef de Cuisine from Farrallon Restaurant, Ryan Simas.

Farallon Restaurant
450 Post St
San Francisco, CA 94102

Dungeness Crab with Cara Cara Vinaigrette
With Ryan Simas, from Farallon Restaurant
Serves 2

    8 oz. Dungeness crab meat
    4 Tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
    1 bunch Chives minced
    1 ea. Avocado diced
    2 ea. Cara Cara oranges
    1 Tbsp. Champagne
    1 tsp. Champagne vinegar
    2 Cup Baby Arugula
    1 ea. Watermelon radish sliced thin

    For the vinaigrette:
    With a micro plane, zest two Cara Cara and place in a small mixing bowl. Remove the skin and cut out the segments of one. Give these a rough chop and place into the bowl. Cut the other Cara in half and squeeze the juice into the bowl (reserve a little juice for the avocado to keep it from oxidizing). Now whisk in the champagne, champagne vinegar, and 3T olive oil. Season the vinaigrette with salt.

    For the crab salad:
    Run your fingers through the crab making sure the possible shells have been removed. In a mixing bowl, add the minced chives and remaining olive oil to the crab. Season to taste with the salt. Separately, mix the diced avocado with the leftover Cara Cara juice and salt.

    To assemble this salad in the restaurant I would first lightly season the watermelon radish with salt and a touch of olive oil. After placing these in a circle on the plate, I would make a small pile of arugula in the center, lightly dressed in the vinaigrette. I would then place the crab in mold followed by the diced avocado and turn this out on top of the arugula. Finally a little drizzle of the vinaigrette would finish the plate.

Beausoleil Oyster with American Paddlefish Caviar
Serves 2

    4 ea. Beausoleil oysters
    1 oz. Caviar
    1 ea. oyster shucker

    For the oyster:
    Shuck it, top it, swallow it.

Whole Roasted New Zealand Tai Snapper
From Ryan Simas,Farallon Restaurant
Serves 2

    1 ea. (1.5 lb) Tai Snapper
    2 Tbsp. Canola or grapeseed oil
    ½ lb Broccoli rabe
    1 ea. Garlic clove minced
    1 pinch Chili flakes
    4 Cup + 2 Tbsp. Water
    1 Cup Beluga lentils
    ½ White onion minced
    1 Carrot pealed
    1 Celery stalk
    1 Tbsp. Sherry vinegar
    1 bunch Thyme chopped
    2 Tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
    1 Cup Pinot Noir
    ½ Cup Sugar
    1 Cup Pancetta diced and roasted
    Salt & Pepper

    For the lentils:
    In a heavy bottom pot slowly sweat the diced onions in oil. When they become transparent, add the lentils and lightly toast. After 2 or three minutes cover the lentils with 4 cups water and add the carrot and celery. Simmer for about 30 minutes until cooked. Finish with the chopped thyme, sherry vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. You can now remove and discard the carrot and celery.

    For the Gastrique:
    Whisk together the sugar and wine. Reduce slowly in a heavy bottom pan until the wine mixture coats a spoon.

    For the dish:
    Season the fish inside and out. Place into a hot pan with canola oil. Drop the flame down to medium for about 30 seconds then place into a preheated 350 oven. After 10 minutes, flip the fish and return the pan to the oven for another 10 minutes. While the fish is cooking, sauté the broccoli rabe, garlic, and chili flakes together. If the stalks ore thick add the remaining 2 T water to help steam them. Season with salt and pepper. Warm up the lentils with the roasted pancetta, remove from the liquid with a slotted spoon and place on a plate. Rest the branzino on top. Spoon the Gastrique around the plate and garnish with the sautéed rabe.

About Ryan Simas, Chef de Cuisine at the Farallon Restaurant:
As chef de cuisine, Ryan Simas oversees the development and execution of the Farallon menu, which changes daily based on the freshest and best quality ingredients available.

Ryan traces his approach to cooking to his Portuguese-American ancestry, a culture in which great food is considered a birthright as well as a tradition, nurtured and refined by hands-on experience working with some of the best chefs in the industry in a variety of prestigious restaurant kitchens.

In 2002, Ryan moved north to San Francisco and joined Farallon as a sous chef. Working with founding chef and co-owner Mark Franz and executive chef Parke Ulrich, Ryan's passion soon became focused on the restaurant's award-winning seafood preparations.

In his current role as chef de cuisine, Ryan works with Franz to create the daily menu, showcasing the finest and freshest seafood available through unique and classic creations that utilize the best of the Bay Area's seasonally fresh ingredients.