by Tripatini staff
So is St. Barthélemy in fact the coolest island in the Caribbean? Hard to say, but it sure does attract a lot of models, movie stars, and music types (hey, isn’t that dude in the Ray-Bans whatsisname?). Many of them stay at the Hotel Le Toiny
, an all-suite/villa hideaway with 15 pastel bungalows equipped with major-league “Do Not Disturb” signs. But even if a star isn’t staying at this luxurious Relais & Chateaux property, you can be sure the entourage will be dining at Le Toiny’s world-class restaurant, Le Gaiac.
“This dish is a wink to the Caribbean,” says current chef Stephane Mazières, “local fish prepared with coconut (local fruit) and spice (curry) from the islands.” No kidding — we think this is such a delicious recipe that even if you have to substitute another grain for spelt or some other pastry for kataïfi, you’ll still be cooking like a culinary star. (Yes, those stars come to St. Barts, too.) What’s more, when you look closely at these steps, you see that they’re surprisingly easy.Sauteed Yellowtail Snapper Filets with Curry, Coconut Broth, and Spelt Risotto
Preparing the Yellowtail Snapper
1 (6-oz/170-gram) yellowtail snapper filet, skin on
¼ teaspoon salt
Pinch of pepper
Pinch of piment d’Espelette
, hot paprika or mildly hot New Mexican pepper
¾ teaspoon parsley
Season the filet with the salt, pepper, the piment d’Espelette, and parsley. Cut the filet into two equal pieces and press the flesh sides of the filets together. Coat the skin side of the filets in the curry powder. Wrap the bundle in plastic wrap. It should resemble a mini blood sausage. Refrigerate for 12 hours, allowing the flesh of the filets to stick together (the salt helps seal the flesh).Spelt Risotto
3 tablespoons spelt
2 teaspoons butter
2 tablespoons sliced shallots
½ cup (120 ml) chicken broth
½ teaspoon finely chopped fresh chives
¼ cup (4 tablespoons) of grated Parmesan cheese
Brown the sliced shallots in one teaspoon of butter over medium heat.
Once translucent, add the spelt and enough chicken broth to almost cover it.
Simmer, stirring frequently, until the spelt has absorbed the broth.
Continue gradually adding the broth, cooking, and stirring, until the spelt is totally cooked.
Stir in a ¼ teaspoon of the chives, the Parmesan cheese, and a small amount of butter (the size of a nut).
Brown the remaining chives in the remaining butter until caramelized.Coconut Broth
½ cup (120 ml) white poultry stock (low sodium)
¼ cup (60 ml) coconut milk
½ teaspoon salt
Pinch of white pepper
½ teaspoon pearl tapioca
Mix the stock and coconut milk together using a hand immersion blender in a small saucepan; bring to a boil.
When the boiling begins, add the pearl tapioca, cover the pan, and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes or until the tapioca is translucent. Season with salt and pepper if needed.Cooking the Fish
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons butter
1 tablespoon kataïfi
Remove the fish from the refrigerator, unwrap, and let stand for 15 minutes. Add the olive oil and butter to a frying pan and sauté the snapper until just cooked through. Set aside. In the same pan, cook the kataïfi until golden brown and crispy.Presentation
½ teaspoon of herbs (chervil, coriander, mustard germ, chives, edible flowers)
Place a 2½-inch (6 cm) ring mold in the center of a shallow soup plate. Spoon the spelt risotto into the mold and then carefully remove the mold. Top with the sautéed snapper and caramelized chives. Arrange the crispy kataïfi over the fish. Sprinkle with the herbs. Pour the coconut broth around the risotto or serve it in a small pot on the side.