The Washington Times - September 10, 2008, 12:11AM

 

by Executive Chef Aaron Chavarria, The Sarasota Hyatt, Sarasota, Florida

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With the opening of the new Currents restaurant at Hyatt Regency Sarasota, Executive Chef Aaron Chavarria had the opportunity to create a tantalizing menu fusing the colorful flavors of Florida and the Caribbean.


Chef Aaron Chavarria, Currents, The Sarasota Hyatt

As a native of Nicaragua, Chef’s background coupled with years of training and experience in Europe and the Florida Keys along with a culturally diverse kitchen melded together to create the exotic “Floribbean” dishes at the new Sarasota hot spot. 

The Latin-and Caribbean-inspired Beef Tostada, Mojo Chicken and Brazilian Salad incorporate tropical fruits, vegetables and spices and are the perfect dishes for a flavorful dining experience. 

BEEF TOSTADA

3 oz Beef Tenderloin

1 T Cabrales blue cheese

1 tsp roasted poblano sauce

1 tsp balsamic glaze

1/2 cup chifonade of iceberg Lettuce

1 corn tortilla

3 thin slices of yellow onion

1/2 c all purpose flour

Salt and pepper to taste

Pinch of each of the following:  thyme, rosemary, parsley

1/2 tsp minced garlic

1/2  cup vegetable oil

1 T olive oil

lemon juice

PREPARATION


Currents Beef Tostado

Beef Tenderloin:  Marinate the beef tenderloin for 1 hour in the herb mix, garlic and olive oil.  Sear the beef tenderloin to medium rare and let rest to keep the natural juices (set aside).  

Corn Tortilla:  Fry the corn tortilla in vegetable oil until golden brown (set aside). Crispy Onions: Take the onion and mix well with flour with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Shake gently and slowly drop in the hot oil (same used for tortilla), then take it out and put on a dry clean paper towel to absorb the oil.  

Roasted Poblano Sauce: Rub one poblano pepper with olive oil and put on the grill to char.  Once charred, place the pepper in a bowl to continue the cooking process, which will help to easily take off the skin.  Then take pepper and put in blender with salt, pepper and a few drops of lemon juice and blend to a smooth consistency.

PRESENTATION

Place the iceberg lettuce in the center of the plate topped with the fried corn tortilla.  Slice the beef tenderloin and place on the tortilla followed by the cheese, poblano sauce and then drizzle with the balsamic glaze. 

 

MOJO CHICKEN


Currents Mojo Chicken

1/2 lb sliced chicken breast

1/2 cup Mojo marinade

4 grape tomatoes

1/2 cob of grilled corn

1/2 avocado

2 T black bean coulis

1 diced poblano pepper

1 tsp fresh cilantro

Crème Fraiche

1/2 cup julienne of sweet potatoes

1/2 cup olive oil

1 tsp sour orange or key lime juice

1/2 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp parsley

1 tsp minced garlic

1/2 cup black beans

1 T each of diced celery, onions and carrots

1 cup chicken broth

Pinch each of cumin, coriander, chili flakes

1 bay leaf

1 cup all purpose flour

Salt and pepper to taste

PREPARATION

Mojo Criollo:  Combine 1 T olive oil, 1 tsp sour orange or key lime juice, 1/2 tsp minced garlic, 1/2 tsp parsley.  

Chicken:  Marinate chicken breasts in Mojo Criollo for 3 hours.  Then sear in hot pan with olive oil and put in oven at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.  Set aside to rest.  

Sweet corn relish:  Combine grilled corn, grape tomatoes, diced avocado, 1/2 tsp lemon juice, diced pablano pepper, 1 tsp olive oil and 1/2 tsp lemon juice.  

Black Bean Coulis:  Sautee celery, onions and carrots in olive oil.  Add black beans, cumin, coriander, chili flakes and bay leaf to refry the beans.  Then add chicken broth and let simmer for 15 minutes.  Then take out the bay leaf and puree the remaining ingredients to a light and smooth consistency.  

Julienne of Sweet Potatoes:  Dust the sweet potato with flour and drop in 1/2 cup of hot olive oil to cook, then drain.  

Cilantro Crème Fraiche:  Whip crème fraiche until fluffy and add 1 tsp fresh cilantro.

PRESENTATION

Place salsa on left side of plate and lean the sliced chicken on the upper half and the sweet potatoes on the lower half of it.  

Ladle the black bean coulis on the right side of the plate to cover it.  Top the black bean coulis with vertical stripes of crème fraiche and draw a toothpick back and forth to make a wavy design.

BRAZILIAN SALAD

3 oz Mixed greens

3 oz Hearts of palms

1/2 Avocado sliced

2 oz Passionfruit-Mango vinaigrette

1 ea Brazilian nut (shaved with Microplane)

1oz Passionfruit juice

2 oz Mango puree (fresh)

1 oz Dijon Mustard

4 oz Evoo oil

3 oz diced fresh Mango

2 ea Orange wheels with out the skin.

Pinch of garlic and shallots

Salt and pepper to taste

Vinaigrette Procedures:

Mix the passionfruit, mango puree, mustard, garlic and shallots mixed in a blender and slowly incorporate the oil. Add the diced mangos. Salt and pepper to taste. 

Wait for about 35 minutes before serving.