Michelin-starred chef Alfredo Russo returned to Rossini's restaurant at the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit last month to introduce his "new Italian-style cuisine" and a new menu combining tradition and innovation.
Russo worked with house chef Stefano Merlo to innovate with the menu and oversee the restaurant's modern Italian culinary evolution.
A native of Turin, Russo began cooking at 13. In the late 1990s, he opened his own restaurant, Il Dolce Stil Novo, and three years later won a Michelin star and membership of the Jeunes Restaurateurs d'Europe Association, an association of young restaurateurs. He was named best young chef of 2004, and other honours have included organising a gala dinner for the visiting International Olympic Committee in Turin, and serving his distinctive Piedmont cuisine to UN ambassadors and delegates.
Russo shared with Brunch some of his signature recipes for dishes on the menu at Rossini's.
Cime di rapa is a European vegetable whose name in English is broccoli raab or broccoli rabe, he points out. Each Italian region has its own name for the leafy greens _ in Campania Napoli they're friarielli, in Toscana rapini. In Rome, they're broccoletti and in Puglia, cime di rapa. You can also innovate with alternate green vegetables such as spring greens or Swiss chard.
CIME DI RAPA, ITALIAN SAUSAGE AND MOZZARELLA CHEESE
Wash the greens in plenty of cold water and a fistful of baking soda to remove any field dust, soil, chemicals and unwanted pesticides. Rinse well several times and separate the florets from the leaves and tender stalks.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and blanch the cime di rapa (blanch the leaves and florets separately).
In a large frying pan, heat some extra virgin olive oil, add the garlic, dried chilli and anchovy, and stir to mix well. Add the cime di rapa leaves and sautee for a few minutes until they begin to wilt. Pour the vegetables in a blender, mix and work to obtain a smooth and quite thick cream, adjusting seasoning to taste.
Cut the sausage in half and remove the skin. Pan fry on a medium heat in a non-stick pan until the sausage becomes golden brown and crispy.
On a serving plate pour a couple of spoonfuls of cime di rapa cream, top with crispy sausage, a spoon of diced mozzarella cheese, four cime di rapa flowers, parmesan cheese and three croutons.
SALMON WITH JERUSALEM ARTICHOKES
Remove the skin of the salmon with a sharp knife and cut into 100g steaks.
Wash and peel the Jerusalem artichokes and split into three equal parts. With the first part slice the artichoke thinly and deep-fry to obtain crispy chips.
Slice the second part to a small dice and boil for around 10 minutes or until tender.
Boil the third part, and when tender blend to a soft cream.
In a large frying pan melt a knob of butter, add the anchovies and cook till they dissolve. Add four spoons of diced Jerusalem artichoke and two spoons of cream. Add the cream and cook on a low heat for 10 minutes.
If the sauce is too thick, add some vegetable stock.
Steam the salmon for six minutes and rest on a warm surface for five more minutes; the centre of the fillet must be pink.
Place the salmon in the centre of a hot serving plate, cover with a couple of spoons of Jerusalem artichoke sauce, top with Jerusalem artichoke chips, shiso cress and some fresh grated horseradish.
TORTELLI WITH LENTILS AND COTECHINO
Combine the flour and egg yolks and mix well to obtain a smooth dough, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Rinse lentils very well in cold water and drain. Boil in salted water till soft, but do not overcook, drain very well.
Cut cotechino into small cubes, steam for 30 minutes, which should remove all the fat from the sausage.
For the filling, mix 200g of steamed cotechino, 200g of dry lentils and the two egg yolks. Mix well to obtain a smooth paste.
Roll the dough in a thin layer; fill a piping bag with the cotechino mix.
Cut a strip of dough 6cm wide, place a small nut of cotechino mix in the centre, fold the dough and cut each peace giving the shape of plin ravioli.
For the sauce, divide the remaining lentils into three equal parts, the first we roast in the oven at 100C for three hours until they become dry and crunchy, the second we blend with extra virgin olive oil to obtain a smooth puree and the last part we will use to fry the ravioli.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop in the plin ravioli and cook for three minutes or until they rise to the top; drain and gently place in a pan with extra virgin olive oil and lentils, stir on a low heat for one minute and add some vegetable stock if required, season to taste.
Place three teaspoons of lentil puree on a hot plate, top with ravioli, fried lentils and finish with crunchy lentils.
About the author
- Writer: Ezra Kyrill Erker