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Riesling-Poached Raisins, Candied Kumquats, Fresno Chiles & Shaved Celery

Related Ingredients
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Tasting Notes

Once you start experimenting with Michael Mina's unexpected veal chop garnishes, you may never sprinkle a steak with boring old parsley again.

Here, Michael tosses small, citrusy, bittersweet kumquats with sugar. He then uses their syrupy liquid to sweeten the seedless rings of Fresno Chiles, which are small, moderately hot red chiles. Sweet golden raisins soaked in Riesling become plump with the floral flavors of the wine, while shaved celery adds a fresh, watery crunch. The orange kumquats, red chili rings, golden raisins and green celery bring both beautiful color and bold flavor to the dish.

Tips & Techniques

  1. Plan ahead. Prep all your garnishes in advance. This way, you’re guaranteed a dish with lots of exciting flavors and textures – and you won’t have to worry about pulling a million things together at the last minute.
  2. Kumquat candy. The kumquats’ thin skin makes them easy to macerate using Michael’s simple method. Make a big batch and keep them sealed, stored in your fridge – you can use your leftovers as a topping for ice cream or Greek yogurt, a cocktail garnish or even as a secret weapon to spruce up a dull salad.
  3. Feel the heat. Fresnos can vary in heat, so taste them before you begin. If they’re extremely hot, you can temper the heat by slicing them very thinly and marinating them in the kumquat syrup for a longer period of time.
  4. Can’t find kumquats? Get the same bitter-citrusy element from an orange: Use a vegetable peeler to remove the zest from the orange. You just need the thin, orange outer layer – leave the white rind behind. Cut the rind into thin strips and macerate it in sugar, just like the kumquats. Reserve the peeled orange because you’ll need its juice to make the citrus pan sauce.
  5. Get creative. You can macerate a variety of citrus fruits and then use the sugary syrup to marinate a wide array of hot chiles. Feel free to experiment with different flavor combinations.

Toolbox

These tools are the ones we find especially helpful when making this dish.

  1. Tupperware. Marinate your garnishes right in a Tupperware bowl – or any sealable container – and then cover and store overnight in the fridge.

The list below includes all the equipment you’ll want to make this dish.

Cutting board and knife

Tupperware
Medium bowl
Strainer
Small bowl
Small sauce pan
Spoon or rubber spatula
Mandolin

Spider or slotted spoon

Tweezers


Ingredients

For the Raisins:

  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins
  • 2 tablespoons dry Riesling

 

For the Kumquats:

  • 2 cups kumquats, sliced in rounds (about 4 slices per fruit)*
  • 1 cup sugar

 

*Get the same bitter-citrusy element from an orange: Use a vegetable peeler to remove the zest from the orange. You just need the thin, orange outer layer – leave the white rind behind. Cut the rind into thin strips and macerate it in sugar, just like the kumquats. Reserve the peeled orange because you’ll need its juice to make the pan sauce.

 

For the Fresno Chiles:

  • 4 Fresno Chiles, sliced in rings, seeds removed with kitchen tweezers
  • Liquid from kumquats

 

For the Celery:

  • 2 stalks celery
  • Bowl of acidulated water (water with lemon juice)

Yield: Approximately 1 cup of garnishes

Total Time: 30 minutes plus overnight macerating time

Active Time: 30 minutes

Method

For the Raisins:

  1. Place raisins in a heat resistant bowl and wine in a small sauce pan. Bring wine to a boil. Remove from heat, pour over raisins and let sit for at least one hour, ideally overnight.
  2. Strain raisins in a strainer placed over a bowl.
  3. Reserve raisins for pan sauce and the liquid for pickled cauliflower.

For the Kumquats:

  1. Place sliced kumquats in medium bowl with sugar. Toss to coat, cover and let sit at room temperature overnight.
  2. Drain and reserve liquid.

For the Celery:

  1. Shave the celery on a mandolin.
  2. Place celery ribbons in bowl of acidulated water

For the Fresno Chiles:

  1. Place Fresno Chiles in a small bowl and pour soaking liquid from kumquats over them. Let soak for at least one hour, ideally overnight.

 

Here is a great way to turn this dish into a meal

Salsa verde shrimp with steamed rice, kumquats, & fresno chiles

Enjoy a meal with a kick by adding the kumquats and fresno chiles to steamed rice.  Serve with shrimp and salsa verde.

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