Gastronomixs

Turbot and broad beans

This month’s guest chef is Emma Bengtsson, who grew up in a small town on the west coast of Sweden. She became interested in the culinary arts at a very young age thanks to her grandmother who was an avid home cook. The baking and cooking of Emma’s youth grew into a professional aspiration when she enrolled in Stockholm’s Hotel and Restaurant School, where she trained in every restaurant role, from savoury cooking and pastry creation to waiting tables and working as a hostess. 

Emma's experience spans many of Sweden's acclaimed restaurants such as Edsbacka Krog**, the only two-Michelin-starred restaurant in Sweden at that time, Restaurant Prinsen, and Operakällaren* in Stockholm’s Opera House where she worked for nearly five years. 

Emma joined Aquavit** as Executive Pastry Chef in 2010, and quickly became known for her creative interpretations of classic Scandinavian desserts. Her style was reflective of the region’s penchant for local products, progressive techniques, and continuing traditions. And it was well received, as Aquavit was recognized with one star in the New York City Michelin Guide in 2013 and 2014. In 2014 she became executive chef and Aquavit earned its second Michelin star. Emma is the second female chef in the U.S. to run a two-star kitchen and the first ever Swedish female chef to do so.

Emma’s kitchen is built on Nordic cuisine, the cornerstone of Sweden’s 500-year-old culinary tradition. The country is surrounded by water, providing an abundance of seafood, and the land is covered by forests rich in game, berries, mushrooms, and other wild foods. Short seasons inspired the custom of pickling and preserving, and the signature Nordic flavour profile is a balance of sweet and salt. Emma shares three of her beautiful Nordic Cuisine dishes with us.

Creation by Emma Bengtsson, Aquavit**, New York, United States of America.
Photography by Signe Brick.

Turbot and broad beans

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Ingredients

1

 

whole turbot

100

ml

white distilled vinegar

100

ml

sugar

200

ml

water

50

g

horseradish

½

 

carrot

½

 

onion

½

 

parsnip

1

 

bay leaf

30

g

black peppercorns

50

g

dried rose petals

1

 

turbot carcass

As needed:

 

canola oil

½

 

white onion, coarsely chopped

4

sprigs

thyme

4

sprigs

parsley

500

ml

white wine

As needed:

water

to cover

3

pieces

ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

1

 

beefsteak tomato, cut into eight pieces

16

g

late harvest apple vinegar, plus more to season

20

g

corn starch

40

g

salt

100

ml

white distilled vinegar

250

ml

pickled rose liquid

15

g

hon dashi

5

 

green almonds

100

ml

caper juice

500

g

broad beans in the pod

20

g

dried borage

20

g

dried marigolds

100

g

pickled rose liquid

100

g

caper juice

2

g

xanthan gum

18

pieces

nasturtium

50

ml

water

450

g

butter, cubed

6

 

turbot fillets

 

 

salt

Preparation method: turbot
  • Remove the fillets from both sides of fish.
  • Trim and portion into 45-50g pieces.
  • Set aside the carcass for the sauce.
Preparation method: pickled rose petals
  • Combine the vinegar, sugar, and water in a pot and bring to the boil.  Infuse with all the aromatics for 30 minutes.
  • Strain and cover the dried rose petals, keeping in mind that they will expand as they rehydrate. 
Preparation method: turbot sauce
  • Cut the fins and head off the turbot carcass with scissors.
  • Rinse under cold water until there is no more blood.
  • Roast the fish bones in the oven at 175°C for about 30 minutes until a nice golden-brown colour.
  • In a smoker, smoke the fish bones on high for 45 minutes.
  • In a stock pot, sweat the onions in oil on medium heat. Add the fish bones, thyme, parsley, white wine, and enough water to cover.
  • Bring to the boil and let steep for at least 30 minutes.
  • Strain into another pot and reduce by half.
  • Add the ginger, tomatoes, and apple vinegar and simmer for one hour.
  • Strain again into another pot.
  • Create a slurry with 20 g of corn starch and two cups of stock and whisk into the rest of the pot to thicken the sauce.
  • Season with salt, white distilled vinegar, late harvest apple vinegar, pickled rose liquid, and hon dashi. 
Preparation method: ‘quick-capered’ green almonds
  • Cut the green almonds in half length-wise and take out the inner almond.
  • Remove the skin and slice in half.
  • Pour the caper juice over the almonds and infuse for at least four hours before serving.
  • The almonds will last for up to two days in the liquid.
Preparation method: broad beans
  • Take the broad beans out of the pod.
  • Blanch and shock the broad beans.
  • Remove the broad beans from the shell.
Preparation method: dried flower petals
  • In a blender, blend the flowers until they create a rough powder.
Preparation method: turbot glaze
  • In a blender, blend the rose liquid pickle and caper juice, gradually adding in the xanthan gum and continue to blend until it activates. This takes about two minutes.
Finishing and presentation
  • Create a beurre monte by heating the water until simmering and slowly whisking in half the butter until it achieves a nappe consistency. Season with salt.
  • Heat the remaining butter over low heat until it becomes brown.
  • Place the turbot fillets on a tray and cover half-way with beurre monte. Cover and cook in the oven at 80°C until cooked through and the skin pulls off easily. This takes about seven minutes.
  • Once cooked, remove the skin and brush with the turbot glaze.
  • In a hot, dry pan, char the broad beans until slightly black. Season with salt and a little brown butter.
  • Heat up the sauce until it is warm.
  • Place the fish in the centre of the plate.
  • Cover with the charred broad beans.
  • Sprinkle with the green almonds, pickled rose petals, and dried flowers.
  • Garnish with nasturtium.
  • Spoon the sauce on the right side of the fish.

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