Grate-ful Chef

Chef Jill Rose wields her wood rasp like a knife.



Tarrytown first met Chef Jill Rose while she was holding a wrench. Back in 2004, before opening her elegant Chiboust in the space that once held a grungy Laundromat, the restaurant’s pre-owned refrigerator case needed repair. So before it could be installed, residents would meet this former Lespinasse pastry chef, kneeling on the sidewalk in the frigid January blast, taking care of business with a mechanic’s wrench.

And it seems that things haven’t changed much in the six years that have elapsed, though Chiboust has since garnered every award this county can bestow. When we approached Rose to ask about her favorite kitchen tool, we were amused to find it was pinched from a carpenter’s box. “I use my wood rasp for everything,” Rose says, “grating lemon zest, horseradish, ginger, chocolate, toasted coconut.”

Look for Microplane’s handy rasps in most kitchenware stores.

Along with propane torches and needle-nose pliers, cooks have long adopted this builder’s tool, whose sharp, perforated grating surface is designed for wood carving. Though its original function lies somewhere between that of a wood file and a hand plane, the rasp’s wand-like blade is easy to bow around citrus; its hand-held flexibility means that you’re less likely to wind up with bitter white citrus pith. The rasp’s razor sharpness is ideal for quickly mincing aromatics like garlic and ginger, plus, you can chuck the thin tool into the freezer before shredding fine, unmelting filaments of chocolate.

 

 

Grilled Fish with Lemon Zest, Fingerling Potatoes, Pea Shoots and Piperade
(Serves 4)

For fish:
■ 4 fresh, skin-on fish fillets (branzino, red snapper, and yellow tail work well)
■ 1 Tbsp premium virgin olive oil
■ 1 fresh lemon
■ Salt and fresh pepper, to taste
Season the fish with oil, lemon, salt, and pepper. Grill until fillets are cooked through. Cooking time will depend on type of fish and thickness of fillets.

For fingerling potatoes and pea shoots:
■ 1 lb fingerling or baby Yukon Gold potatoes
■ 1 lb fresh pea shoots or sweet-potato leaf, well rinsed.
Slice potatoes in half and boil until tender. Sautée pea shoots or potato leaf in olive oil until wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For piperade:
■ 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
■ 2 red bell peppers, sliced
■ ¼ cup olive oil
In a heavy-bottomed pan, sauté the garlic in olive oil until translucent, add peppers, cover, and simmer until peppers are very soft.

To assemble:
■ lemon juice and olive oil for drizzling
■ rasp-grated lemon zest
Place fingerling potatoes and greens on plate; place fish on top. Spoon the piperade on top of fish, drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil, and finish with the lemon zest.

Braised Short Rib Tartine with Fresh Horseradish
(Serves 12)

For braised short ribs:
■ 12 beef short ribs, cut 2 inches in length
■ 2 lbs onions
■ 1 lb carrots
■ 1 lb celery
■ 4 plum tomatoes, halved
■ 750 ml bottle of intense red wine, like red Zinfandel
■ 24 oz beef broth
■ 1 cup canola oil
■ 3 carob pods (roughly chopped)
■ 2 bay leaves
■ 4 star anise pods
■ 1 tbsp chipotle pepper flakes
■ ½ tsp ground cloves
■ 2 cinnamon sticks
■ 12 oz barbecue sauce

To braise beef:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Season beef with salt and pepper and brown the short ribs in hot skillet. Remove.
Place onions, carrots, celery, plum tomatoes, wine, beef broth, and oil in Dutch oven and place the browned ribs on top. Bring to simmer, uncovered. Add carob pods. In a coffee grinder, grind bay leaf, star anise, chipotle flakes, cloves, and cinnamon sticks and add to the beef. Add half of the barbecue sauce (see pg 29), reserving the remainder to garnish. Cover with lid and bake in the Dutch oven, allowing the short ribs to braise for approximately 4 hours or until meat is very tender and falling off bone. Allow to cool.

For barbecue sauce:
■ 4 oz rasp-grated ginger
■ 4 oz brown sugar
■ 4 oz tomato paste

Stir to combine.

For brioche:
■ 1 Tbsp plus 2 1/2 tsp dry yeast
■ 4 oz milk, at about 70F
■ 7 cups all-purpose flour
■ 4 oz sugar
■ 1 Tbsp salt
■ 12 large eggs
■ 1 lb butter, softened
Start with a paddle in a Kitchen Aid mixer, and later—when the dough gets too stiff—switch to a dough hook. Mix yeast into milk until dissolved. Add flour, then sugar, and salt last. Add eggs and incorporate well. Mix for approximately 12 minutes. Add softened butter slowly. Mix at first speed for 4 minutes, then second speed for 9 minutes. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Divide dough into 8-ounce logs. Let rest for 20 minutes. Place in loaf pans, cover with towel, and let rise to double in size, about two hours. While loaves are rising, preheat oven to 400° F. When doubled, bake loaves until golden brown and firm to touch. Remove from pans and let cool. Cut into ½-inch slices.

To assemble tartine:
■ 1 Brioche, recipe above (or pick one up from Chiboust; challah bread may also be substituted)
■ 1 three-inch piece of fresh horseradish
■ 12 cherry tomatoes
Remove short ribs from braising liquid (reserving the liquid) and then remove meat from the bone. Set it aside to cool. Purée braising liquid in blender. Place the braising liquid in a saucepan and reduce the liquid until it’s thickened. Slice or pull apart beef, and moisten with thickened braising liquid. Place on toasted brioche, top with barbecue sauce, grate fresh horseradish on top, garnish with cherry tomatoes, and serve.

Salted Caramel Parfait with Bitter Chocolate and Fresh Coconut
(Serves 12)

■ 1 fresh coconut, toasted and grated (see pg 30)
■ 16 oz heavy cream
■ 10 egg yolks, whipped
■ 1½ tsp Das Alaea Hawaiian pink volcanic salt (order on Amazon.com)
■ 1 cup sugar
■ 2 oz water
■ 4 oz bittersweet chocolate (Rose suggests 72 percent Scharffen Berger or Valrohna Bittersweet.)

To grate the coconut:
With an ice pick, pierce three holes through the small round depressed spots at one end of the coconut. Drain out the liquid. Bake the coconut at 375°F, for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. The outer shell should separate from the inner coconut meat slightly. Crack the outer shell with a heavy mallet. Remove the meat from the shell. Peel off the outer brown skin. Grate the coconut meat with the rasp and reserve ¼ cup for garnish.

To make the salted caramel crème:
Whip cream and then chill. Whip egg yolks and chill in the stand mixer bowl. In a heavy pan, cook sugar and water uncovered over medium-high heat until caramel is a rich amber color. Add salt and allow to cool. Add caramel to the whipped yolks; whip until light and fluffy. Fold into the whipped cream, reserving a ½ cup of cream for garnish. Do not overmix. Fold in the grated coconut.
Pour into molds or martini glasses and freeze. With the rasp, grate the chocolate on top and sprinkle with the coconut garnish. Garnish with whipped cream.

Julia Sexton is a Westchester-based food writer whose CRMA Award-winning Eater blog appears on westchestermagazine.com.