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Recipe: New Orleans Bass Brulee with Shellfish Broth

In the 2017 Art of Catering Food session, “Battle of the Boston Chefs” Chef Charlton Becker discussed the “one protein, four ways to prep” methods including torching, smoking, pickling, and fermenting. For the recipe below, his method of choice was torching—great for interactive stations—and best used with a sweeping motion, where the flame goes slowly back and forth across the surface to evenly scorch the food.

New Orleans Bass Brulee with Shellfish Broth

Serves 50; 2 oz portions


10 lb local river bass (skin on)
1 box Mortons Kosher Salt
2 oz extra virgin olive oil
2 lb shallots
1 lb carrots
4 heads garlic
2 lb fennel
1 cup tomato paste
4 lb plum tomatoes
4 cups Sauvignon Blanc
1 cup Pernod
2 lb fresh thyme
2 bunches fresh parsley
2 lb fresh tarragon
12 bay leaves
2 T black peppercorns
1.5 G low sodium chicken stock
4 T saffron
4 lb mussels
4 lb clams
4 lb oysters
1 lb butter
1 lb flour


1. Salt fish 20 minutes before torching 2. Torch till cooked through 3. Sauté vegetables in oil for broth 4. Reduce wine and Pernod by half 5. Add shellfish and simmer for 1 hour 6. Strain through chinois 7. Thicken slightly with roux

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Kathleen Stoehr

Kathleen Stoehr is the Director of Community & Content Strategy for Informa Connect | Catersource, which includes print and digital content, as well as live education at both Catersource, the Art of Catering Food, and Leading Caterers of America Executive Summit.