Chef Shawn McClain of Spring allowed us to "steal" his recipe this week for roasted Maine cod withwarm potato and celery root puree and brown butter-tarragon vinaigrette.
Spring restaurant in Chicago can be found in a building on West North Avenue which was formerly the Luxor Bathhouse — built in 1923 to serve families and immigrants of the neighborhood. Its classic Russian bathhouse design, also called a "schvitzbed", was modeled after baths in ancient Rome and hammams of Constantinople.
Today the former bathhouse is the home of Spring, where the philosophy of the restaurant is “high-touch” instead of “high-tech” — encouraging patrons to take time out from their hectic lives and unwind, while savoring the culinary delights on offer — indulging their senses and reveling in their meal.
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About the chef:
A native of San Diego, California and a graduate of the School of Culinary Arts at Kendall College in Evanston, Illinois, Shawn McClain quickly achieved success in the culinary world. He broke onto the national scene at Trio restaurant in Evanston, earning four-stars from both the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times. There, his style came into focus, one that juxtaposes Eastern influence with Western foundations. After seven accolade-filled years, he left to open Spring, his homage to seafood, with partners Sue Kim-Drohomyrecky and Peter Drohomyrecky. The restaurant opened in 2001 to extraordinary success. That year, Spring was nominated for the James Beard Foundation’s “Best New Restaurant” award, and McClain was named by Esquire magazine as “Chef of the Year”.
In 2004 he was ready to take on new challenge and opened his second restaurant, Green Zebra. An immediate success, this vanguard concept brings vegetables to the center of the plate and emphasizes McClain’s insistence on the quality of ingredients and his flair for menu innovations. In 2005, he swung the pendulum in the opposite direction and opened Custom House. Located in an historic, boutique hotel setting in Chicago’s Printer’s Row, this modern interpretation of the classic steakhouse focuses on artisan meats and classic sides reinterpreted — with McClain’s unique flair.
In 2006, McClain was honored with the Best Chef Midwest award from the James Beard Foundation — his passion, creativity and ability to create singular restaurants that satisfy on many levels continues to excite diners. He and his wife, Holly, live in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood, not far from Spring.
2039 West North Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60647
Roasted Maine cod with warm potato and celery root puree and brown butter-tarragon vinaigrette is served at Spring for $28.
Roasted Maine cod with potato and celery root puree Shawn McClain, Spring resaurant
Season and dust the cod and sauté in olive oil until well browned. Place in a 350-degree oven and heat to desired doneness. Remove and let drain on a cloth napkin or towel.
Roast the potatoes at 375 degrees until fork-tender. Set aside. Meanwhile, in a small sauce pot over low heat, add the cream, apple cider and celery root and cook until soft. Add the chopped apples and let cook additional two minutes. Remove from the heat and reserve warm.
Scoop out the flesh of the potato and place into a food processor fitted with a blade. Strain the celery and apple pieces and add to potato.
Add half of the remaining cream and blend until smooth. Add additional remaining cream as needed to desired consistency. Remove and place back on the stove to keep warm.
In a small sauce pan, melt butter until brown and nutty. Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh strainer. Add the lemon juice and cider vinegar and fresh tarragon. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.
Warm the celery pieces with celery leaves and chives in butter over low heat until warm. Add the apple julienne and pumpkin seeds. Season to taste.
Divide and spoon warm puree onto the center of four warm serving plates. Place a filet of cod on top of the puree. Garnish with warm celery/apple salad and drizzle each plate with warm vinaigrette. Serve immediately.
255869616048139804fresh cod fillet (cut into 6-8 ounce portions)22 fresh cod fillet (cut into 6-8 ounce portions)kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to tasteolive oil for cookingflour for dustingyukon gold potato - washed11 Yukon gold potato, washedheavy cream1cup1 cup heavy creamapple cider0.25cup1/4 cup apple cidercelery root - diced small0.25cup1/4 cup celery root, diced smallapple, diced11 apple, dicedbutter1tablespoon1 tablespoon butterpinch of saltbutter, cooked over low heat until brown2tablespoon2 tablespoons butter, cooked over low heat until brownlemon, juiced0.51/2 lemon, juicedcider vinegar1tablespoon1 tablespoon cider vinegarfresh tarragon, torn1tablespoon1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, tornsalt and pepper to tastecelery stalks, peeled, blanched and cut into julienne22 celery stalks, peeled, blanched and cut into juliennecelery leaves-minced1tablespoon1 tablespoon celery leaves-mincedbutter1tablespoon1 tablespoon butterfuji apple, cut into julienne11 Fuji apple, cut into juliennechives, minced1tablespoon1 tablespoon chives, mincedtoasted pumpkin seeds2tablespoon2 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds
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