TODAY Food Editor
In this special weekly feature, TODAY food editor Phil Lempert brings you recipes “stolen” (with permission) from notable restaurants across America. See how much fun you can have (and money you can save) by cooking these dishes at home.
THIS WEEK: Grilled Striped Bass with Red Bell Pepper Coulis and Sake from Posh Bistro in Maple Shade, New Jersey
Farm-raised striped bass is considered a "Best" choice by the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Guide meaning that the species is abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in an environmentally friendly manner. Knowing this, you can enjoy this delicious dish even more. And boy, is this dish wonderful! A coulis is a thick sauce, in this case made from pureed roasted red bell pepper with a touch of sake. Very quick and easy, it'll soon be one of your favorite seafood recipes.
About the chef: Nick Youjongdee may only be in his mid-30s, but the owner and executive chef of the South Jersey French bistro Posh has more than 25 years of experience in the food service industry. At the age of 11 Youjongdee left Thailand for the U.S. and started working as a dishwasher and bus boy inside his father's Philadelphia restaurant “The Gourmet," which served French and Asian Fusion cuisine. Youjongdee eventually became a server, manager and sous chef at his father's eatery.
Like his father, Youjongdee originally chose a different path. His father was a chef at a French restaurant while working toward his degree in computer programming. Similarly, Youjongdee attended Drexel University to earn management and finance degrees and filled in shifts at his father’s restaurant whenever he could. When Youjongdee finished school, finance jobs were scarce and the college graduate did the only other thing he knew how — cook. He worked alongside his father who trained and guided Youjongdee in the intricacies of French and Thai cuisine.
Youjongdee left the restaurant industry and worked for seven years as a computer programming consultant for an electric company, PECO (Philadelphia Electric Company) and Wawa, a chain of convenience stores. But Youjongdee felt a tug toward his family’s restaurant where he continued to pitch in on evenings and weekends. A combination of real-world restaurant experience and strong family support prepared Youjongdee to open his first dining establishment in December 2005. Youjongdee’s father serves as sous chef at Posh, his mother is pastry chef and his partner is also his wife Anna Ley.
“My dad was one of my inspirations because he taught me everything I know,” Youjongdee said. “Wolfgang Puck was my second because he’s cooking for the stars, and he is one of the most innovative chefs.”
Grilled Striped Bass with Red Bell Pepper Coulis and Sake is served at Posh Bistro for $8. The recipe is for a serving size of two.
584 Rt. 38 E
Maple Shade, New Jersey 08052
Want to nominate your favorite restaurant dish for a "Steal This Recipe" feature? Just e-mail Phil at Phil.Lempert@nbc.com (or use the mail box below) with the name of the restaurant, city and state, and the dish you would like to have re-created. Want to know more about Phil and food? Visit his Web site at www.supermarketguru.com.