From: Company chef Robert Cabrales, Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar, Woodmere (suburban Cleveland), OH and Annapolis, MD. Yield: 4 servings.
Main Dish Ingredients:
4 6-oz. salmon fillets, covered in Mojo marinade for no more than 1 hour
4 cups Mojo Criollo Marinade (available in ethnic section of many grocery stores)
2 green zucchinis, julienned
Carrot Puree (yields 1 quart):
1 ½ lb. carrots
1 ¾ oz. brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 sprig oregano
less than ¼ habanero pepper
Olive Pasilla Sauce (yields 1-2 cups):
¾ lb. kalamata olives
½ pasilla pepper
2 oz. blended oil
Yucca Spaetzle (yields 5 servings):
1 cup flour, all-purpose
¾ lb. yucca flour
4 whole large eggs
2 egg yolks
⅔ cups milk
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
1 oz. blended oil
Rewarm the carrot puree (see recipe below) in small pot over low heat. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Remove salmon fillets from marinade and pat dry. Season salmon with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sear in an oven-proof pan over medium-high heat with enough oil to coat the pan. Once both sides are seared, move pan into 350°F oven and cook for approximately 5 minutes (for medium).
Next, start the yucca spaetzle by heating a large sauté pan. When hot, add approximately 4 Tbsp. vegetable oil and then the yucca spaetzle. Add 2 tsp. kosher salt, toss to coat and put back on stove pot. Allow to cook for about 4 minutes (this will crisp the spaetzle). When spaetzle gets browned around the edges, give the pan a swirl; if spaetzle stays together, it is ready to flip (pancake-style). Once flipped, continue cooking for another two minutes to crisp the other side. When spaetzle is ready, add about 2 Tbsp. butter, freshly ground pepper to taste, and freshly sliced chives or scallions and toss together. Butter will get a little nutty and make spaetzle shiny; fresh herbs will add a nice grassy, bulby aroma. While spaetzle is getting crispy, sauté zucchini in small amount of oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Begin plating salmon by putting a streak of carrot puree down center of the plate. Then, using a spoon, drizzle olive pasilla sauce around carrot puree. Next, pile the spaetzle in center of plate on top of carrot puree and place salmon on top of it. Finally, top the salmon with sautéed zucchini.
For carrot puree: Peel carrots and cut into ½" thin disks. Combine remaining ingredients in baking dish and cover with water. Use a very small amount of habanero pepper — less than a quarter of the pepper. Cover pan with aluminum foil. Place the pan in a 350°F oven and cook until carrots are tender. Once carrots are tender, remove oregano sprig. Blend everything together until smooth. Pass the puree through a fine mesh strainer. Season with salt and cool.
For olive pasilla sauce: Line a large sheet tray with wire cookie sheet. Spread out olives and pepper. Place pan in a low (200°F) oven. Allow to run until olives and pepper are dried, around 30 minutes. Blend olives, pepper, and oil in a blender until smooth.
For spaetzle: Mix all ingredients together in stand mixer. Batter should be the consistency of a muffin batter. Add more all-purpose flour or milk to adjust thicker or thinner. Allow batter to sit for half an hour, covered. Fill a pot halfway with salted water and bring to a boil. Place a colander on top of the pot and begin pouring batter into colander. Use a rubber spatula to push batter through, creating small droplets into the water. Cook all the batter in this manner in three batches. When each batch is floating at the top of the water, skim out of the pot and put into an ice bath to cool quickly.
When all batter is cooked and spaetzle is cool, drain all water and spread spaetzle on a sheet pan. Cover with 1 oz. oil and mix to coat all spaetzle.