Welcome back to Chef in the Kitchen, a recurring Eater photo feature where we boldly go where few diners have gone before — into Portland restaurant kitchens — to get a sneak peek of the chef du jour hard at work.
At the Pearl's nearly nine-year-old Park Kitchen, chef/owner Scott Dolich honors his ingredients by utilizing the entire plant or animal somewhere on the PK menu: A tray of marinated anchovies (from Eugene's Newman's Seafood) might show up as whole fish within a composed salad, in its decomposed form as a paste used to marinate flank steak or in a salsa verde with ramps. "We utilize scraps from those anchovies to do lots of little things," Dolich says. "They're like fish sauce; they're one of those ingredients that bring out flavors.
To marinate the versatile fish, Dolich and Park Kitchen chef David Padberg filet and clean the fish (Padberg doing so without the use of a knife), washing the blood out and lightly salting the anchovies. The marinade is equal parts dry sherry wine (usually "whatever we have that's open," Dolich says, with this particular batch made with Barbadillo) and half sherry vinegar. The mixture sits for one hour, at which point, the chefs pour off the vinegar solution, wash the anchovies with cold water, and cover them with a mixture of olive oil, cloves of garlic, rosemary, peppercorns, and chili flakes. "At that point, they're stable," Dolich says, "though [the anchovies] will continue to ferment if you keep them out — put them in the fridge."
Dolich and Padberg serve the whole anchovies in a salad of shaved fennel and sherried kumquats, the latter of which are cooked in a gastrique of sherry wine and vinegar, orange juice, and simple syrup. The salad's dressed with a simple vinaigrette of lemon juice and olive oil, and garnished with the candied kumquats and almonds.
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