African Pompano Collar with Warm Kale Salad and Pancetta Vinaigrette
- 1 cup white balsamic vinegar
- 5 pieces rendered crispy pancetta, plus 1/2 cup warmed rendered pancetta fat
- 1/2 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
- 1/2 shallot
- 2 cloves garlic
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons farro
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 African pompano collars
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 sprig thyme
- 1 bunch baby kale
- 1 bunch picked frisee
- 6 satsuma orange segments
Special equipment: a food dehydrator
To make the pancetta vinaigrette: To a blender or food processor, add the balsamic vinegar, rendered pancetta fat, mustard, shallot and 1 clove garlic. Blend on high to emulsify and check for seasoning. Add salt and pepper to taste.
To make the crispy farro: Cook the farro according to the package directions. Using a dehydrator, dehydrate the farro overnight at 150 degrees F. When ready to prepare, heat the vegetable oil in a saute pan over medium high heat. Fry the farro in the oil until it pops and then remove to paper towels. Season with salt.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a cast-iron skillet or oven-safe saute pan, roast the pompano collars until the skin is crisp and the fish is cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Carefully remove the pan and add the butter, thyme and remaining garlic clove, making sure the butter melts with the garlic and thyme. Tilt the pan and, using a spoon, repeatedly baste the collars with the melted butter to coat with flavor. Season the collars with salt and pepper.
Heat a saute pan over medium heat and add the kale, frisee and satsuma segments, then add 3 tablespoons of the vinaigrette. Heat until the kale is lightly wilted and then toss with the crispy pancetta and farro.
Distribute evenly onto 2 warm plates and add one collar to each. Serve immediately.