I had the pleasure of harassing another facet to the kitchen today, our Chef de Cuisine Justin Baade. After talking with Chef Parke about his delectable squash blossom obsession, Chef Justin was equally enthusiastic about the California staple the sand dab. He was generous enough to take some time and share this delicious dish with me. Think petrale sole and flounder but the better California version....

We happen to get our sand dabs from Half Moon Bay, the same place we get our English peas, actually. Nice and close. The dish we will be focusing on today is Shrimp Stuffed Sand Dabs with Lemongrass Yogurt and English Peas, Shaved Cucumber and Hearts of Palm Salad. isn't it beautiful?!

This recipe serves 6 appetizer portions:

Gulf Shrimp Stuffing

White Gulf shrimp- 6 ounces, peeled

Egg yolk of one egg

Heavy cream- 2 tablespoons

In a Cuisinart or heavy blender add the raw peeled shrimp with the egg yolk and blend until smooth. Fold in the heavy cream until blended and season with a generous pinch of salt. 

Lemongrass Yogurt

Yogurt- 1 cup

Lemongrass- 3 stalks peeled to the heart and minced, fine

Red Fresno chilis- 3

Lime juice- 3 tablespoons

Combine all ingredients and chill.

English pea, shaved cucumber and hearts of palm salad

English peas- 1 pound

Cucumber- 1/4 cup

Hearts of palm- 2 ounces

Mint- 8 sprigs

Cilantro- 8 sprigs

Lime juice- 1 tablespoon

Yuzu- 1/2 teaspoon

Olive oil- 1/2 tablespoon

Shell, blanch and shock the peas. Shave both the English cucumber and hearts of palm length wise into very thin pieces. Think spaghetti noodles. Pick the leaves and roughly tear both the mint and cilantro. Combine the yuzu juice, lime juice and olive oil. This will be the dressing for the salad. Once everything has been cut and peeled combine the peas, cucumber and hearts of palm with your vinaigrette, and you have your salad.

Sand dab preparation

Sand dabs- 6 ounce pan dressed pieces ( note: pan dressed is without a head and tail, and we recommend you have your butcher filet the fish as well)

Take 2 pieces of the fish, lay the first piece flat and equally cover the fish with the Gulf shrimp mixture from earlier. Once that is done, place the other piece of sand dab on top. You should have a sand dab sandwich. Next, take that sand dab sandwich, and place it in your very hot pan. You are pan roasting this bad boy. Make sure you sear it nice and good on one side, cook it through and then sear the other side. To plate, put down a nice helping of the pea, cucumber and heart of palm salad. Next, place the stuffed sand dab on top of the salad and drizzle with the lemongrass yogurt.

I believe the term, Gulf Shrimp Stuffed Sand Dab is something that should be heard more often, don't you?