HOJIBLANCA OLIVE CURED COBIA BY FRANCO RUIZ
- 5 Thin slices of cured cobia about 1.5 ounces
- 3 tbs Veracruz vinaigrette
- 2 tbs Puffed wild rice (puffed in 400F oil)
- 10 Cilantro Micro leafs
- 1 Lime quartered and charred on an open fire
- 4 Halves of hojiblanca Olives
FOR CURED COBIA
- 2 cup Hojiblanca (juiced and pulp reserved)
- 1 Cobia Filet (Cleaned)
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1 cup Salt Kosher
- 1 tbs Coriander (coarsely cracked)
- 1 tbs White Pepper (coarsely cracked)
- 3 Shallots (sliced finely)
- 2 Zested lemon
FOR VERACRUZ VINAIGRETTE
- ¼ cup Queen olives (finely chopped)
- ¼ cup Dehydrated Tomato (finely chopped)
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tbs minced shallot
- 1 tbs minced capers
- 1 tsp minced parsley
- 1 tsp minced oregano
- 1 tsp ancho chile powder
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 cup EVOO
FOR MANZANILLA TAPENADE
- 170g Manzanilla olives
- 1 Anchovy Fillet
- 1 tsp Garlic
- 1 tbs Capers
- 1 tbs Lemon Juice
- 1 tsp Lemon zest
- 1 tbs EVOO
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS
For Cured Cobia
On a sheet tray with two resting racks Cover with cheese cloth.
On a separate sheet tray coat cobia sides genoursly with some of the cure mixture (salt, sugar, coriander, white pepper, and lemon zest).
Place cobia sides down on the cheese cloth.
Dust the flesh side of the cobia with remaining cure and follow with the olive juice and pulp, and shallot.
Cover with cheese cloth.
Cure in the walk-in for 3 hours. Rinse and reserve.
For Veracruz Vinaigrette
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and season to taste. Adjust vinegar by not adding all at once and adding more if needed.
On a round bowl, place cobia slices folded on them self in a circular pattern.
Place Veracruz vinaigrette around the cobia in a freeform manner.
Spread the puffed wild rice in piles around the cobia.
Garnish with micro cilantro and squeeze charred lemon over the cobia.
Finish with hojiblanca halves around the dish.
CHEF FRANCO RUIZ
His passion for cooking started when he was a kid growing up in Southern California. “My dad was a chef in San Diego, and I started cooking with him in his kitchen at 13,” he said. “It was a big inspiration for me.”
At age 17, Ruiz entered the San Diego Culinary Institute. After graduating, he went to work in Spain at such Michelin-starred restaurants as Ni Neu in San Sebastian, which focuses on contemporary Basque cuisine. He left Spain and came to Denver to help a friend open Hops & Pie in the Berkeley neighborhood. He’d planned to return to California but got hooked by Denver’s culinary boom. He began staging at restaurants around town. At Fruition, he prepared a four-course tasting for chef-owner Alex Seidel, who immediately hired him as sous chef. Since then, he’s won two local culinary competitions, including the People’s Choice award for best food and wine pairing at the Denver International Wine Festival, put on by the Wine Country Network.