Q&A with verlasso salmon

By Verlasso Salmon
August 13, 2014
Cooking
As the Chef de Cuisine at the Texas Spice Restaurant at the Omni Dallas Hotel in Dallas, Texas, Chef Jan Loov is committed to serving his customers simple, delicious food. We had the chance to catch up with Chef Loov to learn why Verlasso is a good fit for his customers.
What inspired you to become a chef?

As far as I am concerned, hard work and dedication are the best ways to be successful. As a chef for many years, my inspiration comes from working with all the talented cooks and chefs I have had the pleasuring of knowing and learning from, both in the past and present.
Tell us a little bit about your restaurant.
Texas Spice is a farm to table restaurant with a focus on being green and sustainable. I do not like to purchase seafood that is being over fished or from stocks that are about to collapse due to a lack of focus on sustainability. Most of our meats are hormone free and it really shows in quality of our product. Our restaurant is also focusing on serving food that is the best it can be. We highlight the food we are serving versus overcomplicating it and hiding behind complicated seasonings where the wonderful produce and product become lost.
As a chef, what are you focusing on right now?

I would say refined simplicity is my focus now. What does this mean? For example, I am working on how to cook the perfect chicken, salmon, steak etc. I love the fact that we have a great working relationship with an organic farm – Red Moon Farm in Van, Texas – who supplies all our vegetables. All I want is to highlight the beauty of its simplicity by adding one or two ingredients and perfect it one dish at the time.

What makes Verlasso a good fit for you and your customers?

It is a consciously-raised salmon that is clean and fresh in its taste. The fact that Verlasso is raised in such a way that the impact on the environment is minimal makes it a great fit for our operation.

What’s your favorite aspect of cooking with Verlasso?
I think my favorite aspect of cooking with Verlasso is knowing that all I have to do is highlight this already great product by simply using salt and pepper.
Do you have a secret cooking tip or hint for our readers for preparing seafood at home?
Do not overcomplicate it – never forget that salt and pepper is the best. A quick seared or grilled salmon with some simple farm fresh vegetables is simplicity in its truest form.
What is your favorite salmon recipe to serve or eat? Are you willing to share a recipe that can be featured?
I have a lot of favorite salmon dishes but one that I really like is the one I have shared below. It is a grilled salmon with quinoa pilaf, tomato basil sauce and farm fresh vegetables. The really nice thing about this dish is that in addition to the salmon, we grow our own tomato and basil on our patio so freshness is never an issue! With quinoa as the super grain, this dish truly fits our farm to table concept. It being a healthier option is just an added bonus.
Verlasso Salmon with Quinoa Pilaf and Tomato Basil Sauce
Ingredients
For the pilaf:
1/2 cup quinoa
1 ounce onion, finely diced
2 cups chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste
2 sprigs wild thyme
For the tomato sauce:
6 tomatoes
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
3 ounces white wine
2 quarts tomato juice
1/2 quart cream
1 bunch fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

For the pilaf:
Saute diced onion in olive oil until translucent.
Add the quinoa, ensuring the grains are coated in the oil and onion.
Add the chicken stock and thyme, season with salt and pepper.
Cook until tender, watching for the quinoa to split open approximately 15-18 minutes.
Add more chicken stock, if needed.
For the tomato sauce:
Sweat the tomatoes, onion and garlic.
Deglaze with wine and reduce au sec.
Add tomato juice and season with salt and pepper.
Add basil, blender together and strain.
Thin with cream, as necessary.

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