WINNER | 2017
Bottarga is striped grey mullet roe which has been salt-cured and sun-dried. Throughout the world it has many names - Bottarga (Italy), Poutargue (France), Karasumi (Japan & Taiwan), Avgotaraho (Greece), among others. The tradition of making Bottarga dates back to ancient times. Egyptian murals dating from 10th century BC depict fisherman executing the lengthy process in which Bottarga was, and still is made. Since then, the pressed dried fish eggs have become a staple of Mediterranean cuisine. Most often associated with coastal Italian fare, primarily of Sardinia and Sicily, the cured roe has also been dubbed the “Caviar of the Mediterranean”. The Striped Grey Mullets' golden roe is considered a delicacy around the world.
The waters surrounding Cortez Village, on the central gulf coast of Florida, are known to have some of the largest, finest quality mullet roe in the world. For decades, Striped Grey Mullet roe from the Gulf of Mexico has been exported to Europe and Asia to be salt-cured and dried. We are proud to be the first in the United States to produce this rare delicacy. It is here that we produce Cortez Bottarga in the same hand-made way as has been done for thousands of years.
The pristine waters of the florida gulf coast, off of Anna Maria Island and connecting village of Cortez, are home to one of this country's last wild fisheries. Seth Cripe, a Florida native, started Cortez Bottarga with the mission of working to support his friends and family's way of life as fisherman, and preserve it for the livelihood of future generations. Upholding our cultural integrity and increasing economic development in the Gulf region is part of our greater commitment to supporting fishing that ensures the ecological health of our oceans, their marine life and their surrounding communities.
We do it all - fishing sustainably using hand-thrown cast nets, cleaning the mullet, cutting out the plump golden roe, curing the roe with kosher sea salt and then pressing and drying it to ensure optimum quality. This is all completed within days, thereby creating the freshest bottarga you will ever try. This vibrant delicacy adds a wonderful complexity to dishes with its bright flavor and balanced salinity. We are confident that we are able to produce the truest expression of striped grey mullet bottarga in the world.
Our Bottarga has become a staple at many of the nation's most progressive and top restaurants including Gjelina, Gjusta, Alma, Hatchet Hall, 404 Kitchen, Rolf & Daughters, Folk, Bacchanal, City Grocery, Michaels Genuine Food & Drink, A16, Flores, Upland, Octavia, Benu, Scarpetta, Collichio & Sons, Roberta's, Ava Gene's, Lincoln, Gianna, The Ordinary, The Noble South and many, many more.
"Cortez Bottarga in terms of flavor, texture, and color is simply the most superior product available anywhere. Given the relatively short history that Mr. Cripe and Co. have in the industry, this accomplishment is truly extraordinary and speaks to the level of commitment they have to tradition and craftsmanship"
Travis Lett, Chef at Gjelina, MTN, Gjusta & GTA, Venice, CA
"Cortez Bottarga has a milder, fresher taste and more refined texture than any other Bottarga I have ever used...We love it." Christopher Kostow, 3 Michelin Star Chef at Meadowood, St. Helena, CA
2 cloves garlic (whole)
4 sprigs of thyme
4 lemon slices
salt, pepper, olive oil
Remove guts & scales. Pat dry with paper towels or lint free kitchen towel. Olive oil, salt & pepper the inside of the belly. Stuff the garlic cloves near the mouth, lemon slices, thyme. Lightly olive oil, salt, pepper both sides of the red snapper.
1lb. butter (un-salted)
4oz. bottarga (micro-planned)
2Tbs. sea salt
1Tbs. chili flakes
Soften butter, add bottarga, sea salt, chili flakes. Mix thoroughly.
1 whole snapper (prepped)
2 garlic cloves (sliced)
Fresno chili (4 thin slices)
1/2c. white wine
1c. vegetable stock
1 Tbsp. sea salt
4 Tbsp. bottarga butter
2 Tbsp. chives (chopped thin)
1/4c. bread crumbs
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Heat large skillet to high heat. Once pan begins to smoke, add 1 tsp. olive oil. Place prepped red snapper side down into the pan. Let roast for 4-5 minutes without disrupting. Once the skin is browned and crispy, flip & repeat to the other side. Once you have both sides browned and crispy, place into the oven for 12 min. Remove and let fish cool for about 5 min. before placing on serving platter.
In a separate pan on medium heat, add 1tbsp. olive oil & sliced garlic. Toast until light brown – about 3 minutes. Add sliced fresno chili, cook with garlic until soft (2 min). Turn pan to med/high heat and add white wine. Let the alcohol burn off, about 1 min. Add vegetable stock and reduce until thick enough to coat a spoon. Turn off heat. Slowly stir in the bottarga butter, careful not to boil or the sauce will break. Once the butter is incorporated, taste for salt – add if necessary. Pour contents of the pan over red snapper, carefully spooning some sauce into the belly. Garnish with Chopped Chives & Bread Crumbs. Serve over rice. Enjoy!
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