Lackawanna College’s Culinary Arts program believes in hands-on experience — and Local Flavor couldn’t be happier.
During the school year, 409 on Adams is a completely student-run restaurant that serves everything from contemporary American cuisine to dishes from various cultures. The reservation-only spot proved to be a hit and sold out within three days of opening this past spring.
On a recent afternoon, Local Flavor got an exclusive tasting so home cooks could try their hands at one of the restaurant’s top recipes before it opens up again in the fall.
Say hello to Sous Vide Bistro Filet with Sweet Potato, Jalapeño and Portobello Mushroom Hash and Chimichurri, created by Mark Seibert, certified executive chef, certified culinary educator and culinary arts program manager. The dish earned the program a $50 grocery gift card through Local Flavor Gives Back.
Seibert said the unique part about the dish is the way it’s cooked. Seibert uses an immersion circulator, which cooks meat inside a vacuum-sealed bag and keeps it at a stable temperature for consistency and precision. This gives the meat a tender and buttery consistency, which contrasts nicely against the chimichurri, an Argentinian sauce used on grilled meats with a garlic, vinegar taste.
Cooks can find an immersion circulator to use at home, but Seibert also said cooks can use any of their preferred methods to prepare this recipe, including charbroil grill, pan sear and roasting. Seibert uses bistro filet, which also may be substituted with any suitable cut of beef or steak traditionally prepared on a grill. The same goes with the vegetables used in the hash.
“It’s about whatever you want or feel comfortable with,” he said. “That’s really the beauty of cooking. You can do whatever you like.”
The steak tasted super tender and flavorful, and it was the perfect color, thanks to the immersion circulator’s consistent temperature. The savory hash made for the perfect complement, and the garlic, cilantro-powered chimichurri topped it all off.
Through Lackawanna’s Kiesendahl School of Hospitality, the culinary arts students work on the menu items at 409 on Adams while the hospitality students run the house. Pastry students create the desserts and breads.
“It’s a complete hands-on experience for the students, and it’s a way to bring the community in and show off what we have to offer,” said Susan C. Markovich, special programs coordinator.
Chef Mark Seibert’s Sous Vide Bistro Filet with Sweet Potato, Jalapeño and Portobello Mushroom Hash and Chimichurri
(Cooks can use their preferred method to prepare this recipe, such as charbroil grill, pan sear or roasting to desired temperature.)
Yield: 4 meals
For bistro filet:
- 4 (4-ounce) Terres major beef shoulder filet
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Mushroom dust, to taste
- Olive oil
- Fresh oregano sprigs
Season bistro filets with salt, black pepper and mushroom dust. Lightly coat filets with oil. In a large cast iron skillet, grill pan or sauté pan over medium-high heat, sear all sides of filet to achieve a deep brown color, being careful not to burn. Once all sides are seared, remove from heat and set to cool before placing in vacuum bags.
Place immersion circulator in an appropriate vessel and add water. Set circulator to 135 F. While circulator works to reach temperature, place bistro filets into vacuum bags and add a teaspoon of olive oil and fresh oregano sprigs to the bag and seal, removing all air from the bag. Once immersion circulator reaches 135 F, place bags into circulator and cook for minimum of 1 hour.
- 1 cup cilantro leaves
- 1 cup parsley leaves
- 2/3 cup oregano leaves
- 2 shallots, roughly chopped
- 8 cloves garlic
- 1 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Crushed red pepper, to taste
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
Directions: Add all ingredients except crushed red pepper, salt and black pepper to blender or food processor. Gently pulse the ingredients together to incorporate them well but not fully purée them. When processed correctly, all ingredients should still be distinguishable.
Add salt, pepper and crushed red pepper to desired taste and pulse an additional a few times to incorporate. Store in refrigerator in a tightly sealed container for up to two weeks, and use as desired. At time of service, remove from refrigerator and let stand to reach room temperature.
For Sweet Potato, Jalapeño and Portobello Mushroom Hash:
- 2 large sweet potatoes (washed, peeled and diced into 1/4-inch pieces)
- 2 portobello mushroom caps (gills removed, diced into 1/2-inch pieces and roasted)
- 1 large jalapeño pepper (seeded and finely diced)
- 2/3 cup diced red onion
- 2 scallions, bias-cut (green part only)
- Olive oil, to sauté
- 1 tablespoon unsalted whole butter
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
Pre-heat oven to 375 F. While oven is heating, add diced mushrooms to stainless steel bowl and toss with olive oil to coat well. Season with salt and black pepper and place on sheet tray in even layer. Roast in oven until they are thoroughly cooked and golden in color, stirring occasionally. When roasted, set aside for later use. In skillet or sauté pan, over medium heat, add enough olive oil to pan to coat surface. Add diced sweet potatoes and begin to cook while stirring or tossing frequently. When potatoes begin to become tender, add red onion and jalapeño and continue to sauté until potatoes, onions and pepper are cooked through and begin to caramelize. Season with salt and black pepper and add roasted mushrooms and scallions, tossing well to incorporate. Finish the hash with whole butter and set aside for plating.
On four heated plates, divide sweet potato hash equally. Remove vacuumed bags of bistro filet from water and open with kitchen shears. Place on cutting board and slice once on the bias of the filet. Place slice of beef on top of hash and drizzle generously with chimichurri.
How to book a reservation
409 on Adams operates during the school year and will open for the fall in mid-September. Limited seating is available, and reservations may be made until an event is sold out. For reservations, call 570-955-1548.
Gia Mazur is an award-winning staff writer and beauty obsessive who joined The Times-Tribune’s Lifestyles department in 2015. She’s a product enthusiast who can’t live without an eyelash curler. A proud Virgo, Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk is her go-to. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9127; @gmazurTT