Naperville Eats: Chef of 33 West taking on Fusion Fest
By JUDY BUCHENOT Comcast
Chef Amaury Rosado shows off the Copper River salmon fillets. | Judy Buchenot~For The Sun
3 organic free-range eggs
2 teaspoons organic heavy cream
2 teaspoons water
Sea salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons small diced red pepper
2 tablespoons small diced onion
1 cup fresh spinach
1/2 avocado, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon grated sharp cheddar
2 slices lean roast turkey, chopped
2 spears asparagus, sliced on the bias
Coat a nonstick frying pan with a thin layer of olive oil. Cook red pepper, asparagus and onion until tender. Add spinach, which will wilt. Season with salt and pepper. Place in a bowl and set aside. In the same pan, add 1 teaspoon butter and 1 teaspoon olive oil, and heat until butter melts. In a bowl, beat together eggs, cream and water with salt and pepper to taste. Pour into pan. Over low heat, slowly cook eggs. Lift up edge of eggs as they cook to allow uncooked egg to flow under. Keep cooking until mixture is set. Cover and cook one more minute. Add cheese, turkey, vegetables and avocado. Cover and cook for 30 seconds. Remove from heat. Fold omelet in half and serve.
Mushroom Risotto with Vegetables
1 cup amaranth
5 cups water
Pinch of salt
8 ounces mushrooms (portabella or shitake)
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups sugar snap peas, strings removed
1 red pepper, cut into strips
1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano
1/4 cup butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh basil for garnish
Toast amaranth lightly and then rinse for five minutes in fine colander under running water. Bring 5 cups water to a boil in a nonstick pan. Add salt and amaranth. Bring to a boil again and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook and stir until amaranth is al dente, about 15 minutes. Set aside mixture. Coat the bottom of a pan with a thin layer of olive oil and sauté mushroom. Remove mushrooms and set aside. Sauté onions and pepper until tender. Add garlic and sugar snap peas and sauté about a minute. Add mushrooms and amaranth to mixture. Stir in enough vegetable stock to make a moist mixture. Heat until very warm and then stir in cheese. Remove from heat and add butter. Garnish with fresh basil.
Chef Amaury Rosado comes bearing the plate like a gift. He gently places it on the table and then steps back in anticipation of the first bite.
“Taste it. It is so amazing. It is Copper River salmon from Alaska. For three to four weeks a year, the salmon swim upstream in a 300-mile journey to spawn and lay their eggs,” says the chef, so excited that he is unable to sit at the table.
To prepare for this journey, the Copper River salmon store extra fat and oils resulting in extraordinarily tender and flavorful flesh. Strict limits are set on the amount of salmon that can be caught, and the fish are only in the river for a few weeks, so being able to secure this delicacy is a feat. The flesh of the fish is a brilliant orange red. Chef Amaury carefully sears the surface of the filet, cooking it only until it is slightly warm with a cool, moist red center. The flavor of the flake-tender, rich salmon is both nutty and sweet.
“Isn’t it amazing?” questions Amaury, nodding his head in agreement and grinning because he knows the answer.
Rosado freely admits that he is a “foodie,” a person who expends great energy in finding and securing the best ingredients to be prepared in a way to complement their unique flavors. The Aurora resident owns and operates 33 West, a restaurant at 33 W. New York St. in Aurora, where he is able to share his food treasures with his customers. Although the restaurant has been in operation for two years, Rosado has decided to change his menu to focus on organic and healthier entrees. He also will be adding a small plate option so patrons can enjoy small servings of his delicious dishes.
“I started eating healthier and have lost nearly 40 pounds,” Rosado says.
He improved his personal diet by eating more vegetables and fruits, adding whole grains, watching fats and reducing sugar without sacrificing the flavor and quality of his meals. He wants to offer this healthy option to his patrons by changing menu items. For example, instead of using rice in his risotto, he is using amaranth, a healthier grain option. He serves grass-fed beef, which has a higher concentration of beneficial omega-3 oils. He is using eggs from free-range chickens, seasonal produce from Panda Grove Farms in Dixon and continually looking for healthier menu options.
“Food is still my passion,” Rosado says. “I am just looking at it in a healthier way.”
Supporting small business is also a focus at 33 West. Almost 80 percent of the produce served comes from local small farms. The bar serves beer and wine made by local brewers and vintners.
“I am a small business who is dedicated to supporting other small businesses,” Rosado says. “There is a sort of synergy created from using all independent businesses.”
Rosado is continuing this quest to promote healthy eating by being involved in a new festival slated for August 2013 at Naper Settlement in Naperville. The Fusion Festival will feature a blend of yoga, art, music, street performers, environmentalism and food. Rosado and his wife, Trisha, are co-chairs for the food portion of the festival.
“We are focusing on organics,” he says. “The whole festival also is going to be very green. Every little detail is being carefully examined — even things like how to get rid of the trash that is collected during the event.”
As a dedicated foodie, Rosado is excited about sharing his recent finds with his customers. The salmon will be available for a few more weeks, and as local crops ripen, they will be prominently featured at 33 West. He invites everyone to give healthy eating a try there and at home with the recipes he’s provided.