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Wicked Butcher brings back an old fave from the sea, and its Prohibition-style cocktails are just right for summer

By Rebecca ChristophersonJuly 10, 2024No Comments

Demetrius Anagnostis (left), Wicked Butcher’s general manager, and Richard Triptow, co-executive chef

Wicked Butcher brings back an old fave from the sea, and its Prohibition-style cocktails are just right for summer

By Scott Nishimura
Photography by Nancy Farrar

Asian flavors and truffle oil in the negronis aren’t what you expect to find in a traditional steakhouse, and that’s the point for Wicked Butcher, the downtown Fort Worth restaurant born from a combination of its Dallas Chop House and Dallas Fish Market sisters.

Thai curry salmon, served on a bed of forbidden rice and bok choy, returned to the menu of Wicked Butcher’s Fort Worth and Dallas locations early this year. The fish had been on the Dallas Fish Market menu years ago. But that was so long ago that Richard Triptow, corporate chef for parent company DRG Concepts and Wicked Butcher’s co-executive chef, didn’t remember it when DRG’s CEO, Nafees Alam, suggested bringing it back.

“It took several tries to get the green curry sauce right,” he says. “It’s a real summer dish.”

The salmon fits well in Wicked Butcher’s menu, said Demetrius Anagnostis, Wicked Butcher’s general manager. “It’s not traditional in terms of what you’d find at an American steakhouse,” he said. “Asian flavors with a bok choy, green curry, black rice. A lot of steakhouses serve their seafoods with maybe one vegetable. This is definitely a different spin.”

And, not everybody wants to order a 32-ounce tomahawk ribeye for dinner, he notes. “And then for lunch, too. You need to lighten up the lunch menu. Salmon does very well on the lunch menu.”

The different spin also works with the cocktail menu, he said. Prohibition-style cocktails are in vogue, driven by the use of brown spirits such as bourbons and ryes. Wicked Butcher had been selling 15-20 negronis — a cocktail known for its balance of bitter and sweet — a night “without it being on the menu,” Anagnostis said. So Wicked Butcher added a negroni to the menu that has a teaspoon of truffle oil.

It’s pungent and herbal, with the citrus of campari. Vermouth smoothes the drink out. “Just as the negroni’s not for everyone, the truffle negroni certainly is not,” Anagnostis said. “But those who understand what a negroni is, those who understand truffle …”

In any case, it’s not likely the cocktail is a great pairing with salmon. Better to order one before dinner, and pair the fish with a light white wine such as a chardonnay, chablis or white burgundy, he said.

 

Thai Curry Salmon

Salmon

  • 1 skin-on salmon filet per person

Preparation:

Season the salmon with salt and pepper. 

Heat a sauté pan over medium high heat with a little oil and add the salmon skin side down. 

Sear until crisp, flip and continue to cook for four minutes. 

Remove from pan and allow to rest.

Green curry sauce – 3 cups

  • 1 tbsp blend oil
  • Lemongrass
  • 1 tbsp peeled garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tbsp green curry paste
  • 2 13.5-oz cans coconut milk
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • Leaves from one bunch of cilantro
  • 1 sprig Thai basil
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce

Preparation: 

Heat oil in a medium sauce pot.

Add lemongrass, garlic, ginger and curry paste, and sauté until soft and fragrant.

Add coconut milk, chicken stock and heavy cream and bring to a simmer.

Remove from heat and pour into a blender.

Add cilantro, Thai basil, brown sugar, salt, lime juice and fish sauce to the blender.

Run blender until smooth.

Pour sauce back into the sauce pot and cover with lid to keep warm.

Forbidden rice – 2.5 cups

  • 0.5 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup black rice

Preparation: 

Combine the salt and chicken stock in a saucepot and bring to a simmer.

Add the rice and cover with a lid.

Cook at a gentle simmer for about 20 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed.

Remove pot from heat and cover to keep warm.

Sea foam – 1 cup

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 0.5 nori paper
  • 2 tbsp bonito flake

Preparation: 

Put everything in a sauce pot and heat until warm. Use a stick blender to aerate until frothy.

Plating:

Spoon green curry sauce into bottom of bowl. 

Spoon a mound of forbidden rice over the center of curry sauce. 

Arrange the salmon over top of rice. 

Aerate the sea foam and spoon the froth over the salmon.

Wicked Butcher Truffle Negroni

  • 1 oz Fords Gin
  • 1 oz Campari liqueur
  • 1 oz Carpano Antica vermouth
  • 1 tsp white truffle oil

Preparation: 

Combine all ingredients into stirring glass and stir for 30 seconds. Strain mixture through a mesh strainer and pour over ice into a highball glass. Express oils of one orange peel over cocktail and garnish with the peel.