Harold Dieterle's Recipe for No-Fail Fluke
by scott feldman
Harold Dieterle grew up on Long Island and spent much of his early culinary career honing his skills at popular restaurants like Della Femina in East Hampton. “I’ve always enjoyed being close to the water, as well as the ingredients that come with it,” says Dieterle, who also helmed the kitchen at The Harrison in Manhattan. The chef’s raw talent has made him into a household name; he’s now at work on the highly anticipated new eatery The Marrow. On weekends, you’ll find him back East hosting cookouts or on the water fishing.
What are some of your favorite Hamptons fishing spots, and what’s been your biggest catch?
Mecox Bay and Shinnecock Canal. I once caught a 37-pound striped bass off Montauk Point.
What’s the ideal lunch and cocktails for a day on the water?
Grilling a fresh catch and a tall gin and soda with lime.
What’s your spot for date night with your wife, Meredith, in the Hamptons?
A walk on the beach followed by dinner at The 1770 House and then a stay in one of their amazing rooms.
What were the pros and cons of competing on Top Chef?
I liked it because it pushed me. I learned a good amount about myself and it forced me to adapt to various situations. What I didn’t like was all of the drama the show fed on. There were moments of fun throughout the show and I met some great people doing it—but for me, it was all about putting my head down and getting it done.
2 cloves garlic
1 piece shallot
2 tbsp. palm sugar
2 tbsp. Thai basil
1 tbsp. fermented yellow soybean paste
1 tbsp. fish sauce
Juice from 1 lime
2 cups chicken stock
Cut eggplant in half, and place on the grill, flesh-side down. Cook for 8 minutes (or until completely charred), and flip. Cook until flesh is soft. Remove eggplant from skin. Place flesh in a pot with garlic and shallot. Add chicken stock, and cook for 20 minutes. Blend mixture and remaining ingredients together. Strain using a chinois and reserve.
Bulgur Wheat, Cauliflower, and Beech Mushrooms
1 tbsp. olive oil
1⁄2 cup brown beech mushrooms
1⁄2 cup cauliflower florets
1 tsp. ginger, minced
1⁄2 cup pea tendrils
1 cup bulgur wheat, blanched
1 tsp. lime juice
1 tsp. chives, minced
Add olive oil to a sauté pan and heat on high. Add cauliflower and mushrooms. Cook for 2 minutes (or until golden brown). Next, add ginger, and cook for a minute. Reduce heat. Add pea greens and bulgur. Season and finish with lime juice and minced chives.
1 tbsp. oil
2 6-oz. fluke filets
1 tbsp. toasted coriander seeds, crushed
1 tbsp. butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Reduced Chinese black vinegar (to garnish) Season fish generously with salt, pepper, and ground coriander. In a medium sauté pan, place fish in hot oil. Cook for 3 minutes (or until golden brown). Add butter, and baste the top side of the fish with the melted butter for 2 minutes, and then flip. Cook for 1 minute more and serve. Garnish with reduced Chinese black vinegar.
Photography by vicky wasik (dieterle)