One of the core tenets of creativity is drawing on a range of influences for wholly new results. This is especially true when it comes to cooking. Creating new flavors comes from combining elements across cuisines. Like No Other — presented by noosa yoghurt — celebrates creative chefs who find inspiration around the world and bring it to life in their food.
When it comes to classic dishes, there's always room for innovation. Just ask Chad Johnson, executive chef at Élevage in Tampa, Florida. He takes pride in reimagining old favorites through a modern lens, drawing on a host of global influences and tapping into local ingredients. Showcasing the savory versatility of noosa yoghurt, Johnson folded plain yoghurt into dumplings for an updated Hungarian-meets-Southern take on chicken paprikash, replacing chicken with confit duck.
"The only driving force behind my food is that it tastes good and we're proud of it," Johnson said. "At Élevage, we try to take iconic dishes and put a modern take on them — from French dishes to Southern to Italian. Being a southern boy, I grew up eating chicken and dumplings, so we took the inspiration from there and combined it with the Hungarian influence with the paprikash."
Johnson generally uses yogurt in his dumplings for the light and tender effect it creates, and he found that noosa yoghurt offered the perfect texture and acid level for the dumplings and accompanying sauce. Check out this recipe for a simple, fun way to spice up dinner.
3 Cups all-purpose flour
1/2 Cup cold butter, cubed
1 Teaspoon salt
1/2 Teaspoon baking powder
1 Cup plain noosa yoghurt
Bench flour for rolling
Start by placing the all-purpose flour in the cubed butter on a cold surface. Cut the butter into the flour with a fork, then add salt and baking powder. Form a well, and add the plain noosa yoghurt. Slowly start to incorporate the flour mixture into the yoghurt until a loose dough forms. Cover and let rest in the refrigerator for one hour.
After resting, dust the work surface with flour, and roll the dough to about a quarter-inch thickness. Then cut dumplings that are about an inch long by a half an inch thick. Reserve for assembly.
4 Confit duck Legs
2 Cups baby kale
1 Cup julienned piquillo peppers
3 Cups paprika cream (recipe below)
3 Cups yoghurt dumplings (recipe above)
2 Tablespoons duck fat
8 Shallots, minced
2 Tablespoons garlic, minced
4 Tablespoons paprika
1 Tablespoons coriander seed, toasted and crushed
3 Tablespoons thyme, minced
1 Green bell pepper, minced
1 Tablespoon Aleppo pepper
2 Quart chicken stock
1 ½ Tablespoons duck jelly
1 Quart heavy cream
1 Pint plain noosa yoghurt
After a light sauté, add all of the liquids except the yoghurt. On medium heat, reduce the liquids by half. Then reduce heat and add one pint of plain noosa yoghurt. Finish with fresh picked thyme, then purée and strain.
Now it's time to assemble the dish. Start by adding one table spoon of duck jelly to a non-stick pan, then sear the duck legs in the fat until the skin is rendered and crispy. Finish the duck in a 350-degree oven until cooked through. Meanwhile, use another pan to cook peppers and kale in one tablespoon of duck fat over medium heat.
While the vegetables are cooking, boil the dumplings. Heat salted water to a boil. Gently add the dumplings and cook for about 10 minutes, then strain the dumplings and add them to the pan with the vegetables. Then stir in the simmering yoghurt sauce.
To plate, serve the dumplings and vegetables on the center of a wide bowl. Surround the vegetables and dumplings with the paprika cream sauce. Finish with the pan-seared, oven-finished duck legs.