Talk Food Festival: Jason Santos

Posted on Jan 23, 2014 10:45am

Jason Santos is a Boston-based chef and owner of three restaurants: Blue, Inc., Abby Lane and Back Bay Harry's. Named Boston's hottest chef by Eater in 2012, his cooking style combines Asian, French and traditional American flavors with dazzling visual and textural twists. Chef Santos, who was a finalist on the seventh season of Gordon Ramsay's reality competition show "Hell's Kitchen," stopped by THE TALK to demystify risotto and show us how to make a restaurant quality meal right in your own home.


Pan Seared Sea Scallops with asparagus and lobster risotto 

Serves 2

Seared Sea Scallops

16 .8 to 1.6 ounces dry pack sea scallops

Salt and pepper

Canola oil

In a hot pan add a bit of oil until almost smoking, season scallops with salt and pepper, and sear about 2 minutes on each side.

Lobster Risotto

1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup Arborio rice, pre-blanched for 9 minutes

4 oz. lobster meat, chopped

1 shallot, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ cup white wine

2 cups hot lobster stock

2 tbsp. mascarpone cheese

2 tsp. lemon zest

1 tbsp. butter

1 tbsp. chives

Salt and pepper

Sauté garlic & shallots in olive oil, until golden brown. Add rice and stir for 30 seconds. Deglaze the pan with white wine. Then add hot lobster stock a ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly, until rice is cooked. Add lobster and stir for 30 more seconds. Fold in mascarpone, lemon zest, chives & butter. Season to taste with salt & pepper.

Grilled Asparagus

12 asparagus spears, blanched

Extra-virgin olive oil

Sakt and pepper

Lightly drizzle asparagus with olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Grill for about 1 minute or until nicely charred.

Sweet Gem Salad with black grapes, walnuts, blue cheese and truffle vinaigrette 

Serves 4

Sweet Gem Salad

4 heads sweet gem lettuce

16 black seedless grapes

½ cup candied walnuts

½ cup crumbled blue cheese

½ cup truffle vinaigrette (recipe below)

Salt and pepper

Mix lettuce & vinaigrette together, season to taste and top with remaining ingredients.

Truffle Vinaigrette

¼ cup water

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

2 tbsp. mayonnaise

1 tbsp. fresh parsley, minced

¼ cup red wine vinegar

¼ cup truffle oil

¼ cup blended oil

¼ cup canola oil

Salt and pepper

Mix water, Dijon, parsley, mayonnaise & vinegar and then slowly add oils to emulsify. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

BBQ Blue Potato Chips with avocado relish 

Potato Chips

1 pound purple Peruvian potatoes, skins left on

4 cups vegetable oil, for frying

Salt and pepper

BBQ rub (recipe below)

Using a mandoline or a very sharp knife, slice the potatoes into thin rounds, and place in a large bowl of water to prevent discoloration. Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot to between 340ºF to 350ºF. Pat the potatoes completely dry and fry in batches, cooking until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels and while still warm place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss with BBQ rub.


Makes 1/2 cup

1 Tbsp salt

1 Tbsp. sugar

1 Tbsp. brown sugar

1 Tbsp. ground cumin

1 Tbsp. chili powder

1 Tbsp. freshly cracked black pepper

2 Tbsp. paprika

Pinch cayenne

Avocado Relish

3 avocados mashed

Juice of 2 limes

2 tbsp. cilantro, chopped

½ jalapeno, minced (veins & seeds removed)

Salt and pepper

Mix together ingredients and season to taste. Serve in a bowl and garnish with:

¼ cup red onion, minced

Shaved radish

Cilantro leaves/sprigs

Connect with the Talk