CATEGORIES: Baking, Breakfast, Beef, Chicken, Fish, Lamb, Pasta, Pork, Ramen, Vegetarian

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Brandade

MAKES ENOUGH FOR 2 DINNERS, EACH SERVING 4

  • 1 1/2 pounds (680g) skinless, boneless salt cod
  • 1 1/2 cups (355ml) milk
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 3 allspice berries
  • 1 clove
  • 1 1/2 pounds (680g) white potatoes, peeled and cut in 1-inch (2.5cm) cubes
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled
  • Leftover roasted garlic cloves, from the Roasted Garlic Dressing
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • Large pinch of grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (150ml) crème fraîche or heavy cream
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons (60g) cold unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup (45g) panko

1 Rinse the salt cod well and rub off any salt. Soak in 2 quarts (1.9L) cold water for at least 8 hours. Drain and change the water every few hours (an overnight soak without changing is fine).

2 In a saucepan, heat the milk plus 1 ½ cups (355ml) water over medium-high heat. Add the cod, thyme, bay leaf, peppercorns, allspice berries, and clove. Adjust the heat to maintain a bare simmer. Cook until the fish flakes easily, about 15 minutes. Remove the fish and hold at room temperature.

3 Meanwhile, in a separate pot, cover the potatoes with water and bring to a boil. Add the garlic and a good pinch of salt. Boil the potatoes until they’re soft, about 15 minutes, then drain the potatoes, reserving the cooking liquid.

4 Put the potatoes and roasted garlic in a large bowl. With your fingers, flake the cod on top. With a potato masher, roughly blend the potatoes and cod. Add the olive oil, lemon zest, cayenne, and nutmeg to taste. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir in ½ cup (120ml) of the crème fraîche and beat well to combine. Beat in about ½ cup (120ml) of the potato cooking liquid (strained) to lighten the mixture so it has the texture of soft mashed potatoes. Taste and adjust the seasoning; it will probably need salt and pepper.

5 Use 1 tablespoon of the butter to grease a low-sided 3-quart (2.8L) baking dish. Transfer the brandade mixture to the buttered dish and smooth with a spatula. Paint the top with the remaining 2 tablespoons crème fraîche and sprinkle with the panko. Dot the top with the remaining 3 tablespoons butter. Cover and store in the fridge.

6 The day of: Bring the brandade to room temperature, then heat the oven to 400 ° F (200 ° C). Bake until golden and bubbling, about 20 minutes.

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Crispy-Skinned Fish

Ingredients: Serves 2

  • 2 6-ounce fillets branzino or mackerel
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • Kosher salt

Preparation

  • Place fish on a plate, skin side up, and chill, uncovered for one hour. (This dries out the skin and is a crucial step.)

  • Heat a large stainless-steel skillet over high. Once the skillet is extremely hot, about 2 minutes, add 1 Tbsp. oil and a large pinch of salt. Heat oil until smoking, then remove skillet from heat and wipe out with a clean kitchen towel (this creates a temporary seal on the pan, like a faux nonstick surface).

  • Season both sides of fillets with salt. Return skillet to high heat and add remaining 1 Tbsp. oil. Once oil is hot and shimmering, add 1 fillet, lowering it into the pan away from you, skin side down. Press gently with a spatula until fillet no longer wants to curl up and entire skin side is flush with the skillet, ensuring complete and direct contact. Repeat with remaining fillet. Cook fish, pressing periodically with spatula, until fish is nearly cooked through (it should still be opaque and a bit raw at the thickest part of the fillet), about 3 minutes. Gently turn fish (working away from you so the oil doesn't splash on you) and finish cooking off heat, about another minute or so.

  • To serve, spoon a bit of vinaigrette onto plates and place fish on top, skin side up (no point in working so hard to create a beautifully crisp skin only to cover it up with sauce!).

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Steamed Salmon & Lemongrass Pilaf

Difficulty: Easy
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, sliced
  • 1oz fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt flakes
  • 1 1⁄2 cups long grain rice
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 4 x 6oz skinless salmon fillets, cut into 3cm pieces
  • 1 cup coriander (cilantro) leaves
  • 1 cup Thai basil leaves
  • 2 green onions (scallions), thinly sliced
  • 1 long red chilli, seeded & thinly sliced
  • soy sauce, to serve

INSTRUCTIONS

Place the lemongrass, ginger and garlic in a small food processor and process until finely chopped.

Heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat.

Add the lemongrass mixture and salt and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes.

Add the rice and stir to combine. Add the stock and bring to the boil.

Cover with a tight-fitting lid and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 12 minutes.

Place the salmon, in a single layer, on top of the rice mixture, cover and remove the pan from the heat. Allow to stand for 4 minutes. If recipe is halved (for 2 servings), allow to stand for 2 minutes more to compensate for less steam.

Top the pilaf with coriander, basil, green onion, chilli and soy sauce to serve.

Serves 4. 

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Seared Salmon with Cinnamon and Chili Powder

Ingredients:

2 salmon fillets with skin attached, sized to suit your appetite

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

enough canola oil to barely slick the skillet

2 dashes sesame oil

Directions:

Wash and completely dry the salmon fillet.

In a small bowl mix chili powder, cinnamon, and the salt and pepper. Sprinkle this mixture on both sides of the salmon fillet. Heat canola oil and sesame oil in a non-stick or well-seasoned cast iron skillet. Choose a skillet that is plenty big enough to avoid steaming the fish for the crispest possible skin.

When the skillet is very hot, but not yet smoking; add the salmon, skin side down. Cook it until the skin is very crisp, dark brown and releases easily from the skillet This should take 3 to 4 minutes. Do not be tempted to check or move the fish around in the skillet during this time. You will only succeed in making it stick to the skillet or worse ruin your beautifully crisp skin.

You will notice that the fish gets lighter colored and more opaque. Do not let it cook more than about 1/4 of the way through at this point. You might be worried that the rest of the fish seems quite raw, but honestly this is a good thing. Once the skin has crisped flip the fish, and cook it an additional 2 (maybe 3) minutes more. Do not let it cook all the way through. The fish will continue to cook after it leaves the pan. Your goal is a succulent flesh graduating from a rare center outwards to a crispy crackly skin.

Serve the fish warm or at room temperature with a slightly chilled Pinot Noir (yes, Pinot Noir... trust me). Dining alone is no excuse for a poor wine pairing.

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Crispy Salmon on Lemon-Caper Wilted Greens

Serves: Yields 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 (5-ounce) salmon fillets with skin
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pound spinach, washed and patted dry
  • 2 teaspoons capers, drained
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Procedures:

Preheat an oven to 400 degrees and position the oven rack in the middle. 

Place a large oven-proof skillet on the stove over a medium-high heat, and add olive oil. When the oil is just starting to shimmer, add the salmon, presentation side first. Sear to a light-golden brown color, about 2 minutes. Turn the salmon over to the skin-side and transfer to the oven. Bake until the salmon is flaky and slightly pink inside, about 5 minutes. Transfer the salmon to a plate; reserving the skillet and set aside. 

Place the skillet back on the stove over a medium heat and add the butter. Once the butter begins to foam, add the shallot and garlic and sauté until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the zucchini, spinach, capers, lemon zest, parsley and cream. Cook until the spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper. 

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Striped Bass

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6oz Sea Bass fillet
  • 2 tbsp creme fraiche 
  • 1 lb fingerling potatoes
  • 2 tsp shallots
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

PROCESS:
To make the potato salad:
1) First boil your potatoes, for around 5 minutes. You're looking for a blanch.
2) Chop up some parsley, shallots, creme fraiche, then zest a lemon, and add a bit lemon juice.
3) Take them out of the pot and let them cool, and cut them into 4ths.
4) Once the potatoes are cooled, add your seasoning and sour cream.
5) Lightly mix everything together - you want to keep your potatoes intact.
6) Season with salt and pepper

To make the bass:
1) First get a saute pan very hot, and add a bit 
2) Season the fish with a bit of salt and pepper
3) Add fish into the pan, skin side down
4) While fish is cooking, crush garlic, and a few sprigs of thyme - these are your basting herbs
5) Add butter to the pan along with your basting herbs 
6) Using a spoon, baste your fish with the butter.
7) Plate and enjoy!

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Pan-Fried Arctic Char with Garam Masala, Broccolini and Yogurt Sauce

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Pan-Fried Arctic Char with Garam Masala, Broccolini and Yogurt Sauce

Ingredients:

  • Two 6-ounce skin-on arctic char or salmon fillets
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 bunches (about 6 ounces) broccolini, trimmed
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon peeled and minced ginger
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • ⅓ cup nonfat Greek or similarly thick yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped pistachios, toasted

Directions:

1. Pat the fillets dry and cut each piece crosswise into three equal pieces. Sprinkle the fillets with salt and pepper and ¼ teaspoon of the garam masala. Set aside.

2. In a large lidded skillet set over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the broccolini and ¼ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the broccolini are bright green, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining ¼ teaspoon garam masala, the garlic, ginger and a pinch of pepper. Cook until the garlic and ginger are fragrant, about 1 minute. Move the broccolini to one side of the skillet to make room for the fish.

3. Warm the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in the empty side of the skillet, then add the fish, skin side down, and cook for 3 minutes. Flip the fish over with a thin-edged spatula, and then add the wine. Cover the skillet, reduce the heat to low and cook the fish and broccolini for 4 minutes longer. Remove the skillet from the heat and let it sit and steam, covered, until the fish is cooked through and the broccolini is tender but still has some bite to it, about 2 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the yogurt with the lemon juice and mint until combined. Season to taste with salt, pepper and additional lemon juice, if desired. Set aside.

5. Arrange the fish and broccolini on two plates and spoon the yogurt sauce over the fillets. (Alternatively, serve the sauce on the side.) Garnish the fish and broccolini with the pistachios and serve immediately.

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