Lately there’s been so much cooking that there’s been no time to talk about cooking, which is a good problem to have. With the hectic holiday season, the blog has experienced the same amount of neglect as most things in my life outside of the kitchen. That’s the business, though, and as we head into our slow season I look forward to sharing some of the fun stuff we’ve done over the past couple months.
One of our recent dishes was this pan-roasted filet of Atlantic halibut with brussel sprouts, heirloom carrots, sweet potato gnocchi, citrus beurre noisette and petit salad of micro greens and citrus.
Halibut is a lean North Atlantic white fish that has dense and firm texture. Because of its low fat content it has a very clean flavor, which pairs nicely with citrus. For this dish we’ve seasoned it with kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper, then seared it before finishing quickly in the oven.
As you can see, some albumen (the white substance) has escaped during the cooking process as a result of the collagen cooking out. It seems like we see this more now than in the past…one of our seafood vendors said that it has become common practice for seafood companies to pump fish full of albumen from egg whites, which increases their profits and is virtually undetectable in the product.
A book that I picked up recently called “Ideas In Food” by Aki Komazowa and H. Alexander Talbot addresses the subject of cooking seafood without albumen escaping. Their answer is to use a salt water rinse, adding salt in 5% volume to water and then soaking the seafood in it to firm it slightly and add flavor. We’re going to give it a try this week and I’ll post the results. A note about the book: “Ideas In Food” is the culmination of their years of blogging on food science, and the resulting book is the best I have read in years on the subject. The book has something for everyone, and even as dry as the subject of food science can be, it is entertaining, accessible and difficult to put down.
On the subject of blogs, thanks to everyone that read this one in its inaugural year. The response has been unexpected and greatly appreciated. Hopefully 2011 will give me plenty of opportunity to share more good food as it comes along.