Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The True Baked Alaskan

As a guy who once lost a lady to a fellow from Kodiak Island, it may be surprising that I happily eat so much food from up that way. Maybe it's therapeutic? It's certainly tasty.

Roasted Alaskan would be a more appropriate name for the halibut (purchased at the usual place). It was seasoned and then went onto a hot, butter greased cast iron griddle in a 425 oven. A small frond of fennel (a little bigger than the one in the soup) was placed between the griddle and the fish skin, and another fennel frond was laid atop the fillet for roasting. 10 min, give or take, and it was perfect.

On top of the fish is some caramelized fennel (idea courtesy of Bar Cento), done up just like onions. A fennel bulb was sliced and then slow cooked in some butter with a pinch of salt. I'll be making them lots more, as it's a great alternative to caramelized onions.. The fennel was from Salash Farm over at the Shaker Market. They have great stuff, early.

The carrots were cooked in more butter. Slow cooked over a low flame in a covered omelet pan with a leaf of sage in there for some flavoring. They were great little carrots, from Rootstown Organic Farm.

And the soup. My take on vichyssoise (idea kind of stolen from a Plated Landscape Dinner). Lots of garden stuff in there. I peeled and cubed some potatoes (not quite yet from my garden), covered them by about an inch with water, added some salt and boiled until they were getting soft. Then I threw in some sugar snaps from the garden along with some chopped stems from the fennel (so the fronds, stems, and bulb were used--very full circle). Two minutes or so went by and I added arugula and mint (both also from the garden). About another two minutes and then everything went into a blender with just a touch of creme fraiche (could have been omitted) and aggressively seasoned with salt and pepper. It was enjoyable hot and cold. It's a good, simple soup, and infinitely adaptable.

Also, great music again on Case radio -- Latin Perspectives. Good stuff.

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