Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Crispy red snapper with roasted beet chimichurri

This is a take from Suzanne Goin's book Sunday Suppers at Lucques. If you don't have this book I highly recommend it. I really like the way she splits up her food into seasons, which is how we should all think when we're cooking or ordering. Good tomatoes in January. They don't exist unless you have to blow a lot of cost to get them from South Africa or something.


Take some red snapper fillets. I bought a whole fish and filleted them myself (not very well, I must admit). Marinate in harissa.

North african "condiment" similar to adobo in mexican cooking with a twist.

6 chiles guajillo or ancho
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 tsp smoked paprika (add liquid smoke just a touch if you can't find it)
1/2 tsp cumin
Small can of tomatoes or two romas diced
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp sherry vinegar
1/2 cup EVOO
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

Pan saute the chiles until they're smoking, not burned. Put them in a bowl of hot water and put a paper towel on top to keep them wet all over.
Discard the oil (if you used too much) and cook the tomatoes in the same pan.
Put everything in a blender except the olive oil and puree, adding the olive oil slowly as you go. Balance seasoning, voila. There's your marinade and it's very versatile. Put it on park, serve with bruschetta/crostini.

Marinate the fish for a few hours, then scrape of the excess. Personally, I like to have the skin on the fish.
Heat a large (13" stainless or equiv) saute pan and put plenty of oil so it stands about 1/4 inch thick. Heat to medium high (if you do high, it will burn the outside and won't cook inside that well, fine if you 'just seared' a raw center, and it depends on the quality of your fish if you can do it that way). Cook skin side down until brown (a few minutes) and flip for about a 1/3 as long as you cooked them on the skin side.

Accompaniment: pureed carrots, beet chimichurri

I personally didn't make the pureed carrots, but I did make the beet chimichurri.

Roasted Beets
3-4 beets (bunch)
Roasting pan

Take your beets, clean them, and trim the stalks. Do not peel.
Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Place in a small roasting pan, and cover the bottom of the pan with water (key!).
Place in a 450 degree oven, tightly sealed with aluminum foil.
Give them around twenty minutes or so (until fork tender) then remove them and let them cool. Peel, cut into 1/4" slices and serve with your fish and chimichurri, or in salads "warm."


Handful of flat parsley
Handful of cilantro
Tsp of minced shallot
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lime juiced
High quality EVOO

Mix all but the oil into a bowl and stir together.
Add the olive oil much like you would a vinaigrette to balance the lime juice, but you don't have to add so much to make a true emulsion.
Add the beets to it and dress your fish with it, and serve.

I served it over beet greens (raw or sauteed, taste a lot like collards or turnip greens) and fish.
The beets give a really earthy flavor to whatever you add them too. Beware the freakin' juice is like indigo dye, it discolors your skin and your cutting board, but it washes out.

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