Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Mustard Roasted Fish

This post is courtesy of my sister, Katie, who is Philadelphia's wackiest resident. Enjoy!

I could not be more honored/terrified to be guest posting today. You see, I am honored because as you all know my wonderful sister is such a good cook I can’t even hold a spoon to her talent (yes I still call her wonderful even though she called me “cranky in the morning”). I am also scared because my role as second best child in the cooking department has deep roots. I was barely trusted with food shopping let alone the preparation of food. I have traumatizing memories of mom asking me to stop by the grocery store to pick up “oh you KNOW, the usual stuff”. But I didn’t KNOW and would spend hours racking my brain only to come home with the wrong kind of potato. Mom and Emily would sigh, “Oh well I GUESS these are okay but we really needed red bliss potatoes for this and you got Yukon gold but *eye roll* its okay we will make due with these. (Mom, if you’re reading this, I’m sending you my therapy bill).
But this post is really about “Iron Chef night” which my boyfriend and I started. It is a cross between Chopped and Iron Chef on the Food Network. The next time your man tells you he can’t cook, this is simply not true. I took a man whose favorite cooking utensil was a microwave and turned him into a full blown iron chef! Now ladies, you may be asking yourself “How did she get her macho boyfriend to agree to this?” The answer? Competition!!

Here’s how it works:
On Sundays, one person picks a secret ingredient. They are going to be the judge. The judge tells the other person, the Iron Chef, what ingredient was selected. The Iron Chef has 3 days to shop and plan. We alternate the role of iron chef and judge each week so we both get to showcase our skills. We have 1 hour to cook – I often cheat and make things ahead of time, but shhh don’t tell. Judgment is passed the following day by e-mail.
Taste: 20 points
Originality: 5 points
Plating: 5 points
This week, the secret ingredient was fish. My menu was as follows (it was a little ambitious and I went over my time allotment but luckily the judge was generous enough to overlook this):

First Course - Tilapia Ceviche (with a few personal touches)
Second Course - Mini Fish Tacos with Peach Salsa (inspired by this)
I had a slight misstep with the taco shells, because I bought corn tortilla shells and realized I should have heated them first, so I got points off from the judge.

Third Course - Ina’s Mustard Roasted Fish

Mustard Roasted Fish
1 whole salmon fillet (or try with a firm white fish)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces creme fraiche
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoon sweet hot mustard
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 teaspoons drained capers
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Place the fish skin side down on a sheet pan. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
I saw this bad boy and could not pass it up, figuring I was SURE to get good presentation and originality points for tackling a whole piece of salmon. In hindsight, I should have realized that this was enough fish to serve a the Philadelphia Eagle's offensive line. Luckily it was delicious and I now have leftovers! *The sauce is rich and it makes a lot, next time I would definitely half the recipe*3. Combine the creme fraiche, 2 mustards, minced shallots, capers, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl.
4. Spoon the sauce evenly over the fish fillets, making sure the fish is completely covered.
5. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish, until it's barely done. (The fish will flake easily at the thickest part when it's done.)
I served it hot with the sauce from the pan spooned over the top and onion roasted potatoes.

And my scores for battle fish are…
Overall. 25/30.
Taste (15/20). The judge was highly impressed by the ceviche and the Chef's masterful preparation of the dish. Fish cooked in lime acid confused the seemingly omnipotent judge. However, it was very well done and there was no sickness. Similarly, the judge was thoroughly amazed by the salmon. And a mighty salmon at that! Although the explanation that it would probably "shrink" made the judge a bit skeptical of the Chef's cooking prowess, the meal was very well done. The sauce was delightful and the judge believes that potatoes should go with every meal. Points were deducted fish tacos. Despite the judge's belief that only beef and chicken go into tacos, the judge was willing to try it out... only to find that the taco shell crumbed! Despite the shell's inadequacy, the belief stands: only chicken and beef should go into tacos. Although the fish was well-prepared, it was a rare miss by the Iron Chef.

Originality (5/5). Ceviche itself - cooking fish without fire - generates a 5 of 5. Enough said.

Presentation (5/5). The mighty salmon platter was impressive, but the color and freshness of the ceviche made this a perfect score.

Phew...this was a long one, but well worth it. Thanks for the post, poodle!

1 comment:

  1. Great post! Iron chef, too cute!