Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Grilled Opah with Shaved Apple-Fennel Salad, Fingerling Potatoes and Caper-Balsamic-Brown Butter

Ok, this is the one everyone's asking for, so here goes: We are getting incredible local Opah from Monterey Bay right now and bitter winter chicories are all over the place, as are apples (and fennel skinched from late Fall). What else were we to do with the bounty? All of it drizzled with sweet, salty, caramel-ee butter. Stop it.

Grilled Opah with Shaved Apple-Fennel Salad, Fingerling Potatoes and Caper-Balsamic-Brown Butter

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

1 pound fingerling potatoes (French, Banana, Rose Finn...), washed and dried

olive oil

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 375. Toss potatoes with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a sheet pan and roast until just tender, 15 to 25 minutes, depending on their size. Keep warm.

Caper-Balsamic Brown Butter

1/4 cup salt-cured capers

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Freshly ground pepper

1/3 # butter (1-1/3 stick)

Soak capers in water for ten minutes. Strain. Place Dijon in a medium metal bowl and whisk in balsamic and pepper. Add capers. In a medium sauce pan melt and then simmer butter until golden brown, 6 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit 5 minutes. Slowly whisk into Dijon-balsamic mixture. Taste for salt. Add more if necessary. Cover immediately with foil. Keep warm.

Shaved Apple-Fennel-Soft Herb Salad

1 medium hard crisp apple like Pink Lady, Braeburn or Sierra Beauty

1 medium head fennel

2 small stalks celery from the center of the bunch and cut into 1/8-inch diagonals

A handful of celery leaves from the center of the bunch

A handful of picked parsley leaves, with some stem attached

1/4 cup chives, cut into 1 inch strips

2 small heads chicory: radicchio, escarole and/or endive

Shave apples (skin on) and fennel thinly on a mandolin into a medium metal bowl. Add herbs and chicories. Set aside.

To Assemble

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

6 Opah filets, preferably local

Olive oil

Caper-balsamic brown butter

The apple-fennel salad

If grilling, fire up your grill. Brush the opah filets with olive oil and lightly salt and pepper both sides. When hot, grill the fish about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Don’t overcook. Alternatively, place 1 large or 2 medium sauté pans over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, and when it is hot but not smoking add the filets and cook until they are lightly golden, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Keep warm.

Dress the apple-fennel salad with a tablespoon of the caper-balsamic brown butter and divide the salad onto your plates. Surround the salad with a few warm potatoes per plate. Top salads with a piece of opah and drizzle each filet with a good spoonful of the brown butter.

Did you know Opah is polka-dotted?


Jenifer said...

*Drool* I'll be right there. Oh, wait. I don't even live in an adjacent state. *weep*

Jennifer said...

This was *so* wonderful the night I came in a couple of weeks ago... and now I can make it at home!

Thank you... mmm...

Christina said...

It's the morning after, and I'm still savoring the beautiful and crazily delicious Opah you prepared for me last night. Lucky me. If anyone out there reading this is in the Bay area, hurry! Go to Woodward's Garden tonight for this amazing dish.

moya watson said...

gorgeous... and no, i never knew.