FlexingPosted: April 4, 2010
Ever get an idea in your head that you just can’t get out until you see it through? I get this way about food a lot. A few weeks back I was thinking about lemongrass and lime together in a non-spicy way. It’s a very common pairing in Thai food and I love it but I just wanted that aroma in a non-Asian cuisine. Through some strange thought process I knew I wanted it with fish (maybe because of the citrus) and it had to be an infusion of lemongrass in something sweet.
Then came my random scrambling for what components I wanted it with. I knew I wanted the fish crisp so I couldn’t have anything with sauce and I bumped into the recipe for this salad on the Epicurious application for iPhones. I’m one of those people who cooks with a laptop or an iPod Touch on the counter as often as I cook with a cookbook. I can’t help it, I like my technology close to me!
I’m going to attempt to write down this recipe but honestly, I was winging it most of the time.
Blue Grenadier fillet with lemongrass-infused lime syrup
2 Tbsp sugar
Lime juice (I used 2 whole limes)
1 lemongrass, sliced thinly
2 fillets of Blue Grenadier, skin on (actually, I just randomly picked the freshest white fish I could find at the market)
1. Clean fillets well, pat dry with paper towel. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Place sugar and lime juice in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. The rule is that the lime juice has to entirely cover the sugar. Heat over low-medium heat until sugar dissolves, then turn the fire down to as low as it will go and add in lemongrass. Continue heating until it looks like syrup, shiny-thick-glossy. Leave aside to cool.
3. Heat some olive oil up in a pan and gently fry the fillets until just done, but skin is crisp.
4. Plate on top of salad, brush on syrup with a brush, then garnish with the lemongrass.
For the salad, the recipe is here. This salad was picked because I’d never tried fennel before (I know, I know!) and apparently this caramelized fennel is the best way to test the waters if you’ve never had it before. It was also pretty great practicing my knife skills learning how to segment an orange. You see it done on TV and you think, “BAH EASY!” but not that easy for the first orange. A lot easier for the second orange once I figured out where to cut into. You should’ve seen my first orange, though. It was barely a spherical fruit anymore!
I’ve got another flavour idea in my brain that I really need to put to work soon before it fades. This time it’s going to be a dessert, so that will be a little more fun. Funny too, because I came up with the flavour for a dessert I’ve never even tried making. But I hear it’s easy so I reckon I’ll be okay.
It’s always fun to flex my brain this way and it is so satisfying to see it come together perfectly on the plate and on my palate. Even if it doesn’t, it’s all in the name of education so there’s no real loss there.