It’s been a strange few weeks for me, cooking wise. I’ve been getting back to the food I love, remembering why I ever picked up a whisk in the first place, challenging myself as a cook and remembering the food I fell in love with. If you follow my other blog, you are aware of this shift I’ve taken.
I’m happy, and relived in a way, chasing the Traffic Dragon is exhausting and cooking what I love makes me happy, and for the first time in a while I’m excited to share a dish.
The first time I ever had a salt packed roasted anything was while traveling through Italy as a broke college student. I’d worked three jobs and saved for six months to send myself over seas and had ended up in the small city of Trieste. I’d wandered into a restaurant that was far too fancy for my tiny budget. I saw pesci listed on the menu and just pointed to it. There weren’t any prices on the menu and I just hoped that the fish I order wasn’t too expensive.
What came to my table was a salt packed whole fish on a cart. I panicked for a second and then decided to order a glass of wine and enjoy it. It ended up costing $60, a small travelers fortune, but it was worth it. I lived off bread and cheese for a week, but I’ll never forget that fish.
Lately I’ve been trying to remember food I’ve fallen in love with and that fish came to mind. It’s a classic, old world, technique that isn’t used much in the US, but it’s brilliant at locking in flavor with zero added cooking fat.
I found a video online by Tom Colicchio about salt roasted fish, just like the one I had in Italy. It paired well with the artichokes, and grilling is my absolute favorite way to make artichokes now, something you need to try this summer if you get a chance.
The fish is simple. Just start with a whole fish that’s been gutted. Most markets sell these cheaper than large fillets because there is less labor involved.
Mix the salt and the egg white, make a bed of salt on an oven safe serving platter (or rimmed baking sheet)
Put lemon and herbs in the cavity, then pack the remaining salt around the fish before roasting.
It comes out of the oven a light golden brown and steamed to perfection. Very impressive, and pretty easy.
For the artichokes, just cut them in half down the center
Use a melon baller and a sharp paring knife to remove the hair and the purple leaves, then boil for 25 minutes,
baste with melted butter and grill until you get those beautiful grill marks.
Citrus Cooked Scallops with Smoky IPA Parsnip Puree and Beer Pickled Jalapenos
- Place the scallops in a small bowl, sprinkle with salt.
- Pour orange juice and lemon juice over the scallops (scallops should be submerged) cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
- Allow scallops to “cook” in the citrus for 3 hours and up to 6, or until the scallops have turned white.
- Cook the parsnips in lightly salted boiling water until fork tender, drain.
- Add parsnips to a food processor with remaining ingredients, process until smooth (add additional beer or water for a thinner consistency).
- Remove scallops from citrus, allow to drain and dry on a stack of paper towels.
- Plate puree, top with scallops, and then one to two pickled jalapenos on top of each scallop.
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Adapted from Tom Colicchio Master Class: Salt Roasting Fish (video includes tips for serving)
- 2 tbs sugar
- 1 tbs salt
- ½ cup vinegar
- 2 tbs water
- 1 cup beer (I used an IPA)
- 6 large jalapenos thinly sliced
- In a saucepan over medium high heat, add the sugar, salt, vinegar and water. Stir just until the salt and sugar have dissolved, remove from heat. Stir in the beer, pour into a jar.
- Refrigerate until cold, about 20 minutes.
- Add the jalapenos to the jar, replace the lid and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.
- Jalapenos will last for several weeks.
Copyright Ã�Â© TheBeeroness.com