Not everything we make, even if it's made exactly as the recipe is written works out, or is even to our taste. Of course, I've mentioned how much we enjoy Yotam Ottolenghi's cookbooks as evidenced in previous posts. The dude has some great vegetarian recipes and also seems to have a serious egg fetish. And you know me....I love my drippy eggs, right?
On the other hand, I've been a bit leary of the meat and especially fish recipes in his latest book, Jerusalem. But the Missus was taken with the Marinated Sweet & Sour Fish recipe from the book.. It had all the great ingredients we enjoy...the peppers, the harissa, coriander seeds, garlic, tomatoes......
And I took the Missus to Catalina Offshore getting some really nice halibut.....
I did think the recipe bit odd. You basically saute all the vegetables. Then fry the fish in an egg batter, then place the fish in the ragout to finish in the oven. For me, it really got odd when the book recommended you eat this the next day.....at room temperature. I mean, you've created a pretty hard barrier, via the egg batter....would any of the flavor permeate the fish which is simply seasoned with salt? It was strange enough that I followed the recipe to the letter....even doing the steps I usually change around from the book, like not blooming, in this case, the curry powder in oil for more flavor. I even held off and used only two cloves of garlic, crushed. I will say that the dish really did look like the photo in the book.
With nothing to really do the next day; I just made a simple tomato-lettuce salad with a white balsamic vinaigrette and roasted some baby eggplant and small white potatoes in the oven.
The dish was nothing if not bright and vibrant looking.
Man....compared to other dishes I've made from the book; this was pretty bland. The batter from the fish had become mushy....really not a great texture. The flavor of the vegetables was all over the map....a combo sour-curry-coriander, not bad, but just kind of weak.
So no recipe on this one......
I do always say to adjust recipes to your taste, his time I didn't. Get the book though....try out the recipe, just because we didn't care for the flavors doesn't mean you won't like it. I will say, that I found this to be a bit fussy, with maybe too many steps.
The one great thing.....I managed to show the Missus what I like when buying fish...the sheen, etc.... Catalina Offshore has often been problematic because of their hours. But now, the Missus enjoys dropping by and picking up fish for dinner.
Remember that shakshuka recipe from the same book (adjusted a bit of course)? Well, I made the peppers and tomato portion as before. Then seasoned some nice halibut with salt, pepper, smoked paprika, oregano, granulated garlic, then finally some cumin powder to tie it to the vegetable concoction and used it as a relish or salsa if you will. I'm thinking the recipe above might have been great done this way.
This was a really nice dinner........
Pan fried halibut on spicy red bell pepper-tomato relish, with some shaved kale and purple cabbage salad and oven roasted potatoes and eggplant. It's amazing what you can make on a weeknight if you have a plan!
I hope everyone is having a great week!