After sitting down and discussing fish, the Michelin and Beard awards, travels to Japan and to the Culinary Institute of America with Providence chef-owner Michael Cimarusti, we were a little hungry. You may have had a similar experience after reading our interview with the chef. Fortunately, he gave us a recipe. No, it's not a simple throw-your-fish-on-the-grill recipe. You can do that yourself. But if you want something seriously impressive that isn't as difficult as it looks, turn the page.
Alaskan halibut with burdock and shiso
From: Providence chef-owner Michael Cimarusti
Note: Burdock and shiso can be found at Asian grocery stores and at some farmers markets.
Makes: 4 servings
4 4-ounce. boneless, skinless portions of Alaskan halibut
2 stalks burdock, peeled
2 bunches green shiso
3 cups sake
6 ounces unsalted butter
1 ounces lemon juice
sugar to taste
salt to taste
To Prepare the Garnish:
1. Peel the burdock and place it in lightly acidulated water. Cut the burdock on an extreme bias as thin as possible. Lay the slices out on your cutting board so that they overlap and cut them into julienne strips. Place the julienne back into the acidulated water.
2. Reserve all of the scraps and place them in a sauce pan with the sake. Heat the mixture to a boil and simmer until the sake is by half.
3. Strain out the burdock and emulsify the butter into the sake using a hand blender. Add the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and sugar. Set this aside while you cook the burdock.
4. Bring a pot of water to the boil and salt it well. When the water boils add the burdock and cook it until tender. Remove the burdock to ice water and drain it well when cooled.
To Cook the fish:
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Season the fish on both sides. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and oil it well with extra virgin olive oil. Place the fish on the cookie sheet and place another liberally oiled sheet of parchment over the fish, smooth the parchment down so that it adheres to the fish. Place the pan in the oven.
2. While the fish cooks divide the sake broth into two pans. Place an ounce or so into one pan and add the drained burdock to it, heat over a low flame. Place the rest of the sauce into a slightly taller sauce pan and heat over a low flame.
3. Check the fish after 8 minutes or so for signs that it is cooked. Cod will flake when it is cooked, you can test this by pressing on the filet gently. If the fish does not yield to the touch then cook it a bit longer. When the fish is cooked you can leave the oven door ajar while you finish the garnish and sauce.
4. To finish the garnish, cut the shiso into wide ribbons (or chiffonade). Add the shiso to the burdock and stir to incorporate, check for seasoning. Aerate the sauce in the other pan using a hand blender. When bubbles have formed on the surface of the sauce you will place it back over a low flame while you plate the dish.
5. Divide the burdock among 4 warmed bowls. Remove the fish from the oven, finish it with a pinch of Maldon salt and a drizzle of olive oil and place the fish on top of the burdock, spoon the foam around the fish and serve immediately. You may garnish with some shiso leaves or perhaps an oven dried tomato if you wish.