Summer Cooking Class – Grilled Fish

Though the growing season got off to a cold and rainy start, it was summer in the kitchen of Local Source Market, as we kicked off our summer cooking series on Monday night.

The evening’s menu included grilled arctic char with herbed aioli and roasted asparagus, arugula and radish salad, and a fair trade chocolate hazelnut brownie cake garnished with strawberries and whipped cream.  Yum!  Ten of us bustled around the kitchen preparing the meal.   Local farmer, Amy Lounder of Avon River CSA, joined us for dinner, to talk about Community Supported Agriculture and her farming operation.

Sourcing sustainable seafood can be challenging; however, we’re fortunate to have the Marine Issues Committee staff just down the hall from us at the office.  The original recipe called for trout, and they suggested a sustainable farmed arctic char as a good substitute.  It was delicious!

Because its been such a cold season, zucchini isn’t yet widely available, but there is still asparagus, which went well with the fish.  Arugula and radishes are also plentiful right now, and strawberries are just beginning.  The key to local, seasonal eating is learning to cook with what you have and adapting your recipes to what’s available.

GRILLED FISH WITH HERBED AIOLI

6 fillets arctic char

olive oil

sea salt and pepper

Brush fish with olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper. Grill 2 minutes with skin side up, then turn and grill 3 to 4 minutes. Pan sear: mix of oil and butter in medium to med-high pan, timing as above.

NOTE

General rule for cooking fish is 8 minutes per inch [measured at thickest area].  However, the fish will continue to cook when you take it off the heat, so remove from heat source at 6 minutes and keep warm while serving veggies and preparing plates.

ROASTED VEG
1 zucchini, halved, per person AND/OR
4 to 6 spears of asparagus
olive oil
sea salt and pepper
lemon wedges to serve
alt: crushed garlic [1 clove per person]

Brush zucchini with olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper. Grill 3 to 4 minutes
each side [or roast 8 to 10 minutes in 400º oven.] When cooked, cut into 1/2
inch slices.
NOTE
If using asparagus, break ends off, brush with olive oil, add garlic, and grill
or roast 6 to 8 minutes, turning half way through.

HOMEMADE AIOLI

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 egg yolks

1 tsp [5 ml] Dijon mustard

1.25 c [300 ml] olive oil

a squeeze of lemon juice

1 tsp [5 ml] lemon zest

1/4 tsp [1.23 ml] anchovy paste [optional]

1/4 c [50 ml] flat-leaf parsley

1. Put the crushed garlic cloves and egg yolks in a blender with Dijon mustard, blend to a paste and then with the motor still running add the olive oil in steady stream to make a thick mayonnaise.

2. Transfer to serving bowl. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, anchovy paste, and parsley and stir until mixed. Season well.

ARUGULA AND RADISH SALAD

DRESSING

1 small shallot, minced

1 rounded tsp [5 ml] Dijon mustard

1/4 c [60 ml] grapeseed oil

1 tbsp [15 ml] virgin olive oil

1/4 c [50 ml] balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp [15 ml] red wine vinegar

1/8 tsp [0.6 g] salt

freshly ground pepper

Small handful of arugula per person. 3 or 4 large radishes per person, with head and tail snipped off, sliced thinly. [or 8 to 10 small radishes, halved or quartered.] Cucumber is also great with this mix.

Wash and dry arugula. Arrange in serving bowl.

NOTE – Arugula will go limp when tossed with dressing, so add dressing only when serving. Let sit dry in serving bowl until ready to serve, then serve each plate and add dressing and radishes as garnish.

CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT BROWNIE CAKE

5 tbsp [75 ml] unsalted butter

6 oz [175 g] bittersweet or semisweet chocolate

1/2 c [125 ml] shelled hazelnuts

1 c [225 g] cane sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp [5 ml] vanilla

GARNISH

1 c [225 g] whipping cream

4 tsp [20 g] sugar

1 tbsp [15 ml] Grand Marnier or other liqueur

1 tsp [5 ml] orange rind

5 or 6 mint leaves

1. Line 8 or 9 inch cake tin with foil. Grease with butter or oil.

2. Break chocolate into small pieces and put in an oiled bowl on top of simmering water until melted. Set aside to cool.

3. Toast hazelnuts on cookie sheet at 350º until lightly browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Let cool and crush into small pieces.

4. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Using rubber spatula, fold in hazelnuts and melted chocolate until incorporated. Pour mix into tart pan and bake at 350º until toothpick inserted in centre comes out with moist crumbs clinging, about 20 minutes. Let cool to room temp. on rack.

5. Garnish: In mixing bowl and using whisk or electric mixer, whip cream, sugar, liqueur, and grated orange rind until firm peaks form.

6. Pile cream on top of cake and garnish with mint leaves.

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