Welcome to 10 Year Anniversary Saturday
Ten years together with the The Lawyer. Amazing. I can clearly remember the day we met. Mind blowing how time just flies. I would like to thank my life partner, the smartest person I know, her choice of mate notwithstanding. Thank you for choosing me to share your time with. Being with you is everything I need from this life.
Usually I would make a fancy multi-course meal to celebrate such an occasion, however, LC's kitchen will be closed tonight. We are hitting the town.
I wouldn't dream of leaving my dedicated readers without a dish today, so...Enjoy!
Caponata is a Sicilian antipasti composed of eggplant and other vegetables deep fried and mixed with nuts. Marinated in a sweet and sour sauce, it really is a fantastic dish. Here I use it to accentuate a pan roasted Pacific halibut fillet. U.S. or Canadian wild caught Pacific Halibut is a wonderful sustainable fish.
Here are some magnificent websites to educated yourself on sustainable seafood...
Monterey Bay Aquarium
The cooking of the caponata can be a time consuming endeavor but well worth the trouble. Traditionally in Sicily, dark chocolate is grated into the dish, do not skip this step, it takes the flavor profile to a whole new divison. The Caponata is meant to be served at room temperature.
Caponata con Pan-Roasted Pacific Halibut
1 large eggplant
1 red onion - small dice
2 celery stalk - small dice
1 fennel bulb - small dice
1 zucchini - small dice
1 squash - small dice
4 vine-ripened tomatoes - small dice
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup capers
1/2 cup sunflower seeds - raw & unsalted
5 tbs red wine vinegar
1 tbs superfine sugar
1 tbs black pepper
1 tbs sea salt
Cut the eggplant into 1/2 inch cubes. Season with sea salt. Leave to drain in a colander for 2 hours.
Heat some olive oil in pan. Cook the onions over medium heat until soft. NO COLOR. If you allow the onion to brown, start again. Remove the onion and place in a glass bowl. Mix in the diced tomatoes.
Heat the peanut oil in a deep heavy bottom pot to 350 F. Add the celery and deep fry for 2 minutes. Remove with a spider. Allow the oil to come back up to temperature and repeat the same process with the eggplant, zucchini, fennel, and squash.
Place all fried veggies in the bowl with the onion and tomato. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to infuse at room temperature for 1 1/2 hours. The natural steam from the fried veggies helps the dishes disparate flavors come together.
Note: Do not put in the fridge it will dull down the flavors.
For the Pacific Halibut:
2 - 8 ounce Pacific Halibut filets
Remove the fish from the fridge 15 minutes before cooking. Pat dry with paper towels to remove as much excess moisture as possible. Season with the flour, sea salt, white pepper, and fennel pollen.
In a heavy bottom pan, heat the canola oil over medium high heat. When the pan is very hot, add the fillets. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side. Gently remove from the pan to a rack to rest. Lightly season with some sea salt.
- Center some of the caponata
- Using a microplane, grate some dark chocolate over the caponata
- Gently lay the halibut on top
- Garnish with edible flowers
That's it for now...till we exchange a few words again...Peace!