Saturday, July 23, 2011

Pan-Roasted Sablefish with Blue Crab Meat Mousse

Here's an upscale and pricey dish to serve.  Save it for a special occasion.

With that said, the combination of sablefish and blue crab meat is sublime.

This course has three elements I try to keep in mind when conceptualizing my food...
  • different textures
  • temperatures
  • contrasting flavors
Sablefish is one of our best sustainable fish.  For my money, the crowning jewel of the ocean's treasure trove of goodies.  Found in the North Pacific, sablefish has a rich, buttery flesh and is a SUSTAINABLE alternative to the over fished, Patagonian Toothfish or Chilean seabass.  You can buy fresh Sablefish from Marx Foods.  The quality is excellent.

Florida Blue Crab Meat is in season right now.  Flesh so sweet and tasty, perfect for numerous kitchen applications.  Here I made a smooth mousse to compliment our fish.

My talented friend, Faith from An Edible Mosaic, was nice enough to bring me back some fabulous spices from her Middle Eastern trip.  I included two in this dish...
  • Za'atar used to spice the sablefish 
  • Kebsa, a Saudi spice mix consisting of lemon, cinnamon, cardamon, coriander, cumin, cloves, black pepper and galingal, used to wake-up the blue crab mousse

Blue Crab Mousse
  • 6oz blue crab meat - picked through for shells and broken bits  
  • 1 tsp kebsa
  • 2 tsp fresh dill - chopped
  • coarse sea salt
  • white pepper
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbs unsalted butter - softened to room temp
  1.  In the bowl of a food processor, combine the crab meat, kesba, and dill.  Season with sea salt and white pepper. Pulse to incorporate.
  2. With the motor running, steadily stream in the heavy cream.  You are looking for a nice smooth consistency.
  3. Transfer to a glass bowl.  Add the butter.  Mix with a spatula.  Check for seasoning.  Add salt & pepper, if desired.
Pan-Roasted Sablefish
  • 8 oz Sablefish fillet - skinned
  • coarse sea salt
  • white pepper
  • za'atar
  • Wondra flour
  • safflower oil
  1. Remove fish from fridge 30 minutes before cooking.  Pat dry with paper towel to remove excess moisture.  Season both sides of the fish with salt, pepper and za'atar.  (Note: take care with the za'atar, do not overdo it.)  Sprinkle both sides with the Wondra flour.
  2. Heat 1/8 inch safflower oil in saute pan over medium-high heat.  When the oil begins to shimmer, gently lay the fish on the pan skinned side down.  Cook for 2.5 minutes.  Using a fish slice, flip the fish.  Cook for 3 minutes on second side.  
  3. Remove to a wire rack to rest.
Note: Insert a metal skewer into the fish.  Hold for 10 seconds.  Put the skewer against the back of your hand, if...
  • the skewer is cold, the fish is raw
  • the skewer is warm, the fish is cooked to perfection
  • the skewer is hot, the fish is fucked

Summer Relish
  • 1 medium cucumber - seeded & diced
  • 1 mango - diced
  • 1 shallot - sliced into thin rings on the mandoline
  • 2 tbs capers
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil
  • 2 tbs champagne vinegar
  • 1 tbs lime juice
  • coarse sea salt
  • ground black pepper
  • ground coriander
  • fresh sorrel - chopped
  • micro greens
  1. In a glass bowl, combine the cucumber, tomato, mango, shallot, capers, oil, vinegar, and lime juice.  Mix to incorporate.  Season with salt, ground coriander and ground pepper.
  2. Fridge overnight.
  3. Before service, add the chopped sorrel to the relish.
  4. Garnish the blue crab mousse with micro greens.

    That's it for now...till we exchange a few words again...Peace!


    1. This look delicious Lázaro, I love crab meat, one of my favorites sea food, xgloria

    2. OK, may I say the skewer description is priceless and soooo accurate. This is a great dish and those spices are insane... must find some of that kebsa. I am already a big fan of zatar and use it often for a quick ap with flatbread and olive oil...LOVE IT> Creamy mousse and crunchy salad is perfect with that fish. You really need to do a restaurant... or at least a pop up once in a while!

    3. Fantastic dish and beautiful use of blue crab! Beautiful mix of flavor and texture, especially with this gorgeous relish!
      Hope your weekend is going well...

    4. It looks amazing...just perfect! I love your header it is so classy. I just drove past a fish market with a sign for live Florida Blue Crab. I need to stop back there tomorrow and pick some up!

    5. I just saw this beautiful meal on FB and the first thing I thought was that it looked like a fantastic combo of flavors, textures, and temps. There you go, great minds think alike. ;) Love your skewer test for fish, I will definitely be using it!

      So glad you're enjoying the spices, Laz!

    6. Beautiful in every way! I can only imagine the complexity that the Middle Eastern spices contributed. Appreciate the skewer test tips - thankfully my skewers are never hot :)

    7. A dish fit for kings... i will hsave to dream of the flavors of the spices.. and possibly settle with sea bass...

    8. This is a stunner of a dish. I haven't had sebsa, so my curiosity is piqued. Blue crab is one of the world's great delicacies to be sure. Did I tell you that I love your new header? Can't remember - but I do!

    9. Hmmm - looks just perfect and almost too good to eat (emphasis on almost...haha).

    10. Fancy (read: impressive) ;-)

    11. This is such a gorgeous dish! Definitely a very special occasion dinner. I would have to try it some day!

      The creamy crab mousse with the beautifully crusted fish. Delicious! You made a fantastic dish for the makeover. No surprise there!

    12. Za'atar is one of my favorite spices and I've used it to flavor fish as well! I love your method for checking fish for doneness. They use the same one at Le Bernardin except they touch the skewer to their lips which to me seems like a bad idea if they are going to reuse the same skewer on everyone's fish, hehe :)

    13. That's great that you were able to incorporate spices from Faith in this dish! Now, I know how you conceptualize your dish :) I heart your presentation. You make the food a fashionista!
      Oh, thanks for the tips of checking if the fish is cooked!

    14. The skewer test ... awesome ... I'll have to remember that one. Must we wait for a special occasion to indulge in this dish? Celebrate every day, I say! I've never tried sablefish, not blue crab - hmm, I feel a bit primitive in the seafood department.

      I completely agree with your three elements to the dish. We talk a little about constructing dishes in dietetics, combining different textures, etc., but in a very scientific manner. Dish-creation takes art!

      Just noticed the revival of the mohawked individual in the sidebar - 'sup, Laz!

    15. Heaven! Blue crab mousse? Wow! And I rarely find people who know sbale! Smoked sable was a rare and special Sunday morning treat when I was growing up and I love the fish! Firm and tender at once. What a lovely dish you have created!

    16. Laz, you know I'm drooling over this magnificent dish. Drooling all over my keyboard cause I know how you love it when people say that. Lol (just buggin'). But seriously, I'd fight you off for this dish if I had to (standing only at 5 ft). When it comes to food this amazing, I'll fight anybody till the end ;). Another beautiful concoction, my friend.

    17. Lazaro, What a beautiful dish! I'm always looking for firm white fish to replace the more over fished varieties...thanks for suggesting Marxfoods. Justin is a top notch dude when it comes to procuring superb gourmet items. I'll be heading over there today to check out their seafood selection and get me some sablefish!

    18. I comented and I lost it. The fish looks absolutely fantastic. The golden crust and I will keep in mind your skewer instructions.

    19. All this colorful healthy food will not be my undoing


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