Poached Sablefish with Emmer, Dandelions, Morels, Hazelnuts, and Sea Beans
For the fish
- 4 five-ounce sablefish fillets
- kosher salt for the fillets
- 2 cups olive oil
- 1 bunch thyme
- 1 bay leaf
For the emmer:
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced the size of a farro grain
- 1 1/2 cups emmer farro
- 4 ounces dry white wine
- salt to taste
- 1 quart vegetable stock
For the vegetables:
- 1 tablespoon aged sherry vinegar
- 1/2 shallot, very fine diced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- salt to taste
- 2-3 ounces fresh morel mushrooms
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons shallot, very fine dice
- 2 tablespoons minced chives
- 2 bunches dandelion greens, torn into 2-3" pieces
- 1-2 ounces toasted and chopped hazelnuts
- 1 large handful sea beans, blanched and shocked
- Sprinkle the sablefish filets generously with salt on the top and bottom. Allow to cure for 5 to 10 minutes to firm up the fish, then rinse well with cold water and allow to dry in the refrigerator on a rack, while the emmer cooks.
- For the emmer, in a medium saucepan set over medium heat, warm up 2 teaspoons of olive oil and add the onion. Cook and stir for 2 minutes, then add the emmer. Stir with a wooden spoon to toast it gently and evenly. Pour in the white wine, and scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pan to stir into the emmer. Sprinkle generously with salt. Gradually add the vegetable stock, stirring constantly, until the farro is tender enough to eat but still toothsome. Transfer to a shallow pan to cool at room temperature.
- Bring the 2 cups of olive oil up to 165 degrees in a sauce pan, and add the thyme and bay leaf. 15-20 minutes before your desired serving time, gently place the filets of sablefish in the warm oil. The fish should be completely submerged. To test for doneness, carefully lift a filet out of the oil with a spatula. It should be tender and flaky, almost falling apart.
- While the fish is poaching, prepare a vinaigrette by whisking together the sherry vinegar and shallot. Slowly drizzle in 3 tablespoons of olive oil to form an emulsion. Season with salt and set aside at room temperature.
- Slice the morels in half and brush out any dirt. Warm the last teaspoon of olive oil in a very hot pan, and add the morels. After a 2-3 minute sauté, add the diced shallot and chives, and salt to taste.
- To serve, warm up the emmer in a saucepan over medium with just a little stock for it to absorb while it reheats. Once it's warm, add dandelion greens and toss to gently wilt. Add the vinaigrette to taste. (Be generous; the acidity is necessary to liven the grain and fish.) Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Divide the emmer and greens between four plates. Remove the fish from the poaching oil, drain it on a paper towel, and place one filet on top of each bed of grains. Arrange morels on top and around the fish. Garnish with hazelnuts and sea beans.
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