Turmeric Fish, Peppery Salad
This little number was a exercise component based cooking. I wanted to bring together flavours that both supplement and contrast. It ended up being fish and a potato rosti, tied together with radish green pesto and turmeric. The fish was fried in a turmeric infused butter. The salad was a watercress, radish, apple, pineapple, fresh slivers of turmeric and radish greens. It was salty, peppery, tangy, tart, slightly sweet. I made one dish, so the following is a recipe for the picture.
- Non-stick frying pan
- Cast Iron Skillet
- A cup
- Razor sharp chef's knife
- Paper towel
- Grater or mandolin with julienne function.
- 1 radish into paper-thin slices, set aside attached greens for later.
- A handful of watercress
- Fresh Pineapple, thinly sliced into strips.
- 1 Apple, thinly sliced into strips.
- 1 Fillet of white fish - Snapper, Terakihi, Gurnard or other
- 50g Butter
- 1 Tbsp flour
- 1 inch fresh Turmeric, peeled. 1 half finely sliced, the other finely chopped
- 1 Large Agria Potato (about 300gm)
- 1 Clove of Garlic, minced
- Olive oil
- 1 tsp lemon juice
The method for this is all about timing. There are four components with radically different cooking times. Follow the steps in order. Prep is the most important factor here.
Potato is our base, our foundation, so it needs more time. Peel your potato, and grate it into a sieve. Cover the grated potato in the sieve with ice, then run cold water over the top until the ice cubes are completely melted. From there, dump the mixture into the middle of a clean tea-towel. Lengthways, fold either side over - take each end and twist, to wring out the potato. Remove it to a mixing bowl.
Melt a third of the butter in the microwave and stir it through the potato, along with the minced garlic and half teaspoon of sea-salt. Let that sit for a few moments while we deal with the next part:
Clean your fish in fresh water, dry with a paper towel and then dust with your tablespoon of flour. Set aside.
Gently melt the remaining butter and poach the finely chopped turmeric in the butter. Do this on the lowest heat: You don't want the butter to go brown! Once this has infused for 4-5 minutes, drain into a cup for use when cooking the fish. Wipe down the pan.
Back to the potato. Form the grated potato mixture into an oblong , about 2 cms thick. On a medium heat in the cast iron skillet, or other pan, melt a small knob of butter and place your potato rosti on top. To gauge when to flip, I like to put a small amount of butter on the up-facing side. Once that melts, it's time to flip. This will cook right until the end.
Assemble your salad ingredients on the plate: Apple, Pineapple, Watercress, A few radish leaves, finely sliced turmeric (these often are strong, so finely sliced is a must, and don't go mental, just a few will do!)
Blend the remaining radish leaves, 1/4 cup of olive oil and a teaspoon of lemon juice. Salt lightly.
Heat up your nonstick pan to a high heat. Once it is hot, pour in your turmeric infused butter and immediately after, your fish. I flip my fish when the white curls around the edges, but it mostly depends on the thickness of your fillet. Move it around in the pan to ensure you soak up as much of that turmeric butter as you can!
Once the fish is done, take it off the heat. Put the rosti on the plate, your fish on top, and dob a few blobs of pesto on the fish and salad. Salt lightly.