Sunday, March 1, 2009

Braised Arctic Char with Basil, Almonds, and Lemon

Recently, I have been obsessed with the cookbook A16: Food and Wine by Nate Appleman and Shelley Lindgren. This cookbook showcases beautiful photography, an very informative section on the wines of southern Italy, and most importantly, an amazing selection of southern Italian-inspired recipes. So far, I have made the Ragu Alla Napoletana, Braised Halibut, with Pistachios, Preserved Meyer Lemon, and Capers, and Braised Kale with Tomato and Anchovy Soffrito. All have been excellent. I am looking forward to giving the pizzas, ricotta gnocchi, and meatballs a try; each of these recipes will be upcoming weekend projects. Tonight, I kept it simple; adapting two recipes from the cookbook to serve braised arctic char with basil, almonds, and lemon along with a side of green beans braised in the tomato and anchovy soffrito leftover from last weekend's kale. While the fish was my least favorite of the recipes I have tried from the book, it was still tasty and quite easy to prepare.

Braised Arctic Char with Basil Almonds, and Lemon
Serves Two

  • two six 0z. arctic char filets
  • kosher salt
  • 1 cup packed basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • handful of almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 2 lemon wedges
  1. Salt arctic char 1 hr. prior to cooking and bring to room temperature
  2. Preheat oven to 400F
  3. In a food processor, pulse basil until it forms a paste
  4. Drizzle in olive oil to food processor and process until basil and oil form a smooth paste
  5. Add a tiny pinch of salt to basil mixture
  6. Place filets in skillet large enough to comforatbly hold both filets
  7. Spoon basil mixture on top of both filets
  8. Add water to skillet to come half way up filets
  9. Place skillet in oven. Bake about 10 minutes or until fish can be flaked with a fork.
  10. Plate filets. Top with chopped almonds and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with lemon wedges.

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