It's always nice when the visitor that arrives is the one who taught you what you know and is the inspiration for your love of culinary delights! At $5.99/lb it was hard to pass up Cobia, known as the "black salmon", made popular as the secret ingredient in Battle Cobia on Iron Chef America between chefs Jamie Oliver and Mario Batali.
Cobia is an amazingly rich, moist, and meaty fish with a taste quite akin to a cross between halibut and swordfish, and challenges the substantial texture of swordfish as well. I can envision its use in stews, kabobs, and on the grill too - substituted for meat in many of your favorite recipes.
The Cobia was prepared very simply to compliment my co-chef's side dish and allow the natural flavors of the fish to stand out. Place the filet of fish on a sprayed (oiled) foil-lined cookie sheet and brush with olive oil.
Lemon Garlic Mustard Marinade/Topping
Either by hand or in a small chopper, blend together the following:
3 cloves garlic
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
3-4 TBS olive oil
1 1/2 tsp dry mustard powder
1 TBS dijon mustard
1 tsp finely ground black pepper
Spread the blended mixture evenly over the fish and zest the 1/2 lemon used for juice over top. I opted to use a can of stewed tomatoes, and distributed some of the tomatoes on top of the fish, the rest on the foil-lined sheet to roast with the fish. Optional is the dotting of butter along the filet.
Bake the fish for about 15-20 min at 400F, turning up to broil for 5 min at the end. *Note: Prior to broiling, remove the stewed tomatoes from the sheet as they will burn.
Caramelized Brussel Sprout, Almond, and Breadcrumb Pasta
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pkg brussel sprouts, washed, and halved
1/4 C toasted slivered/sliced almonds chopped finely
1/3 C Italian seasoned bread crumbs
2-3 TBS freshly chopped parsely
1/2 lb pasta cooked al dente, reserve some pasta water (about 1/2-1 C)
Freshly grated parmesan (or reggiano) cheese
Hot pepper flakes
Salt to taste
1. Liberally coat a non-stick saute pan with olive oil and heat.
2. Place halved brussel sprouts cut-side down into heated pan and caramelize on med-high heat about 3-4 min.
3. Turn the brussel sprouts after caramelized, adding 1/2 C reserved pasta water and cover pan with lid to steam brussel sprouts for about 5 min.
4. Add minced garlic, about 1/4 C olive oil, 1/4 tsp hot pepper flakes (or to taste), bread crumbs, and almonds, saute for about 5 min.
5. Add pasta and toss with all ingredients adding more reserved pasta liquid until pasta is coated.
6. Freshly grate parmesan cheese and salt to taste.
Artisan Inspired Bread
I can never get that full crust all the way around my bread, and then I read this article on America's Test Kitchen about baking bread in a pre-heated Dutch Oven. I didn't follow this recipe, but used the "no knead" and cooking method. However, next time I definitely plan to try out this recipe.
I tried to make a Ciabatta bread using this recipe; but I'm not too sure if the air pockets and texture resembled Ciabatta too much. Regardless, the bread tasted great!
Make the day before - Sponge:
- 1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons warm water (not too warm or the yeast will die!)
- 1/3 cup room-temperature water
- 1 cup flour
Cover the sponge with plastic wrap and allow to sit at room temperature for 12 hours up to a day.
Make the day of, but allow 3-4 hours
- 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons warm milk
- 2/3 cup room-temperature water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cups flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Add the above bread mixture to the sponge and mix until flour is incorporated. Allow to rise in a slightly warm dark place for 1-2 hours until doubled in size. Dough will be sticky.
Get a piece of parchment paper ready. This will be the "sling" used to pick up dough and transfer into the Dutch Oven. Turn out dough onto a well-floured surface and gently knead 15 times...that's it! Form into a round loaf. Transfer to lighly floured parchment, sling into a frying pan, cover with dampened tea towel, and allow to rise about 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Pre-heat Dutch Oven by placing in a 500 degree oven for about 10-15 min. Carefully remove pre-heated Dutch Oven. Picking up the dough placed on parchment, lower into the pre-heated Dutch Oven, dust top with flour, cover with lid, and bake for 30 min at 425F. Remove lid, and bake for another 20-30 min longer until golden brown. Remove bread from Dutch Oven and cool on wire rack for at least 30 min prior to slicing.
Serve Cobia with some of the roasted stewed tomatoes, the Caramelized Brussel Sprout Pasta, and a slice of freshly baked Artisan inspired bread!