Cooking, at it's core, is an art. This week, Sarah French visited the Liquid Art House in the South End to create culinary art.
Arctic Char with Cacik and Fattoush Salad:
4 fillets of Arctic Char, skin on
Grape seed oil
Rye bread or any rustic bread, sliced very thin
2 cups of Labne yogurt or Greek yogurt
1 English cucumber, finely diced
½ cup fresh Dill, chopped
¼ cup fresh Cilantro, chopped
1 ½ tablespoons Kosher salt
2 tablespoons Lemon juice
2 pints of mixed Heirloom tomatoes, cut in half
1 Lemon cucumber or English cucumber, sliced on a mandolin or very thin
4-5 heads of Romaine lettuce, outer leaves removed, keeping the small hearts; cut in half
8-10 Baby Zucchini, sliced in half
2 teaspoons Extra virgin olive oil
For the Cacik, prepare all the ingredients and mix in a bowl. Place in refrigerator to chill and let the flavors marinade. Can be made a day in advance.
For the Rye crisps, preheat oven to 275 degrees. Using a serrated knife, cut 10 – 12 paper-thin slices of the bread. Place on a large baking sheet. Drizzle the slices with olive oil and sprinkle generously with Zatar spice and Kosher salt. Bake at 275 degrees until the bread is crispy. Let the crisps cool completely.
Season the Arctic Char with Kosher salt on both sides. Pat the skin after seasoning with a paper towel to ensure the skin is dry. Place a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Add Grapeseed oil to the pan and let heat until lightly smoking. Lay each Arctic Char into the pan, skin side down. Using a spatula, lightly press the filet to crisp the skin for 30 seconds. Drop the heat to medium low, and let the Char continue to cook and allow the skin to render for 1-2 minutes. Once the skin is seared, flip the Char to sear the other side for a few seconds. Remove from the pan and serve at Medium Rare or place into a 400 degree oven and let cook to desired temperature. Set aside for plating.
For the grilled Baby Zucchini, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt. Place cut side down on a grill for 1-2 minutes to get grill marks. Set aside and cool for the salad.
In a large mixing bowl, add the Heirloom tomatoes, sliced Cucumber, Romaine hearts, grilled Baby Zucchini, olive oil and a few squeezes of the Lemon. Season with a pinch or two of Kosher salt. Toss the salad and set aside for plating.
To serve, place 2-3 tablespoons of the Cacik on a plate. Using the back of a spoon, swipe the Cacik across the plate. Break the Rye crisps into rustic pieces. With the Rye crisps and the salad, arrange the vegetables and the Rye crisps on top of the Cacik. Have fun with arranging the crisps between all the different vegetables, standing them up and facing them in different directions. Place the Arctic Char on the plate, next to the Fattoush salad arrangement. Dinner is served!