French Laundry at Home

Haven’t posted in some time, largely because I can’t seem to find time to use the computer…Recently we had a dinner party at Mike Brown’s house (Danny, Meredith, Mike, Laura, myself & Jennifer) where we did Lamb 3 ways and Mike made a dish from the French Laundry Cookbook. Never one to be outdone, I decided it was time to stretch my culinary skills and do some serious cooking at home.

First FL attempt was a relatively easy one, “Pacific Moi with Fresh Soybeans, Scallion and Radish Salad, and Soy-Temple Orange Glaze”. I won’t bore you with the actual details of the recipe, but would like to give some commentary. First of all, there is no way in hell one could ever get Pacific Moi in Augusta, GA; so I used the only “fresh” fish I could find, red snapper. The cooking was relatively simple, and I think the method for crisping the fish’s skin is worth mentioning.

First of all, the FL makes very small servings of food, because they serve tasting menus only where they may serve up to 35 items! I bought a nice snapper filet and cut it into 3 1/2 by 1 inch pieces (I measured with a ruler) leaving the skin on. When crisping the skin, it is important that there be absolutely no water in it. I started by patting the skin dry with paper towels and then refrigerating for about an hour uncovered. When ready to cook, I heated about an 1/8 of an inch of grapeseed oil in my All Clad skillet over medium-high heat. Next, I took the blade of a knife and dragged it over the fish skin, pressing down firmly to force water to the surface, you can then squeegee off the water. I repeated this several times until the skin was dry. To cook, place the fish skin side down for about 2 1/2 minutes, then flip over and “kiss” the other side for about 30 seconds.

To plate, 3 tablespoons of orange glaze went down, topped by the soybean mixture, then the fish, and topped by the radish salad. This dish was awesome, preparation was a pain in the ass, but I would totally make this again in larger portions for a dinner party.

For better details, see the link to the French Laundry at Home. Up next is the awesome Highlands Bar & Grill Baked Grits!

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