Thursday, January 10, 2008

Nori's not just for sushi anymore!

One of the points of the Month of New Recipes exercise that w and I do in January, where for every meal we eat at home we have to try something new, is to discover new flavors, new recipes to work into my food A.D.D. addled mind, and new ways to try some our favorite edibles. This meal combines two of them...fresh halibut and nori wrappers. Both great in their usual realms, like on the grill and wrapped around sushi rolls, together they were awesome. Besides, how often do you get to make/use something called "Nori Jam"? Keep this away from the young 'uns, because this ain't Smucker's, I can tell you! But plopped gently on top of the über-fresh pieces of halibut from the fish monger at New Seasons (he cut off two fresh fillets off a new fish when I didn't like the looks of what was in the display case. This smelled so fresh when I got fishyness, just a very light oceany aroma...perfect!), this was really amazing. Salt worriers be careful, because it has a pretty intense saltiness, but then again we used the recipe for four on two pieces....maybe a little overkill, but still pretty yummy. We did end up scraping a little off, and it was just right. This is a super-easy, unusual preparation that was in an article on Nori in yesterday's NYT, the recipe inspired by chef/Japanophile David Myers of LA's Sona. Try it out....your tastebuds will thank you!
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Halibut With Nori Jam
adapted from David Myers
time: 20 minutes

2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon water
1 1/2 sheets nori, torn into small pieces

4 6 to 8 ounce skinless halibut fillets
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 teaspoons nori jam
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons sliced chives.

1. For nori jam: In small saucepan, combine soy sauce, mirin, vinegar and 1 tablespoon of water. Bring to boil and add nori, stirring until nori is soft, about 30 seconds. Transfer to blender and purée until smooth. Return to pan and cook over medium heat until thickened and jamlike, 2 to 3 minutes.

2. For halibut: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season halibut with salt and pepper to taste. Place large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat and add oil. When oil is very hot but not smoking, add fillets skinned side down and let them sit until browned on underside, about 3 minutes.

3. Transfer pan to oven and bake until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer fillets to warm platter and spread each fillet with about 1 teaspoon of nori jam. Sprinkle with lemon juice, and garnish with chives. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings.

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