Wednesday, 16 April 2014


I've found myself especially drawn to art forms beyond the plate in the last few weeks. I spend nights wondering how skilled photographers are so adept at capturing emotion or encapsulating moments in time, or how fashion designers can convey aggression or expression through the colors and intricacies of their clothes, or how architects can express nobility or even conjure nostalgia for a time gone by. While the argument can be made that the material manifestation of those art forms is static, their influence is anything but static. Art, to me, is transient and dynamic in its impact and its relevance, meaning different things at different times and impacting everyone in a different way. This dynamism is encouraging; every day I feel fortunate to be surrounded by the beauty of humanity. I get a little excited about the potential for new experience around me often created by the artists of my time.
René Redzepi, of the Noma restaurant in Coepenhagen, is such an artist. Through his exploration of Nordic cuisine with the new, yet old, lens of foraging and true reliance on the environment around him, he has been able to captivate the culinary world. Anyone who is paying attention has had their life enriched by doing so. René’s expression of self, the unrelenting fearlessness in his food, was the catalyst for this simple dish. His inspiration urged me to challenge myself to put as few elements as possible on the plate, elegantly and harmoniously. No frills, just four things on a plate. Thank you René.

INGREDIENTS (serves 4):
·         4 fillets haddock
·         100g butter
·         3 endives
·         12 baby blue carrots
·         180g watercress leaves
·         6g mustard
·         15g apple balsamic vinegar
·         30g water
·         110g grapeseed oil
·         Olive oil
·         Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

-          Preheat oven to 400 °F
-          Brown the butter in a medium pan and strain and reserve the browned butter
-          Using a vegetable peeler take a few slices of one endive and reserve in ice water for garnish
-          Slice the remaining endives into quarters and season with salt and pepper
-          Placed the endive quarters onto a roasting sheet and season with salt and pepper and drizzle over some olive oil
-          Roast the endives in the prepared oven for 20 to 25 minutes
-          Prepare the watercress oil by placing the leaves, mustard, balsamic vinegar, and water in a blender and blending until liquefied
-          Emulsify the oil in the blended mixture and strain the watercress oil into a bowl
-          Keep cool until ready to serve
-          Season the carrots with salt and pepper and sauté in a pan with 2 tbsp olive oil at medium heat for two minutes before turning the heat down and allowing the carrots to slowly cook for the next 15 to 20 minutes or until cooked through
-          Prepare a second pan with 2 tbsp olive oil at medium heat
-          Pat dry and season the haddock fillets with salt and pepper
-          Place the fillets thick side down and fry for about 1 minute before add some of the browned butter to the pan
-          Continue to cook the haddock on the same side for about 1 more minute until cooked almost ¾ of the way through before flipping to the thinner side
-          Cook for a further minute or until cooked through, basting the fish with the oil and butter from the pan as it cooks
-          Remove from the pan and onto a dry plate or surface
-          Finish the carrots by adding a little browned butter into the pan and ensuring each carrot is blistered by the butter
-          Remove the carrots from the pan and place onto a dry plate or surface
-          Remove the endives from the oven and drizzle over the remaining brown butter
-          Plate by first using a pastry or other brush to create a smear
-          Place 2 endive quarters and 3 carrots to the non-smeared side of the plate
-          Place the fish fillets into the middle of the watercress smear
-          Place a few of the endive slices and watercress onto the fish
-          Drizzle over a little olive oil to finish the dish

No comments:

Post a Comment