Sablefish with Cranberries, Cashews, and Cauliflower

Here the sablefish is seared until the skin is crispy and caramelized, and then served with a sprinkle of crunchy, buttery cashews.

October 10, 2017

Ingredients

For the cranberry chutney
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (12 oz bag)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 cups cranberry juice (sweet)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, plus extra to taste
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt, plus extra to taste
For the cauliflower
  • 2 heads cauliflower, florets only (about 10 cups, divided)
  • 3 Tbsp plus 2 tsp olive oil or unsalted butter
  • Sea salt
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
For the Sablefish
  • 4 (4 to 5 oz) skin-on sablefish fillets
  • Sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • Chopped toasted cashews, for garnish
  • Smoked sea salt, to sprinkle

Instructions

Make the Cranberry Chutney

Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, and cook for 30 minutes or until the cranberries are tender and the mixture is thickened and saucy. Taste and adjust seasonings with up to 1 teaspoon salt or 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, if needed. The sweet, salty, and sour flavors should be balanced. Transfer the cranberry sauce to a blender or food processor, and blend until slightly chunky (or until smooth, if desired). Chutney can be made several days ahead and refrigerated. Allow to come to room temperature before serving.

3 Ways to Make the Cauliflower

For the puree, steam half the cauliflower (about 5 cups) in a steamer insert set over a few inches of boiling water for 12 to 15 minutes or until tender but not soggy and overcooked. Transfer the cauliflower to a blender, add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil (or butter) and 1 teaspoon salt, and puree until smooth.

For the roasted cauliflower, preheat the oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, toss 3 cups of the remaining florets with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Arrange in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until florets are evenly caramelized and golden brown. Toss with 1 tablespoon butter if desired.

For the raw cauliflower, use a mandoline to shave the remaining florets (about 2 cups) lengthwise as thinly as possible. Transfer to a medium bowl and toss with the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, the lemon juice, and salt to taste.

Make the Sablefish

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Use paper towels to pat the fish dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Carefully lay the fish in the pan skin side down. (If necessary, cook the fish in batches to prevent overcrowding, which will keep the fish from caramelizing properly.) Reduce the heat to medium, and cook for 1 minute or until a golden crust forms on the skin. Flip the fillets over, skin side up, and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes or until browned. Place the pan in the oven and roast for 4 minutes or until fish is opaque in the center and flakes easily.

Remove from the oven and add the butter to the pan. Allow it to melt while you squeeze the lemon over the fish. Use a spoon to baste each fillet with the buttery juices for about 1 minute. Transfer the fish to a plate and keep warm.

Spread the cauliflower puree on each plate. Add the fillets and surround with roasted cauliflower. Spoon 2 tablespoons of cranberry chutney over the fish, and top with the shaved cauliflower. Garnish with a sprinkling of cashews and smoked salt.

About this recipe

“Here the sablefish is seared until the skin is crispy and caramelized, and then served with a sprinkle of crunchy, buttery cashews. A trio of cauliflower preparations—roasted, pureed, and shaved raw—echoes these textures and flavors, while a swipe of tart cranberry chutney brings it all to life.” – Ned Bell


Recipe & excerpt from Lure: Sustainable Seafood Recipes from the West Cost, by Ned Bell with Valerie Howes. Republished with permission from Figure 1 Publishing Inc. 

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Ingredients

For the cranberry chutney
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (12 oz bag)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 cups cranberry juice (sweet)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, plus extra to taste
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt, plus extra to taste
For the cauliflower
  • 2 heads cauliflower, florets only (about 10 cups, divided)
  • 3 Tbsp plus 2 tsp olive oil or unsalted butter
  • Sea salt
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
For the Sablefish
  • 4 (4 to 5 oz) skin-on sablefish fillets
  • Sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • Chopped toasted cashews, for garnish
  • Smoked sea salt, to sprinkle
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