There’s nothing fishy going on here
seared rare swordfish . tahini . hearts of palm . corn . lemon verbena . togarashi spice . chorizo oil
I know I already told you how crazy I am about this dish. Let’s start with the fish itself.
Justin really wanted to make the dish the essence of summer with fresh ocean flavors.
The fish is sourced through a company called Honolulu Fish Company, HFC . Weekly, Chef Justin calls Morgan at HFC, to ask what’s new and what just came in. He is interested in fish that are caught in small batches. The owner of HFC is Wayne Samiere is experienced in sashimi distribution. He has the ability to easily recognize a great-tasting fish when he sees one. And he is a trained marine biologist, so he recognizes why it tastes so good. Samiere’s knowledge of the fishing industry with his passion for aquaculture and environmental conservation, offers clients a value beyond the highest quality seafood the satisfaction of knowing their fish was chosen with great care. Some guys have pictures of beautiful girls on their walls, Samiere says. But I have pictures of bright, clear, fresh chunks of beautiful, sashimi-grade fish meat. I love working with fish and owning and running a business where I’m able to sell a product of which I’m deeply proud.” Gotta love this guy right? HFC has over 3000 top chefs customers across the US. And yeah, ZZest is one of them . *applause*
Now take this fish and create a plate. What happened next? Chef Justin decided to use fresh heart of palm for a salad element to go with this beautiful fish. Not heard of hear of heart of palm ? Well, simply, it is the tender insides of small palm trees. I’ve only had them canned. Fresh they are much more savory with a slight crunch, unlike the canned mushy version. What would be a clean, fresh super summer-y pairing? Look around us? Fresh sweet corn is everywhere right now. So, that’s the next element in the salad. Fresh from the market MN sweet corn. Keeping the summer the basic element on the plate Justin added lemon verbena from our patio garden. Lemon verbena is commonly used to flavor fruit-based drinks, salad dressings, fish soups, marinades, puddings, jams, and desserts. It’s cool because it will retain it’s wonderful flavor even during cooking. It pairs well with fruits, vanilla, and seafood dishes. If you find some and add to your lemonade or ice tea!!
Once he had these citrus notes in place he decided to dust the swordfish with togashi spice. It’s unique with heavy orange and lemon zest and a bit of Szechwan peppers.
Justin says it is necessary to add a little fat or heaviness, for another layer. He explained, tahini seemed right he liked the idea of its slight peanut butter flavor. There he added just a bit of lemon and lime and of course sea salt and freshly ground pepper. All that was missing was a bit of heat. So he chose chorizo oil. Here’s where the chefs mind really comes into play. We have a spicy chorizo pizza on the menu and after it is cooked, Justin staines and saves the oil. A perfect spicy flourish to finish the plate.
Remember how I told you about each bite on a plate here at ZZest a bit different and all being amazing? The last bite on this plate was unexpected. The last little bit of fish had released its savory juices into the tahini, making it savory and salty. The chorizo oil swirled in with that and gave it a slight zing. And that last bit of fish was ocean sweet. The lovely lemon verbena from the beginning, at this point, a memory. But the last bite I wish I could have that bite once more.