with FRESH CORN, TOMATOES
1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds, toasted
4 grouper fillets, preferably local
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon butter, plus more for cooking
4 sprigs fresh thyme, removed from stalks and chopped
4 ears fresh corn, cleaned and de-silked
1/2 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1⁄4 cup mascarpone
4 beefsteak tomatoes, as ripe as possible
1⁄4 cup sherry vinegar
1⁄2 to 3⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus a splash for salad
2 cups arugula
1 pint cherry or Sungold tomatoes, cut in half
1 tablespoon chopped shallots
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
PREPARATION & METHOD
Grind the cumin seeds into a fine powder. Lightly sprinkle on the fish. Set aside in the refrigerator for 20 to 40 minutes.
Remove the fish from the fridge and season with salt and pepper. Heat some oil in a pan over high heat, and sear the fish skin side down for about 2 minutes. Slide the pan in the oven and finish cooking, another 5 to 7 minutes, depending on thickness. Carefully remove from the oven and add a small amount of butter and thyme to the tops of the fillets to finish.
Cut the kernels off the corn cobs, reserving 1⁄2 cup. Using a box grater, shred the cleaned cobs, removing extra kernels and corn juice. Place the corn and milk into a blender and blend until smooth. Strain into a medium pot and cook over low heat until a thick consistency is reached. It should look like polenta. Meanwhile, sauté the reserved kernels in butter and season with salt and pepper. Fold them into the polenta with the butter and cheeses. Keep the polenta warm until ready to serve.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl. Core and score the tomatoes. Blanch them quickly in the boiling water (about 15 seconds). Remove from boiling water and shock in the ice bath. Peel the tomatoes and squeeze out the seeds. Put the tomatoes in a blender with the vinegar and begin to purée. Drizzle in the olive oil, tasting until you have a balanced vinaigrette; set aside.
Sauté the arugula and tomatoes together in a skillet with the shallots and some extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.
Ladle the tomato vinaigrette on a plate. Spoon on the polenta. Add the sautéed vegetables and then top with the grouper.
Wine Pairing: Blackstone—Pinot Grigio
Aris’s Wine Notes: Blackstone Pinot Grigio delivers a lovely floral aroma laced with citrus and a refreshingly crisp and light-bodied texture. Paired with this dish, the enjoyment of both the wine and food are enhanced. The dish benefited from the wine’s mouth-cleansing qualities while the wine gained some of the complex flavors of the dish without being overwhelmed by them.
Thom’s Tips: To roughly grind spices, such as toasted cumin seeds, use a spice grinder. If you’re like me and don’t have a spice grinder, a coffee grinder is a perfect substitute. Just remember to clean out your coffee grinder when you’re finished, or tomorrow’s coffee will taste a little weird. Ummmmm toasted cumin seed coffee . . .
Recipe and Photo Courtesy of:
Frazier’s Bistro • 2418 Hillsborough Street • Raleigh, NC 27607