Chef Ned Elliott. Photo credit: Kate LeSueur
Yahoo Food is a proud sponsor of Indie Chefs Week, a three-night dinner series in Costa Mesa, California celebrating America’s best up-and-coming chefs. Every day, until the first dinner on October 16, we’ll feature one chef and his or her favorite recipe. We kick off with Ned Elliott, the brains behind ICW. Oh, and tickets are still available!
Tool he can’t live without: The Gray Kunz spoon. Its distinctively large cup “holds just the right amount of sauce for plating,” said Elliott. “We don’t use tongs or spatulas at the restaurant, either—I use the spoon to flip fish or plate [food]. It really becomes an extension of you.”
Ingredient he’s obsessed with: Lime pickle. “It’s an Indian ingredient I got turned onto by chef Floyd Cardoz,” said Elliott. “It’s hot and spicy and sour and earthy and sweet and smoky—so nuanced and awesome.” Elliott suggests using it in a simple vinaigrette (mince some pickle and mix it with mustard, sherry vinegar, and grape-seed oil) to start. Patak’s brand is the best, he says. “I can make a lime pickle, but I can’t make this lime pickle. There’s nothing like it.”
His recipe: Trout with Cauliflower and Charred Scallions
Photo credit: Aimee Wenske
Trout with Cauliflower and Charred Scallions
by Ned Elliott
Elliott serves this at the restaurant with shaved raw cauliflower and brown butter, but we’ve simplified it for the home cook. You can substitute salmon or halibut for the trout, also.
3/4 head cauliflower, cut into florets the size of a quarter
3 Tbsp. olive oil
Fresh-ground black pepper
1 lemon, segmented
4 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. lime pickle
1 bunch parsley, chopped, 2 Tbsp. reserved
2 Tbsp. capers
1/2 750-mL bottle Chianti
1 Tbsp. honey
1/4 stick unsalted butter
Four 4 1/2-oz. pieces trout, skin on
1 1/2 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Toss cauliflower with 2 Tbsp. olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss scallions with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast both until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and toss cauliflower with lemon segments, lemon juice, lime pickle, the majority of the parsley, and capers. Set both aside.
Cook wine and honey in a saucepan over medium heat until syrupy, about 12-15 minutes. Set aside, keeping warm.
In a cast iron skillet on high heat, melt butter. When it starts to foam, add the fish, skin side down. Cook in the foaming butter while basting each piece of fish until crisp, about 4 minutes.
To serve, place an equal amount of cauliflower on each plate, then place 3 scallions on top. Lay one filet of fish each on top of that. Drizzle red wine sauce over and finish with 2 Tbsp. parsley.