A good friend of mine asked me how I would describe my food and cooking style. I had to think about it for a while, since I cook anything & everything. But the answer is I cook “good” food made from great produce. I am very down to earth. I grow lot’s of vegetables in the backyard. I love fishing, going to the butcher to get meat, to the farmers market for vegetables, to my local ethnic stores for any kind of specialty items. I believe one should try to buy as much organic foods as possible, it tastes so much better and it is healthier for you. It can be expensive to buy organic. A tip would be to stay in the season to get a better price.
Buying directly from the local farmer is a fantastic way of shopping, they need our support. You don’t have to go and buy “food” you could for example go apple picking. People who don’t eat apples, love going apple picking and coming home with bags full of apples not knowing what to do with them besides just eating them. It’s about the work & the experience and knowing where the food comes from that makes you feel good.
I also think that what you cook should be pretty. Have great colors and “style”. Whether you make a bowl of oatmeal, a fancy steak or a decadent dessert “Make it look good.” Tease those taste buds from the first second you lay your eyes on the food. I let the designer in me pull it all together on the plate.
Cooking should be easy and the food should be “clean” not complicated and messy. Things aren’t as difficult to cook as we think and if it is, how can it be simplified?
The better the produce the less attention it will need.
My absolute favorite fish is Char or Arctic Char as it also is called.
It is a relative to the salmon & Trout. It is called “redding” in Swedish. (The belly of the Char is bright red.) It is a cold water fish. You can fish it in Alaska, Canada and Iceland for example. It’s flesh is so pure and soft. Really delicious.
Char with home-made fries.
Char filets. You can also use salmon. or Trout. (Ask the vendor how much you need for the amount of people you are serving. I usually buy my Char at whole foods.)
A pinch of salt & pepper.
Lemon or lime.
Idaho potatoes. One per person. (I prefer Idaho but you can use any kind.)
A couple of sweet potatoes.
A splash of oil.
Dried coriander seeds. Crushed. (They give a little “lemony” taste)
Dill, chopped. For decoration.
The fries.Put oven on 400 degrees. Scrub the potatoes. Don’t peel them, the nutrition is in the peel. Cut in approximately 1/2″ slices, Cut the slices into fries. Add to a cooking sheet. Poor over the oil. Add salt, pepper, herbs and spices. Mix with your hands. Spread them out over the cooking sheet so that they are more or less in just one layer. Put into the oven. Bake for about 30-40 minutes. Depending on what kind of potato you use and how thick they are. Check them now and them. Turn them once. When done, take out and sprinkle more spices over fries if needed.
* If you are in a hurry, microwave the fries for a few minutes before putting them into the oven. This saves time. (I do that with baked potato too.)
Plate the fries.
The Char. Salt and pepper the fish filets. Add to a medium hot pan. Skin down first (if the skin is still on.)
Fry for about 3-4 minutes per side. Check, you might just need a couple of minutes on the second side, since you only want a good color. Don’t over cook. Rather the opposite. The Char just melts in your mouth. Plate on top of the fries. finish off with a sprig with dill. Cut up the lemon. Put the lemon wedges on the side on the plate.
You can serve this with a mango chutney and a sour creme based sauce. For example with chopped onions, chopped fresh herbs , some salt & pepper.
Another alternative is to dip the fries in blue cheese dressing. It would be great to serve a side salad to this dish.