While planning our holiday menus this year, we were feeling a bit lost when it came to a chef-worthy side dish, so we reached out to Chef Jamie Knott of the Saddle River Inn for some ideas. Even though he was busy at work whipping up dishes for his award-winning restautant, he was more than happy to take some time to share his secrets with us.
“Fish is traditional on Christmas Eve, especially in an Italian household,” he told OMJ. “Currently we have a beautiful branzino on the menu with cauliflower two ways and a blood orange sauce. Cooking the fish is much simpler and takes very little time that most home cooks realize, don’t be intimidated by fish. It will make an excellent holiday dish this season.”
Here’s the recipe:
-Ask your local fish monger to skin and pin bone 1.5lb bronzino fillers for you.
-2 qts blood orange juice (reduce to 550gr )
-550 gr brown butter
-20 g lemon juice
-6 g salt
-24 oz cauliflower (1 head)
-1 oz Extra Virgin Olive Oil
-4 Oz water
-5 gram salt
-1 gr pepper
For the fish:
1. Drizzle olive oil, salt and pepper on both sides of the fish.
2. Preheat a non-stick pan over medium high heat for 1 minute.
3. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and lay the fish in gently away from your bottle tilting the pan slightly.
4. Cook on the presentation side for 2 minutes, then flip and turn the pan off. Allow to finish in the pan for 1 minute.
5. Remove after 1 minute very gently with a fish spatula. (Total cook time 3 minutes for the fish).
For the blood orange sauce:
1. Reduce the blood orange juice in a heavy bottom pot by 50%
2. Then blend with the rest of the ingredients in the blender. Taste for salt
For the cauliflower puree:
1. Cut the cauliflower in large chunks and toss with olive oil salt and pepper then roast in a 500-degree oven for 12 minutes.
2. Cool slightly and blend in the blender until smooth with rest of the ingredients. Taste for salt.
Combine all three elements and plate.