Just a few of the ingredients that went into last weekends’ meal.
My Mom was in town and had wanted to treat her to a nice home cooked meal. The corn and potatoes were fresh from the farmer’s market and after some research, I found a top rated fishmonger. Besides this dinner being chock-full of flavor, it will always stick out as one of those uncomplicated meals that would go over big with family and friends.
If you are in the Chicago-land area, head over to Dirk’s Fishmarket. The store is located in a small stripmall on Clybourn Avenue. Out front they had the Green Egg set up in a parking space getting ready for their Saturday Tastings. Dirk’s wife, Terry offers monthly seafood cooking classes at the store too. This fish market focuses on sustainable seafood and each fish is labeled as to its origin. I like to carry this card with me to make sure I’m not eating fish on “Avoid” list. I’ve noticed that Skate is showing up in a lot of restaurants. Years ago, Skate was considered “trash fish,” and was only used as lobster bait. However, now that Cod and Haddock have become so depleted, Skate is becoming more popular. I’ve even seen it for sale at Whole Foods. Between the trolling damage done to the sea floor and the overfishing of Skate, it is now on the “Avoid” list. Little digression there, so check out where your lobster is coming from. The most sustainable lobster is from Florida and California, with Maine being #2 and Brazil being on the “Avoid” list.
The lobsters were steamed in the store and Chris went above the call of duty to show me how to remove the meat. My camera has a video mode on it which allowed me to record his demonstration. Check it out here. To serve the lobster, set out until it almost reaches room temperature. Then serve with melted butter and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Corn With Lime Salt:
The recipe for lime salt was taken from Ad Hoc At Home. To prepare the corn, remove the husk & silk and cut the ears in half. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add the corn and cook for 5-7 minutes. Sprinkle lime salt over the buttered cooked corn.
1/4 cup sea salt
Grated zest of 1 lime (use a Microplane)
*Put the salt and lime zest in a small jar. Put on the lid, and shake to combine. Extra salt can be stored in the freezer.
Duck Fat Potatoes:
I know, a smidge over the top, but trust me these potatoes are not to be missed. I believe my Mom did an eye roll with a combined, “O-M-G” on her first bite. I found this duck fat at Marion Street Cheese Market in Oak Park. One may balk initially at the price- just know a little goes a long way and you can freeze the rest for future use. The recipe comes from here. The weight was changed into US pounds and ounces, and I cut the entire recipe in half. It served two people generously, so adjust if cooking for more.
2 large Russet potatoes
3 tablespoons of duck fat
2 springs of fresh thyme
Sea salt & pepper to taste
1. Peel the potatoes and cut into similar sized chunks- about 1″. Boil in lightly salted water for about 5 minutes; timing from when the water comes to a boil. Drain and shake in the colander to rough up the surfaces a bit.
2. Meanwhile, heat the fat in a large roasting pan at 375 degrees.
3. Remove the pan and carefully tip in the potatoes, turning them in the hot duck fat to coat. Season nicely with salt.
4. Roast for 25-30 minutes, turning once. They should be golden and crispy.
5. When finished, toss in the thyme. Season with pepper and more salt if needed.