Oceana Restaurant (NYC) Atlantic Halibut

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by fyfas, Aug 20, 2003.

  1. fyfas

    fyfas

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    The August 18th issue of New York magazine, page 62, shows a picture of an entree from Oceana Restaurant...

    caption to the photo describes it as " ...Atlantic halibut with a garnish of sweet corn, toasted pine nuts, and basil-corn milk." They go further to say that the Chef (Cornelius Gallagher) adds his signature touch to the snowy fish: a crust of slightly grainy, vaguely sweet espresso butter.

    I believe I can master the sweet corn/pine nut/basil-corn milk after some experimenting in the kitchen (in the picture it is the bed for the fish; sort of a salsa centered in a not-too-thick soup/sauce.

    I am at a loss trying to figure out where to start with the espresso/butter crust. As pictured, it is beautiful; dark and thicker than I'd think possible and totally covering the top surface of the thick fish.

    Would appreciate any and all thoughts as to how to achieve this dish in a well-equiped but sadly amateur kitchen. Any comments, too, from anyone who may have eaten it. I won't be in New York until right after Labor Day but I know this is the first meal I'll be eating. Of course, thanks in advance.
     
  2. suzanne

    suzanne

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    You're right -- that looks so beautiful!

    From the "slightly grainy" I would assume a finer grind than normally used for espresso, more like Greek or Turkish, almost a powder, or somewhere in between. But then if you put that much coffee on top of the fish, all you'd taste is the coffee, no? So there has to be some kind of filler -- and "sweetener" -- as well as coffee and butter. Maybe something that enhances the color at the same time? Dark brown sugar? and maybe a little soy sauce instead of salt?

    Hmmm . . . may just have to go try it! :lips:
     
  3. fyfas

    fyfas

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    Suzanne (and anyone else wondering about this too)...

    In addition to your concerns about the coffee overwhelming the dish (I wouldn't mind actually tasting the fish), there are other things bothering me:

    I'm assuming a pan sear then the application of the crust with the fish finishing cooking in the oven. I cannot imagine ANY butter crust working if the fish cooks in the oven for, say, eight minutes. So ? Apply crust for final two minutes ?

    Something tells me I'm going to be buying a mess of fish for an all-day Test Kitchen. My cat will be happy, I guess. And I may still have to eat out.
     
  4. suzanne

    suzanne

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    No, I was figuring searing WITH THE CRUST ON -- which would deepen the color -- and then finishing in the oven.

    You know, we're assuming that the magazine description is accurate. That could be pretty risky; they probably DON'T have it right, about the "butter" crust. After all, the butter will melt off during the sear or the finishing. Maybe if you just lightly crust the fish with the coffee and whatever else, sear in clarified butter, and top with more coffee/butter just before serving??

    Your cat likes coffee????? ;)