Hay Smoked Arctic Char and Celery Root Purée with Wood Sorrel Ash and Pickled Pearl Onions

October 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments

Serves 12


For the Pickled Pearl Onions

1¼ pounds pearl onions
3 tablespoons sugar
8 cloves
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
Eight ½-wide strips of lemon zest
1¼ cups white vinegar
1¼ cups water
2 teaspoons kosher salt

For the Wood Sorrel Ash

2 ounces wood sorrel

For the Celery Root Purée

1 medium celery root, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
2 garlic cloves, peeled
½ cup heavy cream, plus additional as needed
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the Arctic Char

1 pound hay
2 24-ounce Arctic Char fillets
1 lemon, thinly sliced
2 dill sprigs
Hay, as needed, rinsed and thoroughly dried
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


For the Pickled Pearl Onions

In a pot of boiling water, add the pearl onions and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain. Once the onions are cool enough to handle, slip off the skins, slice in half then trim the roots. Transfer to a medium sized bowl. In a saucepan, bring the sugar, cloves, mustard seeds, lemon zest, vinegar, water and salt to a boil. Pour over the onions and set aside at room temperature one hour. Cover and refrigerate until chilled. Drain onions when ready to serve. Discard remaining ingredients.

For the Wood Sorrel Ash

Preheat the oven to 500°F. Arrange sorrel in a single layer on a sheet tray and bake until dried and blackened, about one hour. Cool to room temperature. In a spice grinder, purée until the texture of fine dust.

For the Celery Root Purée

Add celery root, onions and garlic to a large pot of salted, boiling water. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the celery root is tender, about 25 minutes. Drain and transfer to a blender. Add the cream and nutmeg and purée until smooth, adding additional cream as needed in a slow, steady stream to achieve a smooth consistency. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.

For the Arctic Char

Season the char with pepper. In a large bowl, combine sugar and salt until incorporated. Pour half into a hotel pan, top with the char, skin-wide down and pour the remaining salt mixture on top. Refrigerate overnight. Remove the char from the salt mixture and rinse thoroughly under cold, running water. Arrange fish on a roasting rack or perforated hotel pan and top with lemon slices and dill. Arrange hay in a roasting pan the same size as the rack and using a torch, ignite it until smoldering. Blow out, arrange the rack above it and immediately cover with a tight fitting place. Set aside 20 minutes.

To serve

Transfer the celery root purée, pickled pearl onions and wood sorrel ash to serving bowls. Transfer the hay to a serving platter for dramatic effect when serving and top with the char, lemon slices and dill.

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