We've been looking forward to Colorado chef, farmer and activist Eric Skokan's cookbook for a while. Farm, Fork, Food isn't just a collection of recipes from his beloved Boulder restaurants, it's a guide to living well, choosing local and seasonal ingredients and upgrading your general outlook on American cuisine.
Crusting fish or seafood in lentils is a fun and easy way to add complexity, crunch and delicious flavor. I discovered the technique while experimenting with making flours from different grains. This lentil crust not only adds texture but a layer of flavor, too. The curry spices seem a fitting accompaniment as does the bright citrus and saag, a traditional curried spinach.
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1/4 cup garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- 4 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup sunflower oil
- 8 cups spinach, chopped
- 1/4 cup yogurt
- sea salt
- 2 tablespoons orange zest, chopped
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest, chopped
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- lemon juice
- 1 cup red lentils
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 2 pounds grouper, cut into 2-ounce pieces
- 1 cup orange supremes
- 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- In a large sauté pan over high heat, combine the onion, garlic, ginger, curry powder and 2 tablespoons of the oil.
- Cook until the onion begins to color, about 4 minutes.
- Mix in the spinach and cook until it just wilts, about 5 minutes.
- Drain any liquid in the pan through a colander.
- Return the spinach to the pan and mix in the yogurt.
- Season with salt and set the saag aside.
- In a small pot over high heat, combine the citrus zests with enough water to cover and boil for 1 minute.
- Strain off the water and replace with fresh water.
- Repeat the process three times.
- Transfer the zests to a blender.
- Add the sugar, lemon juice to taste and 2 tablespoons of the oil.
- Purée on high speed until very smooth, about 3 minutes.
- With the motor running, add 3 tablespoons water to emulsify the citrus purée.
- Season with salt, transfer to a bowl and clean and dry the blender.
- Combine the lentils and spices in the clean blender.
- Blend at high speed until the lentils are reduced to a powder.
- Transfer the lentils to a flat dish.
- Season the grouper with salt, then dredge the fish pieces through the lentil mixture, shaking off the excess.
- In a large sauté pan over high heat, sauté the fish in the remaining 1/4 cup oil until crisp on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes total.
- Arrange the fish on four dinner plates.
- Place several spoonfuls of the curried spinach and the citrus sauce alongside.
- Garnish with the citrus segments and the cilantro. Serve immediately.
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