So for Mother’s day, I thought I might try another accessible recipe from the new World Of Nobu and Chef Eudy Camilo Cruz’s Pan Seared Snapper With Smoked Cherry Tomatoes And Ponzu (p. 396) seemed like a good candidate. The dish’s components were a crisp skin seared snapper fillet with a ‘salad’ of smoked cherry tomatoes, roasted mushrooms and ponzu ‘vinaigrette’.
While Chef Cruz at Nobu Washington DC specified smoked cherry tomatoes, I though I could just do some tomatoes in another pan
like Chef Gordon Ramsay does for his scrambled eggs. In addition to my sourcing issues, it turns out that the Newton and Wellesley
Whole Foods (or for that matter, Star Markets) had NO maiitake mushrooms. So I ended up with sliced shiitakes and white button mushrooms.
Roasting the pre-sliced mushrooms were pretty straightforward – on a non-stick foil lined baking sheet, I would toss the mushrooms in a drizzle of olive oil, 1/2 T 4:1 salt/pepper mix and just scatter the mushrooms evenly across the sheet. Then the mushrooms could just
roast at 450 degrees F for about 40 minutes.
Chef Cruz noted that the roasted mushrooms and tomatoes were to be put into a bowl with a mix of ponzu, olive oil seasoned with salt
and pepper. I looked at those ingredients and thought …it looks familar. It was. Nobu West (p. 133) contained a recipe for Razor Clams Cooked With Celery, Cucumber and Olive Oil which listed the dressing as:
3 T olive oil
1/2 t salt
2 T sake soy
1 t black pepper
so by comparison that told me the ponzu dressing from Chef Cruz might be:
6 T olive oil
4 T ponzu
1/2 t 4:1 salt/pepper mix
for two servings.
After seasoning the fillets with 3 3-fingered pinches of 4:1 salt/pepper mix,I pan seared the snapper in olive oil until the skin was crispy (for about 4 minutes). In order to get that crispy skin, I d had to remind myself to push the fillet down into the pan (held it there) until the fillet could sit flat in the pan.
I then flipped them over to cook for another minute or two.
Once everything was done, I mounded the roasted mushrooms onto the plate and flanked it with the cooked tomatoes and then
topped with the crisp skinned snapper fillet. At that point, I carefully portioned out the remaining vinaigrette for the mushrooms/tomatoes to the dish.
My wife was a little skeptical about the mix of ponzu and olive oil but was pleasantly surprised when she tasted the dinner.
Thank you Chef Cruz and Matsuhisa-sama. It was a great dish for dinner and a very approachable recipe! I’m sure I’ll be putting this on rotation for weekly dinner menus.