We love Tracy! Amir’s been best friends with him since high school. Even then, whenever Tracy cooked a meal, the food looked like something straight out of an art book. Even a family-style tuna casserole had some elaborate presentation with neatly shaped food, ornate designs of sauce on the plate, and a plethora of garnishes. What’s even better about Tracy’s food, is that it tastes as amazing as it looks–it’s actually out of this world! We hope you enjoy this month’s Test Kitchen. We wish Tracy lived in Southern California so we can experience his cooking on a weekly basis. Here’s Tracy!
Culinary art is an art like no other. It allows you to create things and experience them on one of the most intimate levels–eating. Eating is intimate. It involves a certain level of trust, and it uses all five of your senses to provide you with an experience or journey towards satiety.
I’ve known for a while now that I’d serve as a guest blogger and wracked my brain trying to figure out what to share with the world. “How can I best communicate both my love for food as nourishment and art? How can I adequately express how much I enjoy being creative inside and outside of the kitchen?” What I came up with was centering my creation around things I love-–things important to me: The tropics, art/design, coconut and organics/health.
I have a true love for all things tropical. My all-time favorite tropical flavor, and scent, is coconut. I love coconut so much that it served as the inspiration of my dining room’s décor. Thus I give you “Just for the Halibut”. This is an island inspired dish packed full of tropical flavor. It consists of a blackened jerk halibut fillet on a Caribbean rice cake topped with mango salsa and coconut lime beurre blanc.
Blackened Jerk Halibut with Coconut Lime Beurre Blanc – Serves 4
2 halibut fillets, with skin
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Fresh ground black pepper
Crushed red pepper flakes
Preheat cast iron skillet or flat griddle to about 375 or 400 degrees. Once hot, lightly coat with olive oil. (I prefer to use olive oil spray.) Season fish with the spices, salt and sugar. Place fish on hot skillet/griddle seasoned side down. Cook for about 3-4 minutes just until the sugar caramelizes and you get a nice browned crust. Flip fish and cook skin side down for another 7 minutes or until fish is cooked completely. Remove fish from heat let rest for about 3-5 minutes then cut into serving sized portions.
Juice of 2 1/2 limes
1/8 teaspoon sugar, adding more to taste
1/4 – 1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter, frozen and cut into 1/2 inch squares
Heat lime juice and sugar in saucepan on medium heat. Reduce until roughly 1-2 teaspoons remain. Reduce heat to low and add coconut milk. (I only used 1/4 cup.) Whisk thoroughly. Whisk one square of butter at a time into the lime and coconut mixture. Watch the heat, as too much heat will separate the butter. I usually remove the pan from heat all together.
Those are the basics so go forth and create! Note: I used green food coloring in the sauce just for fun. It was like painting. I do think, however, that omitting the color would probably give better impact to the dish.
Click HERE for the printable recipe.