Sunday, January 23, 2011

Dim Sum Sunday - Vegetables Part III - Butternut Squash Slaw

Part III of my Dim Sum Sunday Vegetable medley is a bit of a experiment. You see I googling down the Internet Highway when I crossed paths with a wonderful blog called Seduction Meals. After exploring many of their dishes I wanted to make I was happy to see another dish using black cod. I love black cod or sablefish but it seems that most recipes use Nobu's miso marination and I wanted to branch away from that. Seduction Meals has a Black Cod in Shiitake Broth with Pickled Fennel Salad recipe that sounded like it was right up my ally. Well.....except I'm not a huge fan of Fennel. So I decided to substitute the seasonally available butternut squash and try making a slaw out of that to pair up with my black cod. That led me to Mark Bittman's Raw Butternut Squash Salad with Cranberry Dressing from the NY Times. With all this in mind, I headed off to the grocery store. While butternut squash might be in season, the cranberries were not and none of the grocery stores I frequent carry frozen ones. I was limited to trying to plump up some dried ones or find a substitute. Dark red cherries were available so I decided to go with them. Not as bitter as cranberries but they do have a mild sweetness that might work. Then I confronted my next problem. No black cod this weekend at the fish counter. Since I was at Whole Foods I did have an alternative. Chilean Sea Bass. Normally I don't order or buy the Chilean Sea Bass because it's one of those fish on the Seafood Watch list as one to avoid. However Whole Foods buys this fish from a sustainable fishery at South Georgia Island so we're in a kinda gray area here. I ended up buying a small piece to make my recipe and toddled on home to get to cooking.

butternut squash slaw

The original salad called for orange juice, ginger, olive oil, honey and salt and pepper as the seasoning for the butternut squash. I replaced the olive oil with a small amount of sesame oil, kept everything else but added a sprinkling of five powder spice to give it a little kick. Turned out kinda fun, shredded butternut has a fresh and crunchy taste.

For the Shiitake broth, there again I substituted butternut squash for the fennel and got a much milder, sweeter broth. As for the sea bass, what a great fish. No wonder it's been over-fished. It's luscious and moist, handles most types of cooking methods without a problem.

sea bass with butternut slaw

Put all together...just a great bowl of food. Big tender flakes of fish, crunchy bits from the original sear, the warm flavorful broth and the crunchy salad on top. I'm not sure if anyone's kids would eat this but that's the great thing about dishes like this, if they don't eat it, you should.

Happy Dim Sum Sunday - 2011 everyone!!

11 comments:

MakingSpace said...

Oh hell, the kids can go to bed early so this can be enjoyed by the adults at their leisure.

Yum, serious yum. Oh my god.

Big Shamu said...

Yes, I'll be waiting for the black cod to come back to Whole Foods so I can make this again.

MakingSpace said...

It looks INCREDIBLE.

Intuitive Eggplant said...

OMG, Shamy! Part III? A most lovely and enticing dish, with superlative photos! I miss sea bass too (such a forgiving fish to cook). Must try black cod . . .

As for your fennel aversion, I’ve never been a licorice fan, but have learned fennel mellows a lot with cooking and now I really like it.

Happy DSS, and thanks for all your efforts.

Big Shamu said...

Yes Eggy, Part III. It's to make up for all crappy failures I made in December. I'll try fennel again but I didn't want to test it out my aversion on a luscious piece of fish.

Happy DSS.

Dani said...

Shamy is the queen of DSS!!!!!

Buzz Kill said...

Impressive 3rd entry. You obviously don't have kids. Bwahahaha

Did you just pan fry the bass in butter? That last picture is really appetizing. Not sure if the kids would go for it, but they've eaten already.

Big Shamu said...

Buzz, I used a non-stick pan, avocado oil and very high heat. Placed the fillet in that pan on the burner. The fillet had no skin (unlike the black cod has it been available) so just picked a side to sear. Once that side was crisped I put the whole pan with the fillet in the a 400 degree oven until the fish turned opaque.
It was some good eatin'.

Dani said...

Avocado oil? Is it light in taste?

Big Shamu said...

Yes Dani, very light and a higher smoke point than peanut oil.

Samantha said...

I'll follow your recipe to the last detail and hopefully i can have it done perfectly. 'll try it and share with my family.