Thursday, April 1, 2010

Surf and Turf, French Laundry style

oxtails-monkfish

In a burst of energy (or perhaps a moment of weakness), I decided to have a go at another French Laundry recipe on Saturday night. I selected "Surf and Turf", braised oxtails with seared monkfish, topped with sauteed salsify and cepes. Pretty ambitious considering I was unsure of finding any of the main ingredients...

oxtails-monkfish (1)

Thus began the shopping trip. I started at my local farm market... no cepes or salsify there, but I got the makings for the brunoise and the braising liquid. Next morning, off I went again. At my first stop I found oxtails - ok I now had 1 of 4 main ingredients. I grabbed a package of crimini mushrooms just in case I couldn't find cepes. Then I moved onto the next store...

oxtails-monkfish (4)

As I neared the seafood counter, a glistening piece of monkfish caught my eye. But it was just one lonely piece - I had a bad feeling... I asked the fishmonger if it was fresh and he very honestly shook his head no... Well, that fish was not for me, thank you very much. I rounded the corner to produce and was greeted by a beautiful sight: a whole line of D'Artagnan gourmet mushrooms... But, no cepes. I grabbed come royal trumpets which worked out beautifully. No salsify there either. At that point I decided I could live without salsify, but I could not make surf and turf without the surf...

oxtails-monkfish (3)

I pulled into a little seafood market in Westfield, NJ, and walked in. I scanned the counter and saw two beautiful pieces of what looked like monkfish tail, but the sign said... catfish??? So I asked and I was right, monkfish! I carried my trreasure home and got started...

oxtails-monkfish (5)

In lieu of typing the entire recipe, I'm going to save myself from a case of carpal tunnel and instead share a link directly to it. Needless to say, I left out the salsify and we didn't miss it. The oxtails had a rich full flavor - similar to that of braised shortribs. The fish was mild, and perhaps a bit overpowered by the rich beef. The Royal Trumpet mushrooms were meaty and delicious atop the whole thing. I served it with a simple salad of mache, jicama and sliced avocado with a dijon vinaigrette. A dish I would definitely make again - perhaps after I try a few more of Keller's concoctions... So check back to see when I get the French Laundry out again!

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6 comments:

Lazaro Cooks! said...

Great representation of that dish. The French Laundry cookbook is the second most influential cookbook I've ever read. It can be pretty daunting trying to get all the specialty ingredients. Saw your profile on food buzz...look forward to following your blog here.

ladyberd said...

Thanks for the comment Lazaro Cooks! Out of curiosity, if TFL is the 2nd most influential cookbook, what's #1 on your list?

bunkycooks said...

The pics are awesome. Looks like you did an amazing job with the recipe!

Scott K said...

What a beautiful dish!

Gerlinde Scharinger Dallas, TX said...

This looks amazing!

Joe said...

Well executed. Look forward to sharing recipes!

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