It started at about 6:30 this evening, when I stepped foot outside my building and onto 31st Street, en route to the subway. And with each step toward the train and home, I felt lighter and lighter, because did I mention: VACATION?
Oh, and pan-seared arctic char with grapefruit butter and savoy cabbage, from Chanterelle. You gotta start vacation off RIGHT. By which I mean, with shit tons of butter.
Okay, there were some vegetables, too, in the form of savoy cabbage. Although, to be fair, the cabbage was wilted down in…more butter. So I’m not sure it really counts.
Before the butter, there was heavy cream. And before THAT there was a reduction of grapefruit juice, white wine and shallots that went from a cup and a half of liquid to three sticky, glossy tablespoons.
Let’s all hope that I don’t have a panic attack tonight, because apparently the effectiveness of my chosen tranq is mitigated by a compound found in grapefruit. I mean, I don’t know why I would have a panic attack tonight – seeing as how I’m on VACATION and all – but one never knows. Maybe I’ll think too hard about the amount of butter I just consumed.
I did mention the butter, right? A stick and a half of it, to be precise, whisked into approximately a quarter-cup of liquid.
MY GOD, IT’S BEAUTIFUL.
Oh yeah, there was also fish – arctic char. It was seasoned simply with salt and pepper and seared off in a heavy pan while the cabbage finished wilting and the grapefruit butter stayed warm on the simmer burner.
I heaped some cabbage onto my plate, drizzled the sauce around, sprinkled the whole mess with chopped chives as directed, stacked up a few pieces of fish for HEIGHT and DRAMA and added some grapefruit zest for a final flourish.* There’s so much butter in that sauce, I was surprised it remained spoonable. (Truth be told, it was only barely.)
*Okay, so I was supposed to have candied the grapefruit zest, although in my defense, the book did tell me I could skip this step and still wind up with a delicious dish. The triple boiling, the candying, the drying…TEDIUM. And those of us on VACATION reject tedium at all costs.
Sweet eight pound, six ounce baby Jesus, this is what the Smackdown is all about. As Brian announced, “I would pay $37.45 for this plate of food!” and I had to agree. The grapefruit butter was completely addictive – although you’d think the loads of fat would dull the flavor, reducing that much grapefruit juice creates a finished sauce that really packs a punch. It was fantastic, and perfect with the fish.
I do have to admit that I was not a fan of the cabbage; I’m normally pretty on the fence about cabbage anyway, and Savoy just isn’t for me – too brussels-sprouty. Brian ended up eating most of my cabbage along with his not-inconsiderable portion, and all I can say to the friends he’s hanging out with tonight is: I’m sorry. I hope the smell isn’t too bad.
But grapefruit butter – hot damn, Chanterelle. Hot damn.