Crispy Skinned Chesapeake Bay Rockfish with Hayman Sweet Potato, Virginia Country Ham and Blue Crab Hash, Melted Leeks and Meyer Lemon Butter
- Meyer Lemon Butter:
- 12 Meyer lemons, juiced and strained
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small cubes
- Sweet Potato, Virginia Country Ham and Blue Crab Hash:
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 6 small leeks, tough outer leaves discarded
- 2 Hayman or other variety sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small dice
- 1 pound jumbo lump blue crab, picked over
- 8 ounces country ham, sliced very thin (recommended: Kite's)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh fines herbes ( chervil, chives, parsley, tarragon)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
- 4 (7-ounce) rockfish fillets, patted dry
- Salt and freshly ground white pepper
- 4 tablespoons clarified butter
- 1 tablespoon whole butter
- 1 small bunch fresh thyme leaves
- Meyer lemon segments or slices, for garnish, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
For the Meyer lemon butter: In a small saucepan, reduce the Meyer lemon juice until slightly syrupy. Stir in the heavy cream. Whisk in the cold cubed butter a few pieces at a time, not allowing the sauce to become cold or too hot to touch by hand. When all of the butter is incorporated, strain the sauce. If the sauce separates, pulse with an immersion blender to emulsify. Set aside and keep warm.
For the hash: Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat, salt it generously. Trim the root end of the leek and halve lengthwise. Rinse very well under running water to flush out any grit trapped between the leaves. Slice leeks into 1/4-inch-thick pieces, put in a small strainer and dip in the boiling water. Cook until just tender, about 3 minutes, then plunge strainer and leeks in an ice water bath to cool. Drain and pat dry leeks, set aside. Repeat this procedure with the diced sweet potatoes, blanch until almost tender, about 3 minutes, then cool in the ice bath. Drain and pat dry, set aside.
In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the blanched Hayman sweet potatoes leeks, sweat until very tender about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the leeks continue to cook until heated through. Add the crab and country ham, stirring gently until heated through. Add the fines herbes at the last minute. Season, to taste, with salt and white pepper. Set aside and keep warm while you prepare the fish.
For the rockfish: Score the skin side of the fillets with a sharp knife, taking care not to cut too far into the flesh of the fish. Season with salt and white pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, and add the clarified butter. Add the rockfish skin side down, sear until skin is golden and crisp, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip, add the butter and thyme and bake until just cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes.
In a bowl or plate, drizzle the warm Meyer lemon butter in a circle just inside the rim. Gently place the warm blue crab hash in the center of the plate. Place the rockfish on top of the hash with the crispy skin side up. Garnish with Meyer lemon segments or slices, if desired.
Professional Recipe: This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional and makes a large quantity. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe in the proportions indicated and therefore cannot make any representation as to the results.
Recipe courtesy Walter Bundy, Lemaire Restaurant