Abby is spending the summer in NYC doing to whole corporate law thing. I've hear mixed opinions about this type of work. Some people really like it; some people tolerate it because they have law school loans to pay off; and some people think it's the most horrible work imaginable. Say what you will about corporate law, but one thing is undeniable. The food is good. Last week, one of the partners at the law firm invited Abby out to lunch and, being a workaholic, said that he didn't really go out to lunch much. So, being a rare occasion, he wanted to go someplace really nice, like Jean Georges. This, by the way, is one of the few restaurants that has 4 New York Times stars. When Abby and I were researching restaurants - for now, I'll just have to live vicariously through her high-end eating experiences - we discovered two things of interest: 1) lunch at Masa costs $400 per person, and 2) Jean-Georges Vongerichten has a blog. The first piece of info was interesting insofar as it was a shockingly high price to pay for lunch. I wonder if this is the most expensive lunch in the world? The second piece of information will actually be useful because this guy is an amazing chef and he occasionally posts recipes, like this one. It looked good, so I decided to give it a try.
As with a lot of home cooking, you don't need to do a lot of technical work to make the dish a success. There are no reductions or emulsions here, just a few ingredients thrown in a pan. Probably the hardest thing to do is slicing the lemons really thin. If you have good knife skills, this isn't a problem. If not, use a mandoline.
Here is the finished dish
I paired the fish with a stack of fingerling potatoes and some lemon-garlic aioli. This dish was inspired by the patatas bravas they make at Casa Mono.
To make the aioli, just whisk together an egg yolk, lemon zest, and two cloves of garlic. You want to mince the garlic and then crush it to a paste by repeatedly dragging the edge of your knife over the mound of minced garlic. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, and then begin whisking in olive oil. Add the oil very slowly. The taste from the olive oil can be overpowering, so you may want to cut it with a flavorless oil like canola. When the mixture gets too thick, thin it out with lemon juice. You want to add about 1/2 cup of oil per egg yolk.
For the potatoes, begin by boiling the fingerling potatoes in a pot of heavily salted water until they are done. They are done when a knife pokes through them with little resistance. Let the potatoes cool and then slice them in half lengthwise. Finish them off on the stove top over high heat with some olive oil, garlic, herbs (I just used thyme), salt and pepper. Spoon out a base of aioli on which to stack the potatoes. Top with another dollop of the aioli.
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