chef anthony2.jpg
Photo by Leslie Kelly
Chef Anthony (center) at the Salmon in the Trees book signing at the Burke Museum.
Steelhead Diner 's chef de cuisine


Wanna Learn to Sear Fish Like a Line Cook? Chef Anthony Dishes

chef anthony2.jpg
Photo by Leslie Kelly
Chef Anthony (center) at the Salmon in the Trees book signing at the Burke Museum.
Steelhead Diner's chef de cuisine Anthony Polizzi knows his way around a slab of fish. And in part two of this week's Grillaxin Q&A, he lets us in on a few simple secrets for searing like a pro. Read part one to learn more.

SW: What's a culinary technique that you've mastered that home

cooks might want to try?

Anthony: The trick that I suggest home cooks try is an asset when searing fish like halibut, salmon, or sturgeon. It will give your fish fillets an awesome and crisp crust that makes for a great textural contrast with the flesh of that fish.

First, turn your oven to 350 degrees. Second, heat a heavy bottomed pan with enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan until the oil smokes. I recommend an equal mix of olive oil for flavor and canola oil to increase the smoke point. Pat your fish dry on the top and season with salt. I do not suggest pepper as it has the likelihood of burning. When the oil is lightly smoking place the flesh part of the fish down in the pan and sear until it starts to brown or caramelize around the outside that is in contact with the pan. Do not shake the pan, as you will rip off the sear. If your pan is not hot enough it will stick which is fine just do not try to move it. Be patient it will do what it is supposed to do. If it looks like the oil is too hot, turn the burner down. When you have exterior caramelization, place the pan without turning the fish over in the oven and cook until the fish has reached the level of doneness you wish to achieve, about 5 to 10 minutes. If you follow this technique your guests will think of you as a professional sauté cook.

SW: What's your favorite place to go in the Pike Place Market?

Anthony: My favorite place to shop in the Pike Place Market is DeLaurenti. I am Italian after all, so I love my antipasti. I always get prosciutto, mortadella, sopressata, olives, pecorino, a bottle of wine and a loaf of bread. It's is a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

SW: Do you do some shopping at Pike Place Market for the restaurant?

Anthony: I try to use the market for what I can year-round. For instance we frequent Buona Tavola for truffle oil, El Mercado for our Latin American goodies, Beecher's for cheese curds, and World Spice for curries and day-to-day spices. I try to make a trip down into the market for inspiration once a week. I do it more so in the summer especially on "Organic Wednesday" when the local farmers are representing their produce at its peak.

SW: If you were dining at Steelhead, what would you order?

Anthony: If I were dining at Steelhead during the winter months I would have to start with the oysters. They are at their peak right now and are fantastic. I would have the Baby Spinach Salad with Star Crimson Pears and Cider Dressing. My entree would have to be the Braised Snake River Farm Kurobuta Pork Collar. Lastly, the Pecan Pie with Theo Chocolate. I got to have it.

SW: What's your favorite holiday food tradition?

Anthony: My favorite holiday tradition is Coquille St. Jacques. It's a classic! It is my mom's Christmas Eve specialty. You take scallops and poach them in white wine. Make a quick béchamel with the poaching liquid, cream and button mushrooms. Put the scallops and sauce in a scallop shell and top with Gruyere and bake them until they are golden brown. They rock. I have a variation here at the restaurant that uses Chanterelle & Black Trumpet mushrooms, Weathervane Scallops, grated Trailhead Tomme and the pureed scallop roe. As you can tell my mom taught me some things and I developed those ideas into my own.

Check back for part three of Grillaxin for a recipe from chef Anthony.

comments powered by Disqus

Friends to Follow