During this uncertain time, I’ve been taking full advantage of moments I have off from work. Flight attendants can’t socially distance themselves, and we don’t have work from home options. I will be the first to admit; it has been incredibly tense on the plane and in airports during all of this. And yet, I am thankful I can still earn a check. This past weekend my husband and I had time off together and decided to go to the Washington coast. Seattle has felt a bit on edge, and the idea of some time along the isolated coast sounded perfect. These plans were made well before the big push to distance ourselves and before large gatherings were canceled in Seattle and now the state. We spend the quick weekend enjoying the Pacific North West, hiking some oceanside trails, enjoying the cold sea air, and the warm sunshine.
Without sounding too precious, it has felt unsettling to see just how fragile life can be, how something that seems relatively small can cause such significant impacts. My local store has been randomly picked over. My favorite coffee shop is buzzing with worry. The baristas are both scared to be at work and afraid of how they would survive if they were forced to closed. Like always, when I begin to feel overwhelmed or unsure, I turn to the kitchen and my cookbook collection. Cooking feels like an easy way to feel part of something bigger, to melt away into ingredients and ideas. I’ve been doing my best to prepare food that translates into multiple meals—making food that is both simple and fulfilling. Going to the market is usually a highlight of my time at home. I look forward to chatting with June, my favorite checker. Lately, it has been chaotic. Hectic lines of people selfishly hoarding. This week I choose to use some things I had on hand. I partnered earlier this month with Whole Foods and Ice Fresh Seafood to promote their Arctic Char, so that is the fish featured in this recipe because it’s what I had; however, this technique will work well with other fish that may be more available, both fresh or frozen and thawed. The beauty of this recipe is in the simplicity and fail-proof way its prepared. Cooking the fish in low heat, submerged in Olive oil guarantees a tender, flakey, outcome. You can add any herbs you’d like that will infuse the oil and fish as it slowly cooks, making this recipe versatile and flexible to what you might already have in your kitchen.
Arctic Char Poached in olive Oil with Winter Citrus
- 1 pound Salmon/Arctic Char
- Olive oil enough to completely cover the fillet
- 1 orange thinly sliced, seeds removed
- 1 bundle Fresh herbs, like rosemary, or thyme.
- 2 Cloves garlic smashed
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 325. In a baking dish large enough to fit the fish either cut or whole. Season your fish fillets on both sides liberally with salt and pepper and set aside. Pour a small amount of olive oil into the bottom of the dish and layer a few pieces of citrus and herbs, lay the fish on top. Submerge the filet in olive oil, making sure it is completely covered, and add the additional herbs, smashed garlic, and remaining citrus.
- Bake the fillet for about 20-30 minutes, depending on the thickness. Allow the fillet to cool and serve alongside fresh greens, over rice, or with seasonal vegetables. I like to garnish the fish with additional fresh citrus juice and herbs. You can use some of the reserved olive oil to make a citrus dressing.