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Patrick Clark's
Horseradish-Crusted Grouper



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Dill, Horseradish and Chives
Dill, Horseradish and Chives
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Meisen, Michael
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Patrick Clark's Horseradish-Crusted Grouper
with Old-Fashioned Mashed Potatoes, Chive
Oil and Crisp-Fried Julienne of Leeks

In Julia's Kitchen
with Master Chefs
Julia Child, 1996, Alfred A. Knopf


For the chive oil:
20 chives cut into 2-inch pieces
1 cup canola oil

For the grouper and crust:
A 4- to 5-inch piece of fresh horseradish
2 1/2 cups crumbs from dry French bread
(crust included)
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
Seasoned flour
(2 cups flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt,
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper)
6 grouper fillets, 7 ounces each
or halibut, sole, or red snapper)
Freshly ground black pepper
Canola oil, for cooking

For the crisp julienne of leeks:
4 medium-sized leeks (1-inch circumference)
Fine fresh peanut oil

For the mashed potatoes:
1 tablespoon Kosher salt, plus more for
seasoning the potatoes
2 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (or
baking potatoes), peeled and quartered
Freshly ground black pepper
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, diced
2 cups hot milk, more if necessary

Preparing the Chive Oil:
Purée the chives and oil in an electric blender until very smooth.
Refrigerate in a squeeze bottle or covered jar, where it will keep
for about 2 weeks.

The Crust:
Remove the peel from a portion of the horseradish and rub the peeled
area through the coarse side of a grater. Turn 3/4 cup of the grated
horseradish into a flat dish with the crumbs and mix in the herbs.
Whisk the milk and eggs together and pour into a second dish. Spread
the seasoned flour in a third dish.

Coating the Fish:
It is the top side of the fish that gets the coating because the top has a
more attractive shape; this is the side where the bone - not the skin -
was. Season this side of each fillet with salt and pepper. Dredge this
top side only in the flour shaking off the excess; coat the same side
with the eggs and milk, and finally drop into the crumb mixture,
pressing firmly to make sure it adheres. Set on a tray, cover with
plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cooking time.

Preparing the Crisp Julienne of Leeks Garnish:
Cut the root end off the leeks and cut the white part into 3 1/2-inch
lengths. Halve lengthwise, and cut into fine julienne. Drop into cold
water, leave a moment, lift out with your hands (leaving any sand
behind), and gently squeeze out excess water; fluff up. Heat 2 inches
of peanut oil to 325 degrees F in a frying pan and drop in the leeks.
Let them cook slowly, until the bubbling stops, about 5 minutes.
Remove with a skimmer and drain on paper toweling. The leeks do
not brown; they remain light and crisp, with a hint of sweetness.

The Mashed Potatoes:
Preheat the oven 300 degrees F. Bring 4-quarts of water to the boil
in a kettle and add 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt. Add the potatoes and
boil slowly for about 20 minutes, until just tender. Drain the potatoes
thoroughly, place on a baking pan, and set uncovered in the oven to
dry out, shaking and tossing several times. Remove the potatoes from
the oven and purée through a vegetable mill into a large saucepan (Chef
Patrick prefers the vegetable mill to the potato ricer). Season with salt
and pepper, then begin beating in pieces of butter with a wooden spoon,
alternating with little additions of hot milk. Check seasoning, and keep
warm in a double boiler with cover ajar - it needs air circulation.

Cooking the Fish:
About 7 Minutes. Heat 1/2 inch of canola oil to medium-high in a
large nonstick pan. Place the fish fillets crust side down in the hot
oil, and cook rather slowly, until golden brown, about 3 minutes.
Turn and  continue to cook 3 to 4 minutes longer on the other side.

When Is It Done?
When it has begun to feel springy to the touch in contrast to its
squashy raw state. If you have doubts cut into a piece--the flesh
should be opaque throughout rather than translucent. Remove the
fish and drain on paper towels.

Spoon a serving of mashed potatoes directly in the center of each
plate. Place the fish, crust side up, on top. Drizzle chive oil around
the mashed potatoes and top the fish with a nest of leeks. Serve
immediately. Serves 6.

A Tribute to Julia Child
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