Butter-boiled Dorado with Fennel Broth
Chef Rudolf Kellner poaches fish in a nage of aromatic vegetables. Flavored with curry, turmeric, cardamom, saffron, ginger, fennel, and Pernod, the vegetables are served as a bed for the fish. The dish looks more elegant if you take the time to tourne the potatoes, shaping them into small evenly-sized footballs before parboiling.
- Dorado or Red mullet fillets - four, 6- to 8-ounce
- Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Fennel Bulbs - 2, julienned, leaves reserved
- Onions - 3, julienned
- Leeks - 2, white part only, cleaned and julienned
- Curry powder - 1/2 teaspoon
- Cardamom - 1 tablespoon
- Unsalted Butter - 1 pound + 2 tablespoons, cut into tablespoon-sized pieces
- Dry white wine - 1/2 cup
- Pernod - 2 tablespoons
- Fish stock - 1 cup
- Saffron Threads - 10
- Turmeric - 1/2 teaspoon
- Gingerroot - 1 , peeled
- Olive Oil - 2 tablespoons
- Potatoes - 8 small, peeled and parboiled
Butter a piece of foil large enough to cover the top of a cooking pot or large saute pan or skillet. Season both sides of the fish with salt and pepper and a little lemon juice. Put the fennel julienne, onions, and leeks in the pot, making a bed for the fish. Scatter the curry powder, cardamom, and butter pieces over the vegetables. Sprinkle with white wine and Pernod. Press the seasoned fillets into the mixture. Bring the mixture to a boil, then press the buttered side of the foil over it, forming a cover. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the fish is done through, about 5 minutes. Remove the fish and place on a warmed plate; wrap with the foil to keep warm.
Drain off most of the butter from the pan of vegetables. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the vegetable mixture to a boil; reduce until almost all the liquid has evaporated. Add the fish stock, saffron, and turmeric and reduce until almost dry again. Grate the gingerroot into the pot. Stir in the olive oil and let cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.
Warm the potatoes in a small amount of lightly salted water until warmed through. Drain.
To serve: Pool each warmed plate with the vegetable mixture. Place a fillet, skin-side up, on the vegetables on each dish. Place two tourneed potatoes on each. Garnish with reserved fennel leaves.