BacalaRico Pollock Fillets with Grilled Romaine Lettuce, Tomatoes, Tarragon-Dill Buttermilk Dressing and Blue Cheese Crumbles
This summer fresh dish is grilled to perfection utilizing my hybrid smoker/grill, adding a depth of smoky flavor to the flaky texture of the grilled BacalaRico-Pollock Fillets. Once platted, the dish is doused with a creamy-herbed buttermilk dressing, a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar and crumbled blue cheese. The recipe can be served as a side dish in the form of a chopped salad or plated over long slices of grilled romaine lettuce for a more dramatic effect.
Special thanks to the folks at CFE International for sending me a generous sample of their fine products to test. I was pleasantly surprised at the mild flavor of the salted fish and how well it withstood the heat of cooking.
CFE International carries six varieties of salted and cured fish as well as, on the plank, oven and grill ready entrees. I chose the BacalaRico Alaskan Pollock Fillets for the challenge.
BacalaRico brand salted Pollock products, are exclusively sourced premium Pollock from the cold waters of the North Pacific. These products must meet CFE International’s strict quality standards and the finished product is inspected for quality, moisture and salt content to ensure that product specifications are always being met.
Rehydrating the salted fillets is easy work but requires 24 hours of water bathing, rinsing, and a final rest in milk. The milk bath isn’t necessary when rehydrating the fillets however, it gives the fish a delicate-sweet flavor and further reduces the saltiness of the preserved fish.
- 1 package BacalaRico Alaskan Pollock Fillets (package comes with 3 pre-sealed packets, use just one for this recipe)
- 2 cups water (just enough to cover fillets)
- 2 cups whole milk (just enough to cover fillets)
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 2 cups mixed cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 tablespoons lemon infused olive oil
- 1 bunch fresh tarragon, divided
- 1 bunch fresh dill, divided
- Pepper to taste
- 2 heads romaine lettuce, sliced in quarters, lengthwise
- 1 bunch whole baby carrots, with tops
- 1 bunch fresh asparagus (optional)
- 1 bunch spring onions, sliced lengthwise
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives (optional)
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill
- 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- Rehydrate fillets by placing 1 pouch of salted fish into a air tight plastic container. Add just enough tap water to submerge fillets. Rest fish for 2-3 hours in the refrigerator. Pour off water and repeat this process 2 times more. For the final rehydration, pour 2 cups whole milk over fillets or just enough to cover the fish. let fillets rest in the milk bath overnight. Before cooking, discard milk and gently rinse fillets. Drain on paper towel.
- Season the bottom of a grill style roasting pan with 1/2 teaspoon olive oil, 1/2 of the minced shallot, and cracked black pepper. Arrange fillets evenly in the pan. Sprinkle tops with black pepper to taste, remaining minced shallot, cherry tomatoes, and fresh springs of tarragon and dill.
- Cut romaine lettuce into fourths lengthwise and place in a large shallow baking dish. Using a vegetables peeler, remove butter skin from carrots and place in the shallow dish with lettuce, spring onions and asparagus. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat vegetables evenly.
- Heat grill/smoker to highest heat. Place roasting pan with fillets in the middle of the grill rack. Arrange lettuce, cut side down on grill with remaining vegetables. Close the grill lid and cook lettuce for 3 minutes or until charred but not wilted. This keeps the inner part nice and crisp. Remove lettuce to shallow dish and continue cooking the other vegetables until they are al dente and set in the shallow pan until ready to plate. Continue cooking the fillets until they are hot all the way through and tomatoes are wired (about 7 -10 minutes total)
- Process all 7 ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste
- Garnish dish with
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
- Cracked black pepper
For more information about CFE International and their products follow them on social media.
Find CFE International products at these local groceries: Cardenas, H-Mart, Jetro, North Gate Markets, Safeway