A Quartet of Fish Appetizers
- For the char tartare
- 4 skinless Arctic Chars
- freshly ground peppers
- juice of lemons
- 250 milliliters fish stock
- 2 Tbsps scallions
- 3 sheets gelatin
- For the catfish carpaccio
- 3 very fresh Catfish
- Lettuce (washed and spun dry)
- 4 Tbsps olive oil
- 2 Tbsps balsamic vinegar
- freshly ground white peppers
For the crepes: In a bowl, whisk together the milk, flour, eggs and salt until smooth. Let stand, to thicken slightly, about 20 minutes.Heat 1/2 teaspoon butter in a pan for each crepe, pour a small ladleful of batter into the hot pan, and gently swirl the pan until the batter covers the bottom in a thin layer. Cook over medium heat until lightly browned on the underside. Flip the crepe over and cook until the underside is lightly browned. Repeat with the remaining batter.
For the filling: Mince the smoked salmon with a sharp knife and place in a bowl with the creme fraiche. Spread the salmon mixture on the crepes and roll up. Slice and refrigerate.
For the char tartare: Finely chop the char fillets, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with lemon juice. Soak the gelatin in cold water. In a saucepan, bring the fish stock to a boil. Lift the gelatin from the water and drain, then add to the hot fish stock and stir until dissolved. Add the chives and let cool slightly. Spoon the chopped char into a small form and pour the fish stock over until the fish is almost covered. Refrigerate overnight, then turn out of the mold and cut into slices.
For the catfish carpaccio : Rinse the catfish and pat dry. With a very sharp knife thinly slice the fillets lengthwise. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate until ready to serve. In a bowl, whisk together the oil and vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Just before serving, arrange 2-3 slices of catfish carpaccio on lettuce leaves and sprinkle with 1-2 teaspoons of the dressing.
For the iced brook trout: Peel the carrot and thinly slice lengthwise. Rinse the leeks well. Rinse zucchini and cut lengthwise into thin slices. Peel pumpkin and cut into thin slices. Blanch the vegetables in a pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, 4-5 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Place on a kitchen towel and dry very well.
Soak the gelatin in cold water. In a saucepan, bring fish stock to a boil, pull off the heat, add the fish, cover and let stand off the heat until just cooked through, about 8 minutes. Remove gently and lay flat on the work surface. Layer the fish and vegetables in a small mold with the final layer of trout, skin-side up. Press together firmly with your hands. Return the stock to a boil and remove from heat. Drain the gelatin and dissolve in the fish stock. Pour the hot broth over the layered fish and vegetables. Pour just enough of the hot stock so that the trout skin is almost covered. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Discard the remaining stock. Invert the mold and cut into diamonds. Lift the diamonds carefully and arrange on a platter along with the other fish appetizers.