In Swedish this fish is called “sik” (pronounced just like the English word “seek”) . When I look it upp in the dictionary the translation is either “whitefish” or “lavaret”. I leave it to you to choose what ever name is right.
Anyway, Devoted Husband caught this gorgeous “sik” just a few days before we closed down our summer cottage and moved back to the city. And since then the fish has been banished to a life in the cold, i.e the freezer. The other day it was time to thaw her (yes, I actually know it was a she, as I took care of her roe, washed it and seasoned it with salt and pepper and served with avocado, sour cream and chopped red onion, so delicious!) and let her brighten up our dinner.
My tips for thawing fish: I’ve learned from a fisherman to always thaw frozen fish covered in MILK, in some magic way this procedure makes the fish appear as if it is just taken fresh off the hook.
Seared whitefish (lavaret) with beetroot and horseradish and dill butter
- Fillets of whitefish (lavaret), about 800 grams (salmon, trout or arctic char will do just as well), scaled but with the skin still left on
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- Beetroots, about 1 kg
- 125 g softened butter
- 5 tablespoons freshly grated horseradish
- 1 bunch dill, chopped
- Juice of half a lemon
- 250 grams of mixed salad
- Fresh asparagus (3 stalks / person)
- A handful of coarsely chopped hazel- or walnuts
- Olive oil, vinegar, salt flakes
- Butter / canola oil for frying
Heat oven to 200 degrees C
1. Cure the fillets by rubbing in the sugar and salt mixture 1-2 hours before cooking.
2. Stir butter with 4 tablespoons horseradish, dill and lemon juice to your taste. Season with a little sea salt and leave in the fridge to harden.
3. Wash the beetroots and cook for about 30-40 minutes or until “al dente”.
4. Peel and cut each beetroot in quarters.
5. Rinse mixed salad, dry it, plate it up and sprinkle the nuts on top.
6. Wipe off the sugar / salt mixture from the fillets and brush with a little canola oil on both sides.
7. Rinse asparagus and snap off the woody ends.
8. Add salt to water and bring to a boil, then add the asparagus and when water has reached a boil again, pull the pan off the plate and let the asparagus remain in the hot water for a couple of minutes.
9. Heat a frying pan thoroughly, pour oil or butter (or both) into the center and swirl to coat the pan.
10. Place the fillets skin side down. The moment the fillets hit the pan, jiggle it so the fish doesn’t stick.
11. Let the fillets sear for 2-3 minutes then carefully transfer them skin side up to an ovenproof pan (greased with a little oil) and continue cooking them for another couple of minutes.
12. Put beetroots in an ovenproof dish, sprinkle with sea salt and dots of horseradish butter. Place in the oven along with the fish and let the butter melt down, enough to glaze the beets.
13. Put asparagus on top of the mixed salad, sprinkle with oil and vinegar and a pinch of salt flakes.
14. Put the fillets (skin side up) on top of the salad and place the beets with the horseradish butter on the side.
15. Sprinkle the remaining grated horseradish over the dish.