Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Za'atar-Encrusted Hamachi


Za'atar is a Middle Eastern spice mixture that I always have on hand. It's a breeze to make and adds something fabulous to olive oil for dipping and - I've just discovered - as a spice rub on any kind of meat or fish! While za’atar has a few key ingredients, you can add whatever you want. The proportions are up to you. 


Last week for my Spices of the Souk cooking class, I had the kids make their own versions of za'atar. D added in juniper berries and crushed bay leaves. And when we received our portion of hamachi from our CSF (community-supported fishery) Real Good Fish, he asked if we could make za'atar-encrusted hamachi. Sure thing!

Ingredients serves 4

  • 1 pound hamachi, skin on (I usually serve a 1/2 pound piece per person) 
  • 1 T butter
  • 1 t olive oil
  • za'atar spice (there's one version of za'atar in this post)

Procedure
Melt butter in olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Season fish generously with za'atar on both sides. Place the fish skin-side down for 4 to 5 minutes until crisped and golden brown. Gently flip fish and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes on the other side. Set fish aside to rest.


We served the za'atar-encrusted hamachi with crisped kale and a locally-made Cabernet Pfeffer that I'll be featuring in next month's #WinePW event when we highlight women in wine. Very excited about highlighting Nicole Walsh and her Santa Cruz-based Ser Winery! But I'll give you a sneak peak of this stunning wine that paired perfectly with this dish.

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