Restaurateurs Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne have been called “the food world’s equivalent of Lerner and Loewe or Leiber and Stoller.” And in a way, their farmers market-driven cuisine is like music to the soul.
Over the last 20 years, they have taken the culinary arena by storm. Goin was hailed as Food & Wine’s “Best New Chefs” when the pair first burst onto the L.A. dining scene in 1998, and what followed was a string of groundbreaking restaurant openings, awards, media praise and two acclaimed cookbooks. Goin’s latest, “The A.O.C. Cookbook,” a collection ofseasonal recipes from the restaurant with wine notes by Styne, was released in October 2013.
Goin is a champion of “simple, clean, tasty food,” so we asked her to share two of the easiest recipes from her book with our readers. Her choices both surprised us and delighted us.
“Well, the easiest recipe in the book is actually my daughter’s—she wrote it when she was six,” she reveals. We do not know many six-year-olds who are writing recipes, so this is one dish we must try.
“Another simple favorite is grilled arctic char,” she adds.
Here are both recipes. Try these at home, and let us know which one turns out best!
Alex’s Famous Salad Dressing
*Makes 1/2 cup
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1 tablespoon Sherry Vinegar
1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
Whisk together the mustard, vinegars and lemon juice with a pinch of salt and pepper, and then whisk in the olive oil.
Grilled Arctic Char with Arugula and Cherry Tomato-Anchovy Brown Butter
1 Lemon, zested and 4 teaspoons Juice
6 Arctic Char Fillets, 5 to 6 ounces each, skin on
1 tablespoon Thyme Leaves
1/4 cup chopped Flat-Leaf Parsley
1 1/2 pounds Heirloom Tomatoes
2 tablespoons Sliced Basil, Green and Opal if possible
4 ounces Arugula, cleaned and dried
1/4 cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
8 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
1 1/2 teaspoons Minced Anchovy (I highly recommend Salt-Cured Anchovies)
3/4 pint small Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half
Season the char with the lemon zest, thyme, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Cover, and refrigerate at least 4 hours.
Light the grill 30 to 40 minutes ahead of time. Take the char out of the refrigerator 15 minutes before cooking, so it comes to room temperature.
Core the heirloom tomatoes, hold them on their sides, one by one, and cut them into 1/4-inch thick slices. Season the slices with salt and pepper, and scatter the basil over them. Arrange a few slices of tomatoes on each of 6 large dinner plates.
Toss the arugula in a large bowl with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, salt and pepper. Arrange 2/3 of the salad on the plates in a natural style, follow with the remaining tomatoes, and finally the rest of the arugula.
When the coals are broken down, red and glowing, brush the char with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place the fish on the grill, skin-side down, and cook 3 to 4 minutes, rotating the fish once after a couple of minutes to get the skin crispy. Turn the fish over and cook another minute or so, until medium rare. Place the fish on top of the arugula and tomato salad.
While the fish is cooking, place the butter in a medium sauté pan. Cook a few minutes over medium-high heat, until it starts to brown and smells nutty, and then add the anchovy, cherry tomatoes, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and a few grindings of black pepper. Cook for 30 seconds, shaking the pan, until the tomatoes release some of their juice. Add 2 teaspoons lemon juice to the pan, and taste for balance and seasoning. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons parsley. Spoon the sauce over the fish and around the salad.