Gunnar Karl Gíslason, chef of Restaurant Dill in Reykjavík, and Jody Eddy celebrate the cuisine of Iceland in North.
It’s common to use meat bones, such as veal, chicken, and lamb, as the base for stocks, broths, and stews, but fish bones are not as familiar to many home cooks. The good news is that most fishmongers will sell them at a rock-bottom price if you make a special request for them. It’s a great way to forge a lasting connection with your fishmonger, and once you do, he or she will often give you bones for free. Fish bones speak to Gunnar’s never-throw- away-any-part-of-the-animal philosophy, and after tasting them roasted in this recipe, you will likely appreciate them as much as he does. One word of warning: chopping through fish bones can make quite a mess. Rinse them thoroughly to remove any residual blood and guts, then rely on the quick, deft chop of a cleaver to cut them cleanly.
- To make the cod cheeks, trim the cheeks of any sinew and cut into 2-inch (5-cm) cylinders using a 1/2-inch (12-mm) round cutter. Fill a saucepan with water to a depth of 3 inches (7.5 cm), season with a little salt, and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the vinegar and then the cheeks and poach gently for 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cheeks to paper towels to drain. Keep warm.
- To make the soup, place a cast-iron frying pan over medium heat and coat the bottom with a thin layer of oil. Add the bones and sauté, turning often with tongs to prevent scorching, for about 10 minutes, until caramelized. Use caution during this step, as the bones will splatter as they cook. Remove from the heat. Keep warm.
- Place a pressure cooker over medium heat and coat the bottom with a thin layer of oil. Add the carrot, celery root, onion, fennel, thyme, dill, star anise, and cloves and sauté for about 7 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and the spices are aromatic. Add the bones and sauté for 1 minute longer. Add the water, lock the lid in place, and cook at high pressure for 35 minutes. Let the pressure subside naturally. Remove the lid and strain the contents through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean, clear container. Let sit for a few minutes, then skim off any fat and residue that settles on the surface. Transfer the strained broth to a saucepan, place over medium-high heat, bring to a boil, and reduce by three-fourths, skimming the surface of residue as it cooks. Add the cream and milk, bring to a simmer, and season with salt and cider vinegar. Just before serving, reheat until warm, add the soy lecithin, and process with an immersion blender until foamy.
- To make the charred onions, heat a dry frying pan over medium-low heat. Place the onions and shallots, cut side down, in the pan and caramelize them to the point of charring. Flip the onions and shallots over and caramelize the second side the same way. Remove from the heat and season with salt. Keep warm.
- To make the potatoes, heat the oil in a frying pan over medium-low heat. Add the pota- toes and sauté, being careful not to let them turn golden brown, for 6 to 8 minutes, until tender. Stir in the mustard and season with salt. Keep warm.
- To serve, foam the soup once more just before service and pour it into bowls with a large lip. Place the cod cheeks on the lip on one side of the bowl and arrange the potatoes and charred onions alongside the cod. Garnish with cress.
Reprinted with permission from North, by Gunnar Karl Gislason and Jody Eddy, copyright 2014, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.