The Chef: Edward Lee
His Restaurants: 610 Magnolia and MilkWood in Louisville, Ky., Succotash in National Harbor, Md., and Succotash DC in Washington, D.C.
What He’s Known For: Highly personal takes on Southern dishes, often referencing the Korean cooking he grew up on.
GROWING UP in the state of Veracruz, about an hour inland from Mexico’s Gulf coast, chef Gonzalo Guzmán got used to home cooking full of flavor. “Everyone in my family is a really good cook,” he said. His first Slow Food Fast recipe—a chile-rubbed, seared trout fillet served with a spicy tomato-kale sauté—may not be strictly traditional. But it delivers a vivid taste of where he’s from nonetheless.
The dish also draws on what he learned working at top San Francisco restaurants—in particular, a respect for local produce. “I cook the greens 75% of the way, until they just wilt and become al dente,” he said. The jalapeños, onions and tomatoes in the sauté mirror the colors of the Mexican flag. “We call this ‘a la Mexicana,’ ” Mr. Guzmán said. “The combination of flavors really works.”
Chile-Rubbed Trout With Tomato-Kale Sauté
TOTAL TIME: 25 minutes SERVES: 4
- 2 dried chiles de árbol, stemmed
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- Kosher salt
- ¾ cup canola or other neutral oil
- 4 (6-ounce) trout fillets, skin-on and about ½-inch thick
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 1 jalapeño, stemmed and diced
- 2 bunches kale, stems removed, leaves cut into ribbons about 1 inch wide
- 2 cups canned diced tomatoes
1. Make chile oil: In a small skillet over medium heat, toast chiles on both sides until darkened and aromatic, about 2 minutes. Use a mortar and pestle or heavy knife to smash 1 garlic clove with a pinch of salt to form a paste. Add chiles and smash to incorporate. Mix paste into ¼ cup oil. Season with salt.
2. Rub ¾ of chile oil into fillets. Set remaining chile-oil aside for later use. Marinate trout at room temperature at least 5 minutes.
3. Pour 3 tablespoons canola oil into a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add onions, remaining garlic and jalapeños. Cook until onions soften, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook until reduced by a third, about 5 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in another large sauté pan over medium heat. Add kale and sauté until wilted, about 3 minutes. Stir kale into tomato sauce, increase heat to high and cook until flavors meld, about 1 minute more. Season with salt. Wipe clean pan used for kale.
5. Set cleaned pan over medium-high heat. Add remaining oil. Once oil is hot, add fish, skin-side down. Reduce heat to medium and sear until skin crisps, about 4 minutes. Flip and sear until flesh is just cooked through and flakes when pressed, about 3 minutes more.
6. Serve fillets over kale sauté and drizzle reserved chile oil over top. Serve immediately.
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