CSA – Merrimack Valley

Pan Seared Hake With Apricot Cherry Chutney, Garbanzo Beans and Asparagus 

Serves 2

Ingredients:
2 fresh apricots (medium dice)
1 cup fresh cherries (pitted and cut in half)
1/4 cup red onion (small dice)
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 cup fresh garbanzo beans
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup white wine
4 leaves fresh lemon balm
1 bunch of thin asparagus
1 pound of fresh hake
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: 

1. Fill a small sauce pot with water and add 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring water to a boil, then add garbanzo beans. Boil for 3 minutes, then transfer into a container of ice water to blanch.

2. When you are ready to plate, add 1 teaspoon of butter and 1 clove of minced garlic to a saucepan. Saute for 1 minute on medium heat. Add garbanzo beans and cook until they are warmed up — approximately 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

3. In a small saucepan, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil and turn heat to medium. Add onion and garlic. Saute until translucent and slightly golden brown. Add diced apricots and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat. Deglaze the pan with 1/4 cup of white wine —always cook with wine you would drink. Add cherries, cayenne and lemon balm. Cook for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside until ready to use.

4. Turn on the grill. Coat the asparagus in olive oil, salt and pepper. Place asparagus on the grill and cook for 4 minutes or until tender. 

5. Clean hake, removing the skin and any bones. Ask your local fish person to clean the fish for you if you are not familiar with the task. With a saucepan or cast-iron skillet, turn the heat on medium-high. Add 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil. This will produce less smoke because it has a higher smoking point than butter. Once the pan is hot, add the fish away from you to reduce oil splatter. Let the fish cook for 2 minutes until you start to see golden brown around the edges. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and 2 springs of thyme. Baste the fish with the butter for 3 minutes. The hake should ideally be served medium-rare. 

6. Place cooked asparagus on the plate and top with garbanzo beans. Add the hake on the side and scoop a few spoonfuls of the chutney onto the fish and the plate. Garnish with edible microgreens or flowers. 

About the Farm-Fresh Ingredients 

Garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas, are actually green when fresh! If you’re lucky enough to get some in your CSA share, you’ll know that they taste much better than the canned or dried yellow version. If you can’t find them in your farm share or grocery store, consider asking local farmers. 

Lemon balm is used for many medicinal purposes. It has been used for centuries in tea, essential oils, extracts and aromatherapy. It also has a great flavor, with subtle citrus notes. Its texture is similar to mint. 

Top left: Chef Angelina Jacobs, seen here with Sal Bramante of Sal’s Fresh Seafood, works closely with regional food producers to create Cabonnay’s seasonal menu. Top right: Lemon balm, a type of mint, gives the dish a citrusy kick. Bottom left: Fresh garbanzo beans are green, not yellow. Bottom right: Apricots, cherries and red onions are used in preparing this summer-perfect chutney. When served with the garbanzo beans and pan seared hake, the dish evokes the land and sea of New England. Photos by Kevin Harkins.

Angelina Jacobs 

Chef Angelina Jacobs is the executive chef at Cabonnay in Manchester, N.H. She comes from a long line of fishermen and clammers and has always been in touch with nature, working on farms and in gardens since childhood. She has close relationships with many farmers and fishermen, and is inspired by farm-to-table cuisine. As a creative chef, Jacobs is comfortable cooking classic dishes, as well as producing innovative new menus and invigorating plates. She recently traveled to Thailand to take cooking classes and learn about the nation’s cuisine.                

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