Juicy fruit

Enjoy citrus in all shapes and sizes for more than just desserts.

Sea fish salad with red grapefruit (photo credit: BOAZ LAVI)
Sea fish salad with red grapefruit
(photo credit: BOAZ LAVI)
With winter almost here, it is time to enjoy the abundance of citrus fruit – and not only for dessert. Grapefruit, oranges and their cousin, newcomer Asian yuzu, lend their wonderful aromas and freshness to many dishes as much as lemon and lime.
We asked chef Idan Metzner to give us a few of his wonderful recipes served at Sifo, his fish bistro in the colorful Jaffa Flea Market.
Metzner serves delicious, reasonably priced dishes in the open-kitchen Greekstyle place, where guests are invited to enjoy the lively flea-market atmosphere while sipping a glass of local wine and enjoying his tasty creations.
The following recipes may look a little intimidating but are really quite easy to prepare, once all the ingredients are arranged on the counter. Feel free to replace or omit ingredients if you cannot find them.
✔ 250 gr. fillet of white fish
For pickling ✔ 1 kg. curing salt ✔ 250 gr. sugar
Mix sugar and salt and cover the fish on all sides. Place in a bowl and leave outside the refrigerator for 24 hours.
Wash well and place in a container, covered in oil. Refrigerate until needed.
For the salad ✔ 2 red grapefruit (remove all membranes) ✔ 10-12 cucumbers, only hard part without seeds, julienned ✔ ½ basket bean sprouts ✔ 6 celery stalks, sliced ✔ 1 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped ✔ 1 bunch mint leaves, chopped ✔ ½ handful wakamama seaweed, soaked and strained ✔ 100 gr. roasted sugar-coated peanuts
For the dressing ✔ 2 tsp. fresh ginger, minced ✔ 100 ml. soy sauce ✔ 250 ml. lemon juice ✔ 50 ml. nut or peanut oil ✔ Salt and chili flakes to taste
Mix all salad vegetables together. Slice the fish thinly and add to the vegetables.
In a jar, shake together all the dressing ingredients. Add grapefruit to the salad, pour the dressing on top and toss carefully.
Sprinkle peanuts and chili on top.
Makes 4
Tartar of fish with yuzu (Boaz Lavi)
Tartar of fish with yuzu (Boaz Lavi)
Yuzu is an Asian citrus fruit that looks like a very small grapefruit with uneven skin. It can be yellow or green, depending on the degree of ripeness.
For the tartare ✔ 250 gr. fillet of fish, cubed ✔ ½ bunch mint, sliced into thin hairs ✔ 3 green onions white part only, sliced into rings ✔ 2 celery stalks, sliced ✔ 1 small red chili, chopped, seeds removed ✔ 2 Tbsp. roasted sesame seeds ✔ 2 Tbsp. lemon juice ✔ 4 Tbsp. olive oil ✔ ½ tsp. salt ✔ Pinch white pepper
For the aioli sauce ✔ 3 egg yolks ✔ 1 level Tbsp. smooth mustard ✔ Zest of 1 lemon ✔ Zest of 1 orange ✔ Pinch salt ✔ Pinch white pepper ✔ Pinch chili flakes ✔ 150 ml. canola oil ✔ 100 ml. olive oil ✔ 1 Tbsp. lemon juice ✔ 2 Tbsp. yuzo juice To prepare aioli: Beat egg yolks, mustard, citrus zest and dry seasoning in a bowl until smooth. Mix oils together and very gradually drizzle into the egg mixture while beating constantly. When all the oils are incorporated into the egg mixture, add the lemon and yuzo juices, beat and taste.
Adjust seasoning if necessary.To prepare tartare: Mix all ingredients in a bowl just before serving. Arrange in the middle of the serving plates and add some aioli on the side.
Rolled fillet of seabass with picante citrus butter (Boaz Lavi)
Rolled fillet of seabass with picante citrus butter (Boaz Lavi)
✔ 4 sea bass, filleted ✔ 1 red onion, thinly sliced ✔ 5 celery stalks, thinly sliced ✔ 2 oranges, chopped into small ½ cm.cubes, peel included ✔ 2 tsp. fresh ginger, minced ✔ Butter
For the citrus sauce ✔ 300 ml. freshly squeezed orange juice ✔ 3 cloves garlic, sliced ✔ 1 green chili ✔ 1 stalk lemon grass, crushed with a wooden hammer ✔ 3 Tbsp. butter ✔ Pinch salt ✔ Pinch white pepper Heat oven to 200°.
Roll each fish fillet, starting from the tail, so that the tail is inside. Leave room in the middle for filling. Secure rolls with a wooden toothpick or string.
To prepare filling: Sauté ingredients in butter, until cooked. Let cool.
Sear fish rolls in butter on all sides. Remove from heat. Transfer fish to a lined baking dish and fill each roll with the cooled vegetable mixture.
Place the stuffed fish in the oven and bake for 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, sauté the garlic, chili and lemon grass in a little butter, add juice and bring to a boil. When the liquid has reduced, add butter ½ Tbsp. at a time, until the sauce thickens. Season with white pepper and salt. Place each fish roll on a serving plate and drizzle sauce on top.
Chicken in a citrus curry (Boaz Lavi)
Chicken in a citrus curry (Boaz Lavi)
For the chicken ✔ 2 kg. chicken thighs, bones removed ✔ Juice of 2 oranges ✔ ½ kg. broccoli, divided into large florets ✔ ½ kg. pumpkin, cut into 2x2 cm. cubes ✔ 2 onions, coarsely chopped ✔ Curry paste (see below)
For the curry paste ✔ 12 small green chilies ✔ 1 small red onion, chopped ✔ 5 lemon grass stalks, white part only ✔ 12 garlic cloves, sliced ✔ 50 gr. fresh ginger, sliced ✔ Zest of 3 lemons ✔ Zest of 1 orange ✔ 1 lemon, peeled and white peel removed ✔ 1 level tsp. white pepper ✔ 1 level tsp. ground cumin ✔ 1 tsp. ground coriander ✔ 1 tsp. sugar ✔ 2 tsp. salt
To prepare curry paste: In a blender, grind all the ingredients until a smooth paste forms. Store refrigerated in a jar.
To prepare chicken: Rub meat with the curry paste and orange juice and marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
Heat oven to 200°. Remove chicken from the refrigerator and place in a baking dish with the liquid. Arrange the broccoli, pumpkin and onion evenly. Cover with foil and bake about 1 hour. Reduce the heat to 170-180° and continue cooking for 20 more minutes. Remove the foil and bake uncovered for 10 more minutes.
Makes 4
Chocolate-orange crème brûlée (Boaz Lavi)
Chocolate-orange crème brûlée (Boaz Lavi)
✔ 6 egg yolks ✔ 40 gr. sugar ✔ 400 ml. cream ✔ Peel of 1 orange, white part removed ✔ 130 gr. milk chocolate ✔ Sugar for topping
Beat together sugar and yolks until smooth. Boil cream with the orange peel.
Pour the cream over the chocolate, leave for 1 minute and mix until smooth.
Pour a little of the hot cream into the egg mixture. Mix and then pour the egg mixture into the chocolate gradually while mixing to prevent egg from curdling. Let cool and refrigerate overnight.
Heat oven to 100°.
Pour the custard through a sieve into 4 oven-proof serving dishes. Bake for 1 hour and let cool.
Heat the top grill of your oven to maximum.
Sprinkle sugar over the custard in a thin, even layer and brown under the grill.
It should take ½ -1 minute. Remove when sugar is turned into a hard caramel. Let cool completely before serving.
Recipes and photos courtesy of chef Idan Metzner and Sifo restaurant.
Sifo, 3 Nahman Street, the Flea Market, Jaffa. (03) 603-8121. Open daily from noon to midnight.