Steal This Recipe® Roasted Halibut with Corn Milk & Sweet Corn & Tomato Salad

September 04, 2014

From Anthony Zappola, Chef de Cuisine, Craft, LA

New York chef Tom Colicchio, lead judge on Bravo’s hit reality series, ‘Top Chef’, opened the Los Angeles location after a series of successful Craft ventures across the country; with locations in New York, Las Vegas, Dallas, and Atlanta. The Craft restaurant empire includes steak houses and sandwich restaurants, all embodying the same attitude towards simple and delicious food, using small farms and artisanal producers; served in an ambiance of effortless elegance.

Craft Los Angeles is located in a beautiful 10,000 square-foot space in Century City designed by architect Peter Bentel, which embodies modern style. The daily changing menu aims to present chic, yet robust dishes, designed to showcase the integrity of a single ingredient. The kitchen staff actually includes a ‘forager’ who goes to small farms up and down the state, bringing back products directly from the growers to the chef, and a great deal of the rest of the produce used comes from the Santa Monica Farmer’s market.

About the chef: Anthony Zappola found his calling when he was 15 and working as a dishwasher at an Italian restaurant in his hometown, Cleveland, Ohio. One evening, the salad station was short-staffed, so Zappola volunteered to lend a hand. He made an impression on the chef, who suggested he pick up additional shifts.

After cooking in several small Ohio restaurant kitchens, he decided to hone his talent by attending culinary school. He first spent nine months in Florence taking classes at the ‘Scuola di Arte Cordon Bleu’, a culinary school founded by graduates of the renowned ‘Le Cordon Bleu’ in Paris, followed by a year at ‘Le Cordon Bleu’ in London.

After graduating in 2001, Zappola’s climb up the culinary ladder took him from Cleveland to Chicago, and then to New York, where in 2004, he joined Craft New York, and soon became the sous chef in charge of private dining. In summer 2006, Anthony relocated to become the executive sous chef at Craft Dallas, where two years later he was promoted to chef de cuisine. He helped the restaurant earn glowing reviews until he eventually relocated to Craft Los Angeles as Chef de cuisine. 

Zappola’s culinary training prompts him to use French techniques at work, but he turns to his Italian roots for inspiration at home, where he enjoys creating seasonal pasta dishes.

10100 Constellation Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90067
310 279 4180

Roasted Halibut with Corn Milk & Sweet Corn & Tomato Salad is served at Craft for $32 for the fish and $10 for the Sweet Corn & Tomato Salad on the a la carte menu.

This recipe makes 4 restaurant servings.

Ingredients for the Corn Milk:
½ cup fresh corn kernels
1 tablespoon water
Salt & pepper

Ingredients for the Sweet Corn & Tomato Salad:
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups fresh corn kernels
½ white onion, diced
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped
16 heirloom cherry tomatoes, cut in half
Salt & pepper

Ingredients for the Halibut:
4 x 6-ounce halibut fillets
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt & pepper
Micro cilantro for garnish, if available

Steal This Recipe® Step by Step Instructions for the Corn Milk:
Puree the corn and water until smooth. 
Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Place the puree in a bowl over simmering water, and whisk until thickened, about 10 – 15 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper to taste, and set aside.

Steal This Recipe® Step by Step Instructions for the Sweet Corn & Tomato Salad:
Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet. 
Add the onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook over medium heat until softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. 
Add the corn, and cook until softened and lightly browned. 
Transfer the corn to a small bowl, and set aside. 
While still warm, dress the corn with the vinegar, honey, cayenne and cilantro. 
Mix well and add the tomatoes. 
Set aside at room temperature while you cook the halibut.

Steal This Recipe® Step by Step Instructions for the Halibut:
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. 
Pat the halibut filets dry with paper toweling, and season with salt and pepper on both sides. 
Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. 
Sauté the halibut for about 5 minutes on one side without moving. 
Turn the fish over, and place the pan in the oven for another 7 – 10 minutes, or until the fish is just cooked through. 
Divide the corn milk between four plates. Top with the corn salad and the halibut. Garnish with micro cilantro if available.

Photo credit: Craft, Los Angeles