Michael McGhee, the program director of Culinard, the Culinary Institute at Virginia College (7200 Midlothian Turnpike, 977-5100), provided these recipes using clementines as part of our October ingredient feature, which also included a recipe for pan-seared bay scallops with clementines and cauliflower. McGhee, a graduate of Virginia Tech and the New England Culinary Institute, has worked in New York City, Colorado, California and in Europe. He's also a former owner of F.W. Sullivan's Fan Bar & Grille. Born in Ireland, he grew up in Waynesboro.
Roasted Olives and Clementines with Rosemary and Chiles
(McGhee says, "The olives are my take on Spanish tapas." At Culinard, he says, students are encouraged to think about what wines would pair with the dishes they're making and why. For this recipe, he recommends a Spanish version of a Rhône blend — "a little spice, a little body, but not overpowering.")
3 to 4 dried japones chiles or chiles de árbol
3 fresh rosemary sprigs
1 cup of picholine olives* (5 1/2 to 6 ounces)
1 cup of Gaeta olives** (5 1/2 to 6 ounces)
1/2 cup of extra-virgin olive oil, divided
* Medium-size brine-cured green olives; available at some supermarkets and at specialty foods stores.
** Small, black, brine-cured olives; available at some specialty foods stores and at Italian markets.
Coarsely crush the chilis with the back of a knife. Place them in a medium bowl. Add the rosemary, all of the olives, and 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the peel of one clementine in strips. Using a sharp knife, scrape off any pith from the strips. Mix the peel into the olives. Cut the peeled clementine in half. Squeeze the clementine juice over the mixture. Cover it and marinate for at least one hour and up to one day, stirring occasionally.
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Transfer the olive mixture to an ovenproof dish. Cut the remaining three clementines crosswise in half and mix into the olives. Drizzle with the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Roast until the mixture is heated through and flavors blend, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Squeeze the juice of the roasted clementines over the olives. Serve warm with crusty bread.
Halibut with Clementine Gremolata
(McGhee notes that this recipe pairs well with a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc: "The wine has a citrus-grapefruit element to it.")
1/3 cup of chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 garlic cloves, peeled, minced
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
Using a vegetable peeler, remove the peel (orange part only) of the clementines. Chop the peel (reserve flesh for another use). Combine the chopped clementine peel, chopped parsley, minced garlic, and sea salt in a small bowl. Stir in the extra-virgin olive oil and set the gremolata aside.
The gremolata can be prepared four hours ahead. Cover it and refrigerate.
4 6-ounce halibut fillets
Extra-virgin olive oil (for drizzling)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the peel of the clementine in four 2-inch-long strips (orange part only). Cut four 12-inch squares of parchment paper. Place a halibut fillet in the center of a parchment paper square. Sprinkle it with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle the halibut lightly with olive oil. Place one clementine peel strip, cut side up, on the halibut fillet. Bring two edges of the parchment paper together along the long side of the fish fillet and fold the parchment edges together three to four times. Tuck both remaining edges of parchment underneath the fillet to create a packet and place the parchment packet on a rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining fish fillets. (The halibut packets can be made four hours ahead. Chill them on a rimmed baking sheet.)
Bake the fish just until they're opaque in the center, about 18 minutes. (To check the doneness, unwrap the packet and insert a fork in the fillet). Remove the rimmed baking sheet from the oven. Unwrap the fish. Place the halibut fillets on plates, spoon the gremolata over them and serve.