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This week's recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen

August 11, 2012|By Noelle Carter

Master Class is back in session this week, and chef Michael Cimarusti shares his secret to great grilled halibut: brining.

"The brining of meats is common. Lots of people brine their Thanksgiving turkey. At Providence, we have taken to brining certain fishes. The one that has yielded the best results is Alaskan halibut. The technique also works with other white-fleshed fish and even salmon, but I especially like it with halibut, which has a certain reputation among cooks.

"Halibut has many fans and just as many detractors, who are not wrong when they say that it is not the most flavorful fish. Because it is low in fat, halibut benefits from a little, ahem, 'enhancement,' as it’s termed here in L.A. An hourlong dunk in a simple brine of salt and water is just the thing to transform halibut into the type of fish you always wished it could be."

And writer Lesley Tellez explores the world of Mexican guisados:

"The word guisado is an umbrella term for a stewed mixture, usually meat or vegetables simmered in chile sauce or tomatoes. Most guisados contain a short list of ingredients (they’re not like moles), but when done well, they’re unforgettable. Chile sauces coax out the flavors of the meat. Vegetables, mixed with garlic and onion and broth, taste like the universe intended them to: hearty and unadorned.

"The most interesting thing about guisados is how all-encompassing they are. Like a Chinese stir-fry or an American casserole, a guisado can really be anything, as long as it’s served with tortillas."

This week's recipes include:

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