Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Heed the Call of the Fish Lady

So, I ended up getting parrotfish from the Fishguy Market (discussed a few posts below).  My first reaction was probably the same as yours (what the hell is parrotfish?), but my infactuation with new (shiny) things overcame any apprehension I might have had.  The lady at the fish store said that it was a very flaky and fruity fish.

Here is a picture of the parrotfish filet before it was cooked:

The only thing that I miss about the suburbs is being able to grill food, but since I'm not one to let little legal/reality issues get in the way of something I want, I have an indoor grill.  I'd highly recommend an indoor grill to anyone who lives in the city or anyone who doesn't like going out into the cold, even though it may ocassionaly send smoke billowing through your house.  Anyway, the one I have is a DeLonghi Indoor Grill, which can be found at http://www.crateandbarrel.com/Family.aspx?c=633&f=13226.

Movin on....  I decided to make up a mango salsa to go with it because the fish lady said that parrotfish is fruity.  She also said that it was really flaky, so putting it on the grill would make it stick.  To remedy that, I wrapped it in foil before tossing it on the grill.  After about half an hour, and only one hand burning, it was ready to be eaten.  Here are a couple pictures to whet your whistle:

Overall, I would classify this as a success.  The fish was really flaky (as the fish lady said it would be), but I'm almost positive that's how it was supposed to be, and I could not have done anything to prevent it from falling apart.  If the mango had been more ripe, the salsa probably would have been a bit better, but you try finding a ripe mango in Chicago in October on short notice before you go pointing the blame finger.  Here is the recipe I used.  Go ahead and try it and let me know what you think.  The whole thing only takes about 30 minutes (Rachel Ray would be proud).

Things You Need (serves 2)
3/4 lb of parrot fish
1 mango, preferably ripe, cut into small dice
1 poblano pepper
1/2 white or red onion, sliced into discs
1/2 lime
2 tspn soy sauce
1 tspn honey
1 tspn extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt

Note:  While I used a grill go make this whole dinner, you could definitely use the oven broiler set to high to accomplish the same thing.  You may have to be a bit more watchful to make sure nothing burns, but overall, it's a similar concept.

1.  Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper on both sides.  Allow fish to come up toward room temperature while you prepare the salsa.

2.  Heat grill to high.  Once the grill comes up to temperature, put poblano pepper and onion on grill.

3.  While peppers and onions are grilling, wrap the fish in a single layer of foil.

4.  Turn onions over once they soften and begin to blacken.  Turn pepper over when the bottom blisters and becomes blackened.  About 3 minutes for the onions and 5 minutes for the pepper.  Continue cooking for another few minutes until onion blackens slightly and pepper blisters and blackens.

5.  When you take the onions and pepper off of the grill, place the fish in the foil on the grill (still on high heat, the foil will protect the fish from burning or overcooking).  The fish will be on for 10-12 minutes depending on the thickness, flipping halfway through.

6.  While the fish is cooking, cut the top off the pepper and remove the seeds.  Dice pepper into a small dice and put in a bowl.  Dice onion disks into small dice and add to peppers.

7.  Cut along both sides of the mango pit to remove it.  Cut the mango away from the skin (preferably in one piece) with a paring knife.  Cut mango into a small dice and add to peppers, and onion.  Remember to flip fish after 5-6 minutes.

8.  Squeeze the half lime over the mango mixture.  Add honey, soy sauce, and extra virgin olive oil.  Mix well.

9.  Season the salsa to taste with salt, if necessary.

10.  After 10-12 minutes, remove fish from grill.  Allow it to sit in the foil packet for 3-4 minutes before slicing.

To assemble:  You could easily put a pile of mango salsa in the middle of the plate and then top with the fish, but for a more elegant plating, place a 2" ring mold in the center of each plate.  Fill the mold with mango salsa and press down  with the back of a spoon to form it into the ring shape and level the top of the salsa.  Remove ring molds and place fish on top of the circle of salsa.

I did not drink wine with this since it was 10:30 when I finished cooking and I have a bunch of law review work to do, but I imagine that a viogner would go well with this because both the dish and the wine have such tropical notes.   

That's all for me for tonight (at least about cooking), if you get a chance to try it out, let me know what you think.  Comments, suggestions, etc. are all welcome.  Goodnight!

No comments:

Post a Comment