blackfish, bluefish. sam took monday to head down to new jersey to do some fishing, and came home that night with a big, gorgeous blackfish, which he deftly filleted and packaged up, telling me to do with it what i would. i've been pretty overwhelmed lately - coming up with menu ideas, testing recipes, trying to wrap up my work here while searching for a replacement - but i spent a significant amount of tuesday dreaming up ideas for what to do with that beautiful piece of meat when i got home. and i mean the fish, not sam. (ha-cha!) i found a recipe that sounded complicated enough to take a few hours and use most of our pots and pans, and knew it was the one.
so i took this recipe and tweaked it to what ingredients i had handy - cherry tomatoes, some baby chanterelles and lots of thyme. my variation is below.
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sauteéd blackfish with corn & roasted red pepper pudding
2 blackfish fillets (preferably with skin still on, but sam had removed the skin and they still held together pretty well.)
1/2 lemon wedge
1 T olive oil
salt & pepper
1/2 roasted red pepper (cut in half, splash with olive oil, wrap in aluminum foil and blast at 450 until the skin starts to blacken. let cool entirely then remove seeds, stem and peel off the skin [this should be easy if it's fully roasted.])
1 1/2 cups corn kernels (recipe calls for fresh; i cheated and used some good frozen corn. still delicious.)
1 cup heavy cream
4 eggs + one egg yolk
salt & cayenne to your liking
1 1/2 cups chicken broth (vegetable broth will do to if you're pescetarian.)
4 thyme stalks
1/2 cup corn kernels
1 T butter
salt & pepper
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
a few sauteed mushrooms, for garnish
preheat your oven to 275. spray six ramekins with cooking spray (for real. i tried brushing mine with butter instead and the buggers did not want to budge out of their molds.) start cream, red pepper, and corn in a small pot; bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. pour into a blender and puree until totally smooth, then add the eggs, one at a time, while the blender is still going. add cayenne & salt. pour this mixture into the ramekins, and then set them all into an oven safe dish big enough to fit them. pour hot water in, halfway to the top of the ramekins, and bake for at least 20 minutes. mine took closer to 40 to fully set. once they don't jiggle anymore, set them to the side.
while they're cooking, start another small pot with the chicken stock, thyme, and corn. let it simmer at a low temp.
now start the olive oil in your pan. if the skin is still on the fish, score it and squeeze lemon juice in; otherwise just squeeze lemon juice over the fish, salt and pepper it, and toss it on the pan once it's good and hot. cook the fish on medium heat for about 4 minutes on each side, until it has a nice sear and is cooked all the way through. set on a paper towel to rest.
at this point, strain the chicken stock so that only the liquid remains; add the butter, and whisk until it's nice and foamy. invert the corn pudding into a bowl, pour the foamy sauce around and add the tomatoes; top with the blackfish, mushrooms, and some thyme. voila! it's a lot of work, yes, but really nothing too complicated, and the result is a beautiful, delicious, restaurant quality meal. and the savory pudding was such a great base for the fish - i'll definitely be trying some variations on it for other dishes.