Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Poisson en Crout

This was good enough I'm going to make it again this week, and perhaps get a better photo!
I can't recall what it was called but it met my three fishy criteria: line caught, fresh water, not farmed.

(First - net catching causes collateral damage. Second, ocean fish are generally overfished - and fresh water fish are eaters of pest insect larvae. Finally, I have reservations about many of the practices of farming fish - from GMO franken-fish to where they source the feed to the waste/runoff and of course cross contamination.)

"Honey, let's make steak," I tell my platonic dinner-date.

"I don't want steak. Let's do fish?"

"Fish. So be it," the gauntlet having been thrown down. It's not that I don't like fish, but I'm not the best at cooking it. A'la minute seafood, like shellfish (shrimp, oysters, cuttlefish) is easy because you're just quickly cooking the protein, like an egg. But to cook a bigger fish requires that more informed decisions be made: is this a fishy fish? A fish that can be served rare or medium? Is this a bony fish? A frying fish? A braising, boiling or roasting fish? Does it need butter or wine? Herbs? Heavy flavors or just the hint of some essence?

$3.99 a pound later, we were in the kitchen - drinking wine, naturally - considering our options.

Dusting flour and pan frying fish (of any stripe - pun intended) in brown butter is always a winner, as is chunking it up and dropping it into a nice boiling soup.

However in this moment I realized I had a cannon-ball of a winner already marking time in my fridge: left over pie-dough from my "this is chicken pot pie! pie!" night (to the tune of "people who died" by Jim Carroll, RIP).

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Intentionally gratuitous boob shot, because page views!
Poisson en Croûte:
  • About 1 cup and some change of pie dough.
  • Two 1/2lbs filets of any kind of fish, deboned.
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro.
  • 1 tbsp of butter.
  • Salt and pepper.
Roll the dough out thin (about 2 times the thickness of a flour tortilla).

Sprinkle with half the cilantro, salt, pepper and butter and arrange fish in the center of the rolled out dough. Top with remaining cilantro then wrap up like a burrito.

Here's a demo:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpazxwU-LzM

Wow. Bro-tastic!

Put the whole works onto a Sil-Pat and into a 475ºF oven for about 25 minutes.

Golden, flaky, delicious.

This looks like a mess, but it's delicious.