Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Branzino "en papillote"

Today is Tuesday, and you know what that means. It's time for some simple mediterranean cooking! I decided that I wanted to do a salt crusted branzino. I went to Philadelphia Fish and Lobster (as always), which is right across the street from whole foods (I wouldn't buy my fish from Whole Foods after seeing how good the people at PFL appreciate it). I grabbed a whole branzino, not scaled, not gutted, not filleted. I need the practice.

So I forgot to take a picture before I gutted it but seriously, I bought it completely untouched.

Just about then, I realized that I would need a hell of a lot of salt for this. I checked my supply and I was running low. Shit! yes I said that out loud, my mom's gonna spank me. I had to improvise and fast. I pretended I was in Ratatouille. Anton Ego had just entered the restaurant, and wanted something "off the menu." I had to think of something fast! I checked the walk in (I don't actually have a walk in) and found some mushrooms and lemon. There was also an abundance of provencal herbs. I had it! I was gonna make a branzino en papillote! Remy would be pround.

Yea so I did my work on that fish, and using the skills that Chris at Lacroix taught me, I managed two fillets that did not look half bad.

I made a bed of lemon slices on parchment paper for the fish, then added thyme and rosemary. I seasoned liberally with salt and white pepper and drizzled the fillet with white wine and olive oil.

I put it in the oven at a whopping 500 degrees for about 7 minutes.

I then seared the mushrooms with a small amount of oil before seasoning them then adding butter to finish them off.

I made a quick vinaigrette of just dijon, salt, white pepper, lemon juice, and olive oil, and a quick olive tapenade from some leftover deli olives.

I placed the mushrooms in the middle of the plate, the fish on top, a lil olive tapenade on top of that, and my best attempt at a ring of vinaigrette.

And voila.

My mom liked it! But she likes everything I make. Seriously though. I could piss on my food and she would force herself to like it. I do however think this was a pretty solid dish. Nothing spectacular considering I just grabbed a few scraps from my walk in, but I was pretty happy with the way turned out. Ok now that I'm in the mood, I think that I will forego my math homework until tomorrow morning, and watch Ratatouille.


ChefCouture said...

Hey Nick! I really enjoyed reading your blog! I am a culinary student at the art institute of seattle and I'm going just because I love food...
I will continue to read your blog and I look forward to your food adventures. Happy Blogging!

Amanda said...

Well done!

Mandoline said...

http://philadelphialobsterandfish.com/index.html. Best fish on the Main Line.

marthadotcom said...

What do you think, Nick, is Philadelphia Lobster and Fish worth a trip from Center City?

(I am really enjoying the blog! and I will take all the credit for pushing you to do it!)