Sunday dinner - Rockfish

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Today I made a new entree that I've never tried before; rockfish. I wanted to try making one of the less common varieties of fish and see if I could turn it into something good. No salmon, tuna, or swordfish for me. I was ready to go for "striped bass," which was supposed to be available at a great price at the Gourmet Pantry this week, but when that fell through John offered to check in at the Fresh Market in Roanoke while he was there for .NET code camp on Saturday.

When John called from the Market and told me about some "rockfish" he found there, I said "go for it!". He came home with two fillets (about a pound total) of fish, and a story from the fish monger that they just couldn't keep the stuff on the shelves (or, to be more exact, in the case). Now, little did I know until I just now looked up rockfish, that it is often a pseudonym for striped bass!!

I looked online for help and found this recipe. It looked quick and simple, so away we went! I decided to prepare the sides ahead of time so that I could focus solely (haha...hah? pun?) on the fish. I went with a simple basmati rice and a side of onions, garlic, green pepper, and baby bok choy (pretty much some of every vegetable we had on hand, except celery!). Then I started the fish.

I used a cast iron pan and got it good and hot, and followed the directions to score the fish skin and salt liberally with kosher salt, and laid the fillets in the hot pan. After a few minutes I could see that the skin had browned up, so I flipped the fillets over. My pieces of fish looked about twice as thick as those in the video, so I was a bit worried about making sure they were fully cooked without overcooking the much narrower sides. Still, I followed the process exactly, giving about :04 per side and basting thoroughly with the butter / garlic / thyme mix once the skin side was up.

I put the pan in the oven to finish off, and checked online to see what temperature I should be looking for as "done." I found out that most fish should be about 140 degrees when fully cooked, and monitored the temperature of mine accordingly. About :06 later, I pulled them out of the oven (I'd been checking every :02-:03 minutes). It seemed I might have overdone them a bit when the final core temperature I measured was about 150. I pulled them out and crossed my fingers.

And... Success! Not just success, but WILD success! John and I both LOVED it. It was so good, not dry at all - perfectly cooked. Definitely on the "make again" list. And, truth be told, the recipe was in fact just as simple as it looked in the video. Surprisingly (I'd normally be one to stay away from it), the fish skin was tender and delicious and, from what I remember (it's been 4 years or so since I've had chicken), like chicken skin. Yum! A +

John and I have decided to do Sunday night dinners every week, so I'll keep you posted on what's up and coming on the Sunday dinner menu.


Julie Smith said...

I wanna come eat at your house!

C-Rella said...

Julie, come on down! I will be happy to make this again. :) Hope to see you this summer, if not sooner.

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