- Date: Thursday, July 3, 2008 -- 9pm
- Location: Somerville, MA
- Kitchen: Matty's Apartment
- Fellow Chef: Matty
- Recipe Rating: B+
I picked this recipe as part of the all-seafood-all-the-time plan. Note that this is the fourth fish recipe I have blogged about in a row! As my time left in Boston is getting shorter and shorter I am getting more and more serious about this plan (and more and more concerned about how I am ever going to finish the 70+ seafood recipes I have left!). Unfortunately I am also getting more and more tired of eating fish. Matty and I had another fish recipe for dinner tonight, and when we sat down at the table he said, "I'm predicting that this is going to be a Honey Bunches of Oats meal for my Teeny." It's true -- when I hit fish overload, I end up eating a small serving of fish and then a big bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats for dinner (I love that stuff!).
This hazelnut-crusted fish from last week was pretty good though. I bought the fish at Whole Foods (where I purchase all of my seafood), and there must have been some sort of miscommunication between me and the fishmonger. I asked for a whole trout and he happily picked out a fish and wrapped it up for me. The printed label on the wrapped up fish read European Sea Bass, but I figured it was just a mistake, especially since the fishmonger specifically asked me what I was going to do with my trout. When I got home and unwrapped that fish though, it was clear: not a trout. At that point I had already purchased the other ingredients for this dish, and the fish was about the right size, so I decided to go ahead and try it. In my opinion, this dish was fine with the sea bass. After Matty took his first bite, though, he offered, "This preparation would be really good with trout." Ha ha.
The concept of this dish was simple. Trout (or, apparently, sea bass) was dipped in egg and then ground hazelnuts and then pan fried until golden brown and cooked through. The dish was finished with a simple lemon butter sauce. The hazelnut coating was very tasty, and gave the fish a nice crunchy exterior. I had problems with over-browning, so the fish ended up with a mild burnt taste. So I would advise keeping the heat pretty low and checking often to see that the nuts aren't burning. The lemon butter sauce was essential to the dish. Without it the fish was a bit bland, but the lemon butter complemented the nut coating very well to give the dish some much needed acidity and contrast. Overall, it was a good preparation for a whole fish. I would like to try it with an actual trout someday, but even with a small sea bass, it was tasty.
Here is the recipe.