Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Salt-Baked Branzino (Page 315)

RECIPE #1113

  • Date: Thursday, February 18, 2010 --7pm
  • Location: Palo Alto, CA
  • Kitchen: Emilee and Brian's Apartment
  • Dining Companions: Matty, Emilee, Brian, and Sam
  • Recipe Rating: A-

I chose this recipe as part of the All Seafood All The Time plan. I started by mixing together kosher salt and egg whites to reach the texture of wet sand. Note: the recipe called for fine sea salt, but said that kosher salt could be used as an acceptable alternative. Since I needed six cups of salt, I opted to go with the kosher salt so as to not break the bank! I took some whole branzino, which had been cleaned, and placed parsley sprigs, rosemary sprigs, sliced garlic and lemon slices in the cavity of each fish. I put the fish on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper and covered the fish completely in salt. I baked the fish in a hot oven until the salt crust was turning golden. I cracked the crust away from the fish. The recipe then said to fillet the fish and serve the fillets. It always seem so silly to me though to cook the fish whole but fillet it before serving. Whole fish is so beautiful. So I chose to serve the fish whole. This fish was very tasty. It was light, flavorful, and salty! Mmmm, salt. The texture was also nice: moist and flaky. This dish was super simple to make, and the very simple preparation served the fish well.

The recipe is here.

After a rather long day of travel yesterday, I made it to Chicago! My flight was scheduled for 9:45AM and actually took off at 4:45PM, which meant that I spent a long time at the San Francisco airport. I moved from gate to gate all day, flying standby on all earlier Chicago-bound flights. There was a large group of us doing this, and slowly the group grew smaller and smaller as people got rebooked. I never did make it onto an earlier flight though -- at one point I was second on the list, but that was as close as I got. On the upside, I made friends with some of the people in the same situation, which was fun. One guy described us as the "low-priority rejects." We were the group of people who A) Didn't have connections out of Chicago to make, and B) Didn't have any special priority status with American Airlines. We were the lowest priority on standby...

The whole source of the delay was that our aircraft needed a part and that part needed to be flown in from Texas. So it took a while for the part to even get to California, and then they had to install and test it. At some point we had all given up hope and were just waiting for them to cancel our flight and rebook us for the next day. But then, miracle of miracles, a plane appeared and they boarded the low-priority rejects. So many people had been rebooked that the reject group was small -- there was one person for every 5 seats or so, so we had plenty of room to spread out. Plus they gave us free alcoholic beverages! All in all it was a long but not entirely unpleasant day, and I made it safely to Chicago in the end!

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