My son loves to fish. Be it off the jetty or on the ocean he’ll spend his summer days fishing whenever he can. Last week he was fortunate to have a friend invite him on their boat. They left the marina at 6 AM and by 7:30 had caught their limit. My son caught three large strip bass. Lucky for me and his sister, he was kind enough to give a large fillet to each of us.
I prepared mine the other evening very simply to let the freshness of the fish shine through. I made my fish en papillote, meaning I placed the fish on a sheet of parchment and proceeded to enclose the fish in a pouch. I did this to keep the fish moist as it baked in the oven. I seasoned the fillet with salt, pepper, EVOO, a sprinkle of panko breadcrumbs and fresh chopped parsley.
Recently I had seen a mini commentary on PBS by the chef Mike Colameco. He said that at the famous New York restaurant LeBernadin they insert a cake tester into the fish and leave it in for several minutes. Touch the tester to the top of your hand; if it’s warm the fish is done, if it’s hot, it’s over cooked and if it’s cold, the fish isn’t done. It’s a fool proof method that worked perfectly for me. My fish was moist and delicious.
My son was kvetching recently about a pasta salad that he had. Unfortunately, he was comparing the salad at a recent picnic to my tricolor fusilli with roasted red peppers salad that I’ve been making for years. The recipe appeared in Buon Appétit in August 1984; it includes shrimp, however, I leave that out. Now that the weather is getting warm, I made it for the first time this season.
To go along with the salad, Whole Foods has on sale until June 5th Animal Welfare Rated whole air-chilled chickens from Bell and Evans for $1.79/lb. (regularly $3.29/lb.-$3.39/lb). I spatchcocked the chicken for faster cooking. I also placed a dry rub from Williams-Sonoma on both sides of the bird which gave the chicken a delicious flavor and a bit of caramelization on the skin when it roasted. While the dry rub I purchased is no longer available, others I have tried have been excellent. I periodically walk through my local Williams-Sonoma store to see if there on sale.
Dinner was served on the porch and was simplicity at its finest. The pasta salad tasted heavenly with the brightness of the white wine vinegar along with the Italian olive oil. The addition of the roasted peppers added a different texture and smokiness to the salad. I find roasting the peppers on my outdoor grill works the best. The chicken grilled up perfectly, charred, but not burnt.
Here’s to more simple summertime suppers.
A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.