Braised Wreckfish with a Golden Pan Sauce
and Red Pepper-Saffron Aïoli

Serves 4 as a main course

Braised Wreckfish with a Golden Pan Sauce

Braising wreckfish in turmeric and wine creates a golden pan sauce that is beautifully complemented by Red Pepper-Saffron Aïoli. Serve with parsleyed potatoes and green beans or a shaved fennel salad.

  • Four 5-ounce wreckfish fillets,
  • 1/3 cup ground turmeric mixed
         with 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons refined peanut oil
         or another high-heat oil for frying
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup water or Fish Stock
         (page 26 of the book)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
         or flat-leaf parsley
  • Red Pepper-Saffron Aïoli
         (recipe follows)

1. Roll the fillets of wreckfish in the turmeric mixture until well coated on all sides.

2. In a large, heavy ovenproof saute pan or cast- iron skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Carefully lay the wreckfish fillets in the pan, skin-side up. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, then turn the fillets over, add the onion, and cook for 1 minute, or until the onion is sizzling and beginning to turn brown. Add the white wine and water or stock and simmer gently for about 5 minutes, or until the fish is almost opaque throughout.

3. Transfer the fish to 4 plates. Add the chives or parsley to the juices in the pan and cook to reduce to about 1/2 cup. Taste and adjust the seasoning and spoon Red Pepper-Saffron Aïoli evenly over the fish.


Red Pepper-Saffron Aïoli

Makes 3/4 cup

  • Large pinch of saffron threads
  • 2 or 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt, plus more to taste
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper or hot paprika
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon warm water
  • 3/8 cup olive oil
  • 3/8 cup refined peanut or another mild-flavored oil
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1. In a small saute pan or skillet over medium heat, toast the saffron threads until they begin to curl, about 1 minute. Using a mortar and pestle, grind the garlic, saffron threads, the 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the cayenne or paprika to a smooth paste. Transfer the mixture to a bowl or a food processor. Add the egg yolk and water and whisk or process until smooth. While constantly whisking or with the machine running, gradually pour in the oils, starting with just a few drops at a time; as the sauce begins to thicken, add the remaining oil in a slow, fine stream. If the aioli becomes too thick, thin with a bit of warm water.

2. Cut the sides off the red pepper and shred the flesh sides on the large holes of a box grater; discard the skin. Drain the red pepper flesh well in a sieve. Whisk the lemon juice, vinegar, and bell pepper into the aïoli and season with salt to taste. It can be stored for several days in a clean jar in the refrigerator.

  • from:
  • Fish Forever
  • The Definitive Guide to Understanding, Selecting, and Preparing
    Healthy, Delicious, and Environmentally Sustainable Seafood
  • by Paul Johnson
  • Wiley 2007
  • Hardcover; 438 pages; US $34.95
  • ISBN 978-0-7645-8779-5 (076458779X)
  • Recipe reprinted by permission.

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This page created August 2007

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