the appetizer:

The New American Olive Oil: Profiles of Artisan Producers and 75 Recipes by Fran Gage, includes recipes like Tricolor Tomato Tians; Caramelized Onion and Balsamic Vinegar Bruschetta; and Escabeche.

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8 First-Course
or 4 Main-Course Servings


This basic idea, frying fish and then marinating it in olive oil and vinegar, is used in many parts of the world where fish is plentiful—the Mediterranean, the coast of Portugal, and in Latin America. It's a dish that is best made ahead so the flavors can mingle (although I have consumed it with pleasure two hours after it was prepared). It would be perfect for a picnic.

Because this is essentially a pickled dish, the vinegar needs a medium extra-virgin olive oil for balance.

Don't be tempted to use sablefish—it is sometimes called black cod, but it is not cod and it has a softer texture.

1. Heat 1/3 cup of the extra-virgin olive oil in a medium skillet over high heat until it trembles, becomes aromatic, and a drop of water sputters when it hits the oil. Turn the heat to medium, sprinkle the fish with salt, and saute it without crowding until it is opaque and flaking, 3 to 5 minutes a side, depending on the thickness of the fish. Cook in batches if necessary. Transfer the cooked fish to a plate and reserve.

2. Either wash the skillet or use another one. Heat the remaining 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat until it trembles and becomes aromatic. Add the onions and carrot. Sprinkle with salt and a few grindings of pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are translucent and just starting to color, about 10 minutes.

3. Add the garlic, bay leaf, chipotle pepper, and vinegar. Bring to a simmer and cook until the onions are very soft and the carrots tender, about 10 more minutes. Taste for salt and pepper.

4. Pour any liquid that has accumulated under the reserved fish into the pan and bring to a boil.

5. Arrange the fish in one layer in a serving dish deep enough to accommodate the sauce. Pour the hot sauce over the fish.

6. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for up to 4 days, until ready to serve. Bring to room temperature before serving.


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This page created May 2009