If fish is delicious, ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

13 July 2007

If fish is delicious,

here is what you should do to it:

1. make some delicious vegetable madness to go under it
2. fry it
3. bed it lovingly on said vegetables
4. eat it

Fish is great as long as you leave it mostly alone and just let it be fish. In this case, I had some perfect and quite cheap tilapia. I also had garlic and zucchini. What could happen?

tilapia/other white fish filet
salt, pepper, cayenne
butter/olive oil
dry vermouth

First vegetables, then fish. This is necessary because fish must be eaten INSTANTLY when done. Fish must be absolutely searing hot.

Vegetables. Get a sauté pan hot while you mince garlic and slice zucchini into fine rounds. I used half a reasonably large zucchini. Not one of those gargantuan late summer ones, just a normal one.

Stick some olive oil and butter in the pan. I like both, but you can clearly do this with just oil. Get things melted and ready, then add in the garlic. Give it a couple minutes to start to soften before you add the zucchini. Sauté it until everything is melting and the zucchini slices have turned golden. Then put it on a plate and stick it in a barely-warm oven to stay hot while you make the fish.

For fish, put a handful or two of flour on a plate and season thoroughly with pepper and cayenne, plus a little salt. Lots of cayenne is great. Mix it up, then bread the fish in it, turning to get flour on all sides and tapping excess off.

Now get the pan super hot. Give it another slug of olive oil and whirl it around. You are ready for fish.

Slap the fish into the pan and try very hard not to move it for the next three or four minutes. I always end up shaking the pan to make sure it's loose, which is not horrible but can sometimes get you a broken fillet. When the edges of the fish are white and opaque, flip it over. Look at that beautiful seared crust! Let it sit for another couple minutes, or until everything is opaque clear through and you can flake it with a fork. Then flip it onto your plate of zucchini and stick it back into the oven for a minute.

Scrape any overtly charcoaled bits out of the pan and put it back on the heat. Toss in some butter; it should melt instantly. Toss in some vermouth; it should sizzle and bubble furiously. While everything is acting so fierce, whip your spatula into action and scrape up every single last bit of delicious brown goodness from the bottom of the pan. A weak deglaze is nobody's friend. Then, when the bubbling has died down and everything smells fantastic, get the fish out of the oven and pour the sauce over it.

Eat it all as swiftly as possible.

I realize this is my last direction for nearly everything. Well. It should be. Food is delicious and you should eat as much of it as you can as swiftly as possible.

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