Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Triglie de scoglio 
Pan-fried red mullet with preserved lemon, olives, and parsley
Serves 4
2 lemons
3 tbsp rock salt
1 garlic clove, halved and any green inner
shoot discarded
30 black olives, pitted and coarsely
½–1 fresh red jalapeño or serrano chili,
seeded and finely chopped
20 fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
20 flat-leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
a little light olive oil
4 fresh red mullet or other small firm, lean
fish, 9–14oz (250–400g) each, gutted, scaled, and cleaned
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper To make the preserved lemon, put the lemons into a small, tight-fitting pan. Cover with water and add the rock salt. Place a small lid or saucer on top
of the lemons to keep them submerged. Bring to a boil, and simmer until tender
when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, 8–10 minutes. Refresh under cold
running water. When the lemons are cool, cut in half, remove all the flesh and pith,
and discard. Using a thin sharp knife, trim the inside of the skin, removing any
remaining traces of the bitter white pith. Finely chop the lemon skin and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Using the back of a knife, crush the
garlic with a little sea salt, until a smooth paste forms. Mix together the
garlic, olives, chili, basil, parsley, and preserved lemon. Add the lemon juice
and olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
Take one of the red mullet and pat dry with paper towels. Stuff the cavity
with some of the olive and lemon mixture. Repeat the process with the
remaining mullet. Season the fish inside and out with salt and pepper. Heat a little
oil in an frying pan over medium-high heat. Pan-fry the mullet for 3 minutes. Turn
gently and cook the other side for 2 minutes. Transfer the mullet to a baking dish,
and bake in the oven for 5 minutes or until cooked through. (Alternatively, either
grill the fish or bake entirely in the oven.) Serve at once with some mixed greens
or braised spinach. The smoky roasted mullet and the stuffing combine brilliantly.

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