Ask a Chef #1
Kicking off our Ask a Chef feature is a list of flavorful ingredients from Alpa Ganatra and a simple, tasty fish recipe from Chef Manav.
Hi Chef Manav and the Eatelish Team:
First things first – a huge thanks for this wonderful initiative on Eatelish. All foodies like me are super excited! I have a request for a recipe that could include the following ingredients along with anything else of your choice:
– Fish fillets, Celery, Black Pepper, Sweet corn
Thank you in advance 🙂
Chef Manav Replied:
You have chosen an interesting combination. I am considering a juicy fillet like a Red Snapper, a trout family fish, or a black pomfret or halwa for this recipe. This may not be a great idea for flaky fish like tuna. Prepare the fish fillets with the skin on, the thicker the fillet, the better it is.
1. In a clear zip-loc bag add some lime juice, about 1 tsp per fillet, with some freshly ground black pepper, sea salt, olive oil and a crushed pod of garlic, a sprinkling of mild paprika or any Indian chili powder that’s not so spicy, like Kashmiri Chili powder perhaps. Whisk the ingredients in the bag and add the fish to marinade in the bad. Let it rest for 4-6 hrs in your refrigerator.
2. To prep your fish for cooking, shake off any excess marinade so it’s a little dry. Sprinkle a little plain flour onto the skin to help it crisp up. Also remember to slit the skin, about 2-3 slits across the length of the fillet, so the fillets don’t shrivel in the heat.
3. Heat a non stick pan and once it’s really hot, add some butter and olive oil to glaze it. Place the fillets with the skin side down on the pan, till the skin turns crispy. Once crisp, turn the fillet on to the other side.
4. To go along with the fish, slit some celery stalks length wise, about 1.5 inches long and saute them in garlic olive oil if you have it or with some minced shallots and a whole clove of garlic for fragrance. Add the sweet corn and some balsamic vinegar in the end.
To serve, Place the sweet corn and celery on a plate and now gently lay the fish on top of the golden bed and dab some butter on top of the fillet and crack some fresh pepper on top. Some roasted baby potatoes would go well with the sweet corn and fish too.
Enjoy your meal!
Note: Cooking time depends on the thickness of the fillet, you need to use your instincts. Typically an inch thick fillet will take about 5-7 minutes, about 4 minutes on the skin side and 3 minutes on the other side. The fillet needs to be just soft in the center when you check it. Best way to do this is to use a toothpick on the thickest part of the fillet and check if it;s warm. To check the temperature I insert a toothpick and place it a bit above my upper lip. If it’s warm it’s done. Simultaneously use the press and check for done-ness technique, you will save time eventually.