One of the fabulous things about living in Seattle is the shear amount of fresh seafood we can get. The fishing boats dock less than 5 miles from our house and at the farmer’s market, we can often get fish that was taken off the boat just that morning.
Salmon is always a wonderful option, but sometimes we feel like a change of pace. The other day, we picked up some fresh red snapper. John pulled out the Moosewood Restaurant New Classics cookbook and we found an interesting recipe: Fish with Cornmeal Chipotle Crust. We’re a sucker for chipotle, so we gave it a try.
Ingredients * = local. & = organic
- 1 pound firm white fish *
- 1 tablespoon canned chipotles in adobo sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil &
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice &
- 1 large garlic clove, minced *&
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup cornmeal &
We preheated the oven to 375. Then we put a little oil in a glass dish and put the dish in the oven to warm. (This is key, and I’ll explain why later). We pureed the chipotles in the food processor and then combined them with the oil, lime juice, thyme, and salt. We used a smallish lime and didn’t even measure the juice, we just squeezed it as well as we could. Next we poured the sauce in a shallow bowl.
We poured the cornmeal on a plate. Then we rinsed the fish and patted it dry. The next part was messy. John dipped the fish in the chipotle mix, making sure to coat it well. Then he dredged it in the cornmeal.
This is the part where you really need two people. I pulled the hot oiled pan out of the oven and he laid the coated fish in the hot pan.
Remember when I said I’d explain this? Well, the first time we made this, we just put the fish in the cold, oiled pan. Well, when we tried to serve it, the top half of the fish was nice and crispy, but the bottom of the fish was soggy and most of the coating stayed in the pan. When we heated the pan first, the bottom crisped nicely as well.
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