One fish, two fish, red fish...

Saturday, December 1st, 2007 | click here to comment

What do you eat the days following Thanksgiving? If you're like me you gorge on decadent treats and rich dinners until you feel guilty and decide to "eat light." Eating light is not something I do very often and I often draw a blank when I think about cooking a light meal for dinner. It usually ends up being salad or a bland chicken breast dish. Last night I decided to try and cook fish, which is something I usually avoid at all costs because I don't know how to properly cook fish and the few times I've tried have ended in disaster.

I decided to get over my fear and try my hand at making a dish with red snapper, which I've been obsessed with ever since I ate it at Table 8 in Miami. They lightly coat the fish in tapioca flour, fry it to a perfect crispness and serve it over a sweet pea puree, with marinated tomatoes, creamed corn, and parmesan aioli. It's a fantastic dish and it was executed perfectly. I wanted to try to replicate it as closely as possible, but with a twist. I came across a recipe for halibut created by Joey Campanaro from The Little Owl, which is one of my favorite restaurants in the city and decided to try it with snapper. The results were great! The dish was really easy to prepare and was exactly what I wanted from a "light" dinner. I couldn't get the fish to crisp up the way I wanted to, but aside from that it was really successful. I've included Joey's recipe below in case anyone wants to give it a try.

Roasted Halibut with Corn, Peas & Pesto Vinaigrette by Joey Campanaro

5 oz. portion of skinless halibut  (I used Red Snapper)

Pesto (I used store bought to save on time)

1 teaspoon pine nuts

1 clove of garlic

1/4 cup olive oil

1 bunch fresh basil

1 Tablespoon parmesan cheese


1 egg yolk

Juice from 1 lemon

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

3/4 cup vegetable oil (use olive oil - it tastes better)

Vegetable salad

1 cup roasted corn (roasted whole in the oven, cooled and cut from the stalk)

1 cup blanched English peas

3 red grape tomatoes, cut in half

A few slices of red onion

A few snow pea sprouts

Some picked frissee

tablespoon sherry vinegar

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 diced shallot

1/4 cup virgin olive oil


Place the fish on a butter baking pan. Lightly season with salt and white pepper. Mix a little pesto with the aioli, and generously lather onto the halibut. Bake in 450 degree oven for 6-8 minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully place the fish on top of a salad of mixed corn, peas, tomatoes; pesto, sprouts, frissee, red onion and little vinaigrette.


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