I’ve been away for a week — six days spent vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard, and another evening/night spent on the western side of Massachusetts. You’d think, after the Vineyard, I’d be tired of seafood… Nah.
I’ve cooked bluefish twice before for this blog: once grilled, and once poached. Some consider the flavor very “strong”, but using onion and a fruit will add a nice depth and contrast, and cut the “strong”.
I leave the skin on to facilitate flipping the fish. You can avoid eating the skin, should you so choose. I do remove skin before dining from farmed fish, but leave my options open for wild-caught (as this was). The skin doesn’t “crispy up” in this preparation, so discarding it after cooking is fine.
You may note I don’t add salt to this recipe. Ocean-going seafood already comes salted, so I rarely feel the need to add more.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 25-30 minutes max
Rest time: Not essential
Serves: 2 with a side
Bluefish in Plum & Onion Sauce
* 2/3 pound bluefish fillet, skin on.
* 1 medium/large very ripe plum, peeled, de-pitted, and de-seeded.
* About 2 teaspoons olive oil.
* 3-4 ounces (about 100 grams) diced white or yellow onion. I’d go closer to the four ounces.
* 1-2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced.
* Juice from 1/2 lime. You can sub in the juice from 1/4 lemon, if lime is not available.
* 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (a few springs of fresh if available, instead).
* Ground white pepper to taste — for me, about 1/8th or so of a teaspoon.
Bring the skillet heat to about medium high, add the oil and wait until you see the oil “shimmering”. Olive oil has a low heat point so keep an eye on it. Add the onion immediately, reduce heat to medium, and saute for about ten minutes, or until it turns translucent and begins to brown slightly.
Add everything else except the fish and lime juice, and stir around, about one minute.
Make a space in the center of the skillet, and add the fish, skin side down. Squeeze the lemon juice all over the fish, then with a spatula, pile up some of the other skillet ingredients on top of the exposed flesh of the fish. Cover lightly with foil or with a plate, allowing steam to escape. Reduce heat to low/medium (that’s the #3 on my electric range, but things may vary for you).
Cook this way for 5 minutes (note: my bluefish was about 3/4 inch thick – but bluefish is a LOT more forgiving of overcooking than many other fishes!)
With the spatula, flip the fish, and cook the same way (covered) another five minutes.
Flip back again, and keep the cover OFF. Cook another three minutes, to reduce the liquids somewhat.
Plate, putting sauce on top of the fish. The photo atop this post is about 2/3rds of what I cooked as the full dish did not fit on my spiffy fish-plate. You can always garnish with parsley or cilantro, neither of which are currently at home with me…
Side suggestions: A really crispy salad with romaine as a base, and a light vinaigrette. Or, asparagus roasted with grated Parmesan, ground pepper, garlic, and a little olive oil.
Oh, PS, when I get around to it, there will be some Dining Out (Martha’s Vineyard) posts upcoming.