My boyfriend wanted to practice cleaning a fish, so yesterday I picked up a whole porgy at the Union Square Greenmarket. The woman who I bought it from looked at me with skepticism and reminded me twice that I'd need to gut it. I assured her that I understood what the future held for me and my porgy; she gave up and told me to have fun. Was it ever (especially considering I wasn't the one doing the dirty work)! And, woo hoo, now we have fish bones for fumet! Anyway, if you don't have a hankering to play butcher, go ahead and buy fillets. Porgy, also known as sea bream, is great (and relatively cheap), as are sea bass and red snapper.
On the side, I served simple roasted potatoes with a bracing garlic scape pesto. If you don't like garlic, you probably won't like this pesto...the garlicky flavor is no joke. The almonds and cheese mellow the pesto (feel free to add more) and the lemon brightens it up. It would be nice on toasted bread with lots of olive oil or on pasta, just add a bit of the water you cooked the pasta in to loosen it up.
Roasted New Potatoes with Garlic Scape Pesto
For the potatoes
12 small potatoes, leave whole or cut in half if large
salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Coat potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper and bake for 45 minutes or until soft when pierced with a fork.
- Remove from oven and cover with foil to keep warm. When you add the peas to the fish (see below), remove foil and return potatoes to oven to reheat.
For the pesto
5 garlic scapes, roughly chopped to fit into the bowl of a food processor
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
juice of half a lemon
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the scapes, almonds, cheese and lemon juice. Pulse until combined.
- While processor is running, slowly add the olive oil and mix until emulsified. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve on top of or next to roasted potatoes.
Long Island Porgy with Peas
2 fillets porgy
salt and pepper
1/8 cup white wine
1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
- Preheat oven to 450.
- Liberally season fish with salt and pepper and place in an oven safe baking dish or skillet and pour wine around fish.
- Cook for about 10-12 minutes or until opaque and warm to the touch. Add the peas to the skillet for last 5 minutes of cooking (Put the potatoes back in the oven now too).