A few posts back, I mentioned <a href=”http://lizjohnson.lohudblogs.com/2006/08/21/going-fishing/” target=”_blank”> wanting to know where to buy fish. </a> This weekend, I went to C&M Seafood in Pomona (Route 202 and Route 45, Pomona. 845-354-1161).
I was impressed. One great thing: Tuna not yet cut. I like to ask for steaks at least two inches thick, because I like to sear them over very high heat and keep them rare in the center. At C&M, you can watch as theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re cut.
You can also help yourselve to the oysters, clams and mussels, all of which are living in a frosty bed of ice on the far wall.
I like the selection, too. Halibut, grouper or snapper? Tuna, swordfish or salmon? One minor complaint: not too many whole fish. Though to be fair, I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t ask whether they were available in the back.
I did ask for a recommendation, though, and was pleasantly surprised. I told the fishmonger I was interested in cooking the filet en papillote Ã¢â‚¬â€ meaning steamed in parchment paper. (Though I used foil.) He suggested a couple of different possibilites for me, including poddock, halibut and grouper. I went with the grouper.
The usual kitch decorates the shop: Hanging nets, oars and other nautical items, but all in all itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a clean shop with a nice selection and friendly service.
HereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s how I cooked the fish, from a Food&Wine recipe in the February, 2003 issue. It took about 20 minutes and tasted like it took all day. I highly recommend it:
Papillotes of Sea Bass in Red Curry Sauce
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 medium shallots, finely chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste
1 teaspoon sugar
4 (6-ounce) skinless white-fleshed fish fillets, such as sea bass, grouper or halibut
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 sprigs of basil
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the shallots and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally until soft and golden, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until almost evaporated, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the coconut milk, fish sauce, lime juice, red curry paste and sugar and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. You should have about 3/4 cup of sauce. Remove from heat.
Cut four 20-inch sheets of heavy duty aluminium foil or parchment paper. Set 1 sheet on a work surface and turn up the edges slightly to make a shallow bowl so the curry sauce wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t leak out. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the sauce on 1 side of the sheet and set a fish fillet on top. Season with salt and pepper and spoon 2 more tablespoons of the sauce on top. Top with a basil sprig. Fold the foil over the fish and, starting at one corner, fold the edge over itself in neat pleats so it slightly overlaps the previous one to make a tight seal. Repeat with the remaining curry sauce, fish fillets and basil.
Slide the papillotes onto a cookie sheet and bake them on the bottom rack of the oven for 12 to 14 minutes or until puffed. Remove from the oven and let stand 2 minutes.
Food&Wine says to put the papillotes in a bowl and open them up so people can eat the fish right out of their packages. But I made mine in foil and I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want my fork scraping against foil as IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m eating, so I used a spatula to transfer the fish onto a plate. Then I made a spout out of the foil and poured the extra sauce on top. However you want to do it: it tastes great.
Yield: 4 servings.
To drink: Food&Wine recommends drinking a pinot blanc or chenin blanc from the Loire Valley.