Friday, 23 September 2016

SCORPIONFISH

Poached scorpionfish - cabracho

We were staying in Santa Pola with family and friends and I decided to oven cook a whole Corvina as it had been such a success the year before with a family gathering.

Whilst I thought that one large Corvina was enough for 6 adults and 4 children (two of whom were not fish fans), my daughter-in-law, Nicole, (rightly as it turned out) thought we needed more. There was Cabracho on the fish counter and I couldn't resist.

Corvina and Cabracho


Most cookery books recommend baking or using in fish stew, so I decided on a compromise and poached in the oven,

Ingredients:

Scorpionfish, cleaned weighing about 3/4 -1kg
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 glass white wine
1 cup fish stock/court bouillon
1 lemon and or 1 teaspoon sumac

Method:

I made a court bouillon with a small chopped onion gently fried and softened in olive oil, added a stick of celery and some chopped celery leaves and one carrot finely chopped, a large cup of water and brought to the boil and simmered for 20 miniutes.

Place the fish, seasoned inside and out with salt and freshly ground pepper, in an ovenproof dish
(I had also sprinkled some sumac over the fish). Pour over the court bouillon and one glass of white wine (or dry sherry or vermouth), Add a splash of olive oil and juice of half a lemon, cover with foil and place in heated oven 160C for about 30-35 minutes.

Before serving squeeze over remaining juice of half lemon.

Serving:

I served it whole at the table and the top fillets are easy to remove, then the backbone pulls away easily revealing the two fillets underneath.  The fish can be served with the cooking juices. And don't forget the head....

And did the cheeks taste like lobster as the books suggest?  I don't know. One cheek was eagerly devoured by 6 year old Jerome who is a fish lover and the other by 10 year old Leelah who doesn't normally like fish.  When asked what she wanted for dinner the following day, Leelah exclaimed in a loud and enthusiastic voice "Fish cheeks"!

John Austin

August 2016, Santa Pola

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