Thursday, January 14, 2016

Ingredient Spotlight - Blackfish Roasted with Olives & Sage

It all starts with one question: 

"What's good today?"

Blackfish with Sage & Olives + a Salad of Lambs Lettuce (Mache), Green Apple,
Shallot and Blue Cheese Dijon Dressing and Baked Potato by my Mom!
 Photo: NK
I've shared many times that I begin most of my shopping trips to the butcher, fish or farmers market with that very inquiry. The reason? It's a whole lot easier to cook great meals when you begin with excellent ingredients.  Using in season fruits, vegetables and even proteins (did you know it's Oyster season now?) can make a real difference in your food. 

Last weekend the answer was Blackfish

Blackfish, huh? I'd never really cooked with it and couldn't recall eating. "What's it like," I asked my fishmonger. "Well, they are firm, white fleshed fish. They like to eat crab, so they're a little sweet. Almost a slight lobster-y quality to them."


Say no more.
Baked Blackfish - this easy recipe came out perfectly! Photo: NK 

Even though I cook all the time there's always a little anxiety around trying a new ingredient. 

It's easy to revert to the familiar and foolproof, and with fish (we love cod, flounder, sole, tuna, and all the shellfish under the sun), cook times are much faster, so there's an even greater motivation to time things out just right.

All that said, there's only one way to learn - and that's practice.  Practice, and a good, simple recipe.  

With no Blackfish experience to speak of, I went to the internet and compared some simple preparations. It wasn't long before I stumbled on one from Serious Eats - one of my favorite web destinations for food news and recipes. The super short ingredient list was an instant sell. 

Roasted Blackfish With Olives & Sage 
Lightly Adapted Recipe By Melissa Clark, Cook This Now as published on Serious Eats
Serves 4-6 


3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 (1 Pound) skin-on Blackfish Fillets, patted until dry
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
10 Large Sage Leaves
1/2 Cup Pitted Kalamata Olives
3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
Smoked Hot Paprika or Sweet Paprika 


1. Preheat Oven to 425.

2. Drizzle about a Tablespoon of Oil on a large baking sheet. Place the fish fillets, skin side down, in the pan. Season the fillets generously with Salt and Pepper. 

3. Pile the Sage leaves on top of each other, roll them up, and slice them into thin ribbons and in half again. Sprinkle the Sage over the fish and then scatter the Olives on top and around the fish. Drizzle with the remaining Olive Oil. 

4. Place pan in the oven and roast fish until it is opaque, roughly 8 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle fillets with Lemon Juice and dust with Paprika. Optionally sprinkle with a bit more oil and serve right away. 

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