Saturday, May 11, 2013

Weird but Tasty

John Dory has a meaty creamy-white boneless flesh, firm and delicately flavorful. It is a popular ingredient among Michelin chefs because it goes well with a variety of ingredients and the bones in its head also make an excellent stock. In this recipe by the chic and legendary Deauville Normandy Barrière Hotel, John Dory filets are grilled and served with an onion compote and luscious tomato

Also known as San Pierre in French or St. Peter’s fish, John Dory is a feisty and unusual looking fish with nasty spines so take extra care when handling them whole. This fish is best filleted, as in this recipe, but produces a low yield of around 35%. It is best to buy the fish whole and filet it yourself. You can use the fish head and carcasses to make a flavorful stock. Its texture is similar to Dover sole, holds up pretty well when cooking, and does not break apart easily even when fried. The two can usually be substituted to make the same recipe. A staple in many Provencal and Mediterranean cuisine, it works exceptionally well with salsas, compot
es, peppery sauces, and other Mediterranean flavors.

In this recipe, the onions are marinated in red wine and sugar for twenty four hours to make rich and thick onion compote that will accompany the fish. This process should be done the evening before you plan to serve the dish. After it is simmered for three hours, the onions will take a gorgeous deep red color that will look absolutely elegant on a white clean plate. The dish is also dressed with a simple tomato sauce made from scratch, which gives the dish a variation of lovely red hues.

Pair this grilled dish with a citrusy and spicy wine such as Sancerre. This full-bodied wine with its high acidity and pronounced aroma will go well with the grilled John Dory, onion compote and tomato sauce.

Grilled Supreme John Dory

8 red tomatoes (cut in quarters and put through the vegetable mill)
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 hazelnut-sized scoop of butter
4 John Dory fillets (skins removed, about 0.31 lbs. each)
2 large onions (cut in slices, marinated in 2 cups red wine)
3 ½ tablespoons brown sugar
1 ¾ tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoons acacia honey

Preparation Instructions

1. Marinade the onions in the red wine the evening before serving. In a saucepan place the chopped onions, add the wine, white sugar, and brown sugar. Put in the fridge for 24 hours to marinate. Next morning, simmer in a low flame for three hours, or until they get the consistency of a compote. Add honey to glaze. Let simmer on a low flame until all the honey is melted and blended in. Set aside.

2. To prepare the tomato sauce, chop tomatoes into quarters and remove the core. Extract all their juices using a food or vegetable mill. Place the liquid in a saucepan and cook in a low flame to reduce in half and get a thick consistency. Add a slice of butter. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Season the fish filets with salt on one side and salt and pepper on the other side. On a plate put a little sunflower oil and dip the fish in it. On a hot grill, cook the fish filet on both sides until it takes a nice brown color. Once it is nicely grilled, place in a platter that is slightly greased with butter. Place it in the oven on thermostat six, on medium heat for four minutes to finish cooking.

4. Reheat the tomato sauce and onion compote. Place onion compote in the middle of the dish. Place the John Dory filets on top of the onion. Pour tomato sauce around the dish and garnish with dill.

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