Salt‑Crusted Fish

With Mashed Potatoes

Chef Kevin Kelly December 14, 2009

Salt-crusted fish dates back to 15th Century Mediterranean. While times have certainly changed and the recipe has since evolved, a salt-crusted fish experience will leave your dinner guests with a unique culinary experience—one that is sure to please the palate of even the most discriminating seafood lovers. A properly prepared dish requires a level of planning, patience and a few key ingredients. Rest assured the end result will exceed your expectations.

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Preparation
Preheat oven to 450-degrees. In un-greased baking pan arrange bed of fresh herbs and lemon slices. Stuff fish with same before placing in center of baking dish. Cover fish with thick layer of salt-crust mixture, leaving head and tail exposed. Bake for 30-minutes. Let stand for 10-minutes. Wow your guests with a peek before cautiously pealing away and discarding salt-crust.

Serving Suggestion
Arrange braised leaks across center of serving platter. Discard skin, and with large spatula carefully remove intact fillet and present over leaks. Arrange braised mushrooms over fillet. Dollop mashed potatoes alongside. Garnish with braise drizzle and fried shredded leaks.

Ingredients (Serves 2-4)

  • 3 to 5 lb. whole tilefish – gutted, scaled, finned (substitute with any white meat whole fish)
  • Red potatoes for mashing
  • Leaks
  • 4 oz. chantreal mushrooms (substitute with any readily available fresh mushroom)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Fresh herbs – (tarragon/thyme/parsley)
  • 1 whole lemon – sliced
  • 1 pt. egg whites
  • 1 lb. Kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp. of fennel, coriander, caraway & anise seed
  • 1 stick butter
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • Zest from 1 orange

Salt-Crust

Whip egg whites (stiff peaks). Mix in fennel, coriander, caraway and anise seed, lemon and orange zest, and Kosher salt. Gritty texture is good.

Leaks & Mushrooms

In separate pans, braise vegetables in butter and chicken broth. After plating reduce remaining drizzle for garnish.

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