I'll readily admit it; I've been in a bit of a rut with regards to cooking lately. The combination of dietary limitations, hours of work, and plain having to come up with something new had made me a bit weary. It was much easier just cranking out stuff I've made over the last nine years or so than making the effort to make something new.
Then into my life walked....or should I say swam some White Sea Bass......whole fish; something I'm really not too thrilled about working with. This is also fairly lean, something I was also not to thrilled with....."the other white meat". The Missus simply said, "why don't you make it like what we had at Godoy."
I dug thru my cabinets and came up with this:
I went through my cookbooks and found a simple recipe from Rick Bayless's Fiesta at Rick's for Pescado Zarandeado. Instead of using the Guajillo Chilies, I went with the achiote seasoning and (of course) made some adjustments......
A bit more garlic, a red habanero from the yard, no salt, everything tasted salty enough...and slightly bitter so I added a touch of agave syrup.
I butterflied the fish, something I hadn't done in forever. I then severed the backbone and removed it from the fish, making for easier pickins'.
A well oiled grill basket is a must.
1 - 8 ounce can of tomato sauce
2 Tb grated or finely minced garlic
3 Tb soy sauce (of course I used Aloha Shoyu)
3 Tb Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tb Agave Syrup
1/4 tsp Chipotle Powder Fresh ground pepper to taste
1 Red Habanero Chile (optional)
- Combine all ingredients in a blender, puree to a smooth paste.
Use for a fish weighing about 3 pounds or so. I'm sure you can also use with filets, perhaps half the weight of the whole fish.
When you're ready to go, place a grill basket over charcoal grates. When hot, brush with an oil with a high smoke point. Place fish in basket, close basket and grill, turning every 3-4 minutes until cooked, about 15 minutes or so.
When done carefully open the basket and transfer to a platter.
If you noticed the somewhat conspicuous presence of soy sauce and went, "what the heck?" Well, you aren't alone. According to Rick Bayless, many Chinese settled on the West Coast of Mexico after helping to build the railroad in the late 19th century and their presence can still be found....
I served this with a nice, spicy pico de gallo, lime, and thinly sliced red onion.
Though to be perfectly honest, She enjoyed the grilled chicken I made the next day with the leftover sauce. It was wonderful with a nice refreshing salad.
I really needed something different to get my juices flowing again. To make me open all those books, to look at an ingredient and really want to do something a bit different...... this was the dish that did it for me.