Jul 24, 2013 7:32 PM by Jennifer English
One of the reasons we are called to the sea this time of year is because it offers a cooling relief from the dog days of summer. I also feel the pull, the allure of the bountiful fresh fish that coastal communities ( and great lake locations offer up. From the simple fish fry to the Maine lobster roll, we love the bounty of the sea during the summer. One of my favorites is a fish called Turbot.
Turbot is a wonderful tasting white fleshed fish with a delicate flavor. Most often it is served in good restaurants. It is usually about half the price of halibut or Chilean sea bass. I love it because Turbot has a beautiful meatiness and richness that is accentuated by pan-searing.
I get my Turbot these days at Whole Foods, where I ask the fish monger named Ben to cut the fish into 4 inch pieces. This is a really dense and rich fish and the 4 inch piece is a perfect serving size. Start with cleaned, boneless fresh Turbot fish fillets. I take the filets and wash them and pat them dry thoroughly with a paper towel. Drying the skin side will result in the most wonderful crispiness.
I cook the filets in a large skillet into which I pour sufficient vegetable oil to cover the surface of the pan. I heat this on medium heat while I apply a good quantity of kosher salt to the skin. I also season the top flesh side with salt and pepper.
Once the pan is hot, I scrape excess salt from the skin side and place the filets SKIN SIDE DOWN to start. Turn the heat up slightly and make sure the pieces of fish are not touching in the pan. Depending on the thickness of the filets, I use a spatula to press the pieces down in the pan. Cook the pieces for 4-5 minutes on the skin side.
I then like to turn off the heat, flip the fish over and quickly 45 seconds give the tops a cook I serve this immediately with a big bright salad and lots of lemon and a kiss of butter. If you feel frenchly inspired you can add a dot of butter and some fresh shallots to the cooking pan and whisk together for a very quick sauce.