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Thread: Pan-fried Sea Bass on Griddled Watermelon page

  1. #1
    pjgh's Avatar
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    Pan-fried Sea Bass on Griddled Watermelon

    Primal Fuel


    Fish & Fruit!

    Here's a lot of fun ...

    Fish does seem to work well with fruit. I'm not sure why, but it does.

    Tonight, we're playing with some watermelon and some sea bass. I'll try to write this up as I made it, but it was a simple case of freestylin' ...

    I knew I wanted some squash. Squash and fish. So, fish gutted, scaled, filleted and ready to pan fry, squash peeled, sliced into nice inch thick sections and committed to the oven set to 180C for about half an hour, just basting in goose fat.

    Even after preparing a couple of plates with spinach, rocket and watercress, olive oil, olives, balsamic vinegar, Tabasco and some Icelandic ash salt it is going to be a meagre dish.

    Pak Choi. I have one. Halve it, griddle it and pop that in the middle. It's still a bit meagre.

    The griddle pan is out, hot and ready to cook through anything dropped on it.

    Watermelon? Will it griddle? Only one way to find out ...

    So, take a good inch thick slice through a watermelon, peel and take a couple of good steaks each ... and pop them on the griddle pan.

    I griddled these for about 5 minutes each side, so plenty of time for the squash to cook through and you to prep the plates with some nice green salad leaves and flavour. The fish needs no more than a couple of minutes on the skin, flipped and it will cook through in the heat of the pan.

    Looks like we're ready ...

    Let's just re-cap. Squash in then oven in some fat, prep your plates with a salad and flavours, griddle the watermelon and pak choi ... and fry off your fish, skin side first in a skillet.

    Put the plate together, placing the watermelon steaks over the salad, fish on top garnished with lime and herbs; dill, here; squash pushed in where you can.

    The mix of sweet from the watermelon and squash is intriguing. Two kinds of sweet to work so well with the fish, soured by lime and dill, complimented by the salad and enhanced with the flavours therein: olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Tabasco and Icelandic ash salt.

    Sea Bass & Watermelon ... who'da thunk it?

    ... more primal fun: living in the ice age

  2. #2
    canio6's Avatar
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    I have no idea how you have the patience to take such great pictures of the food you cook. I would be too busy scarfing it all down to pause to take a picture. Fantastic as usual as is the curry post.

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    pjgh's Avatar
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    Thank you for the kind compliment.

    Yes, straight after a quick snap, it's both hands in and wolf it down! I photograph what I cook and don't have the time to stage a picture, just shove it up against the wall and photograph it. So long as it looks good on the plate (and real food always does) it takes a good picture.

    The key to a good dish falls around the rule of three ...

    ... three colours, three textures and three flavours. Do that and you'll have a great looking dish which is a sheer delight to eat.

    Thanks again.

  4. #4
    Owen's Avatar
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    It looks great. When you griddle do you always put a lot of oil on the griddle pan? I like how you did the pak choi - am going to try that.

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    pjgh's Avatar
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    Hi Owen - Thanks pal. Griddling, simply ... no. My griddle pan is a cast iron pan. Heat it up, place food on, let it cook and it will release easily. If you're going to use some fat, grease the food, not the pan. If you have a non-stick pan, again, no need.

    Here, the watermelon and the pak choi were not greased in any way; just placed on the griddle and let to cook. Yeah, I always find pak choi is disappointingly limp and slimy when cooked fully, but literally, cut in half and 60 seconds on the griddle just takes any bitterness off, warms it through and leaves it with a lot of crunch. Pointed cabbage is fun like this, too.

    When I cook tuna on the griddle, I do warm a little goose fat between my hands and massage it onto the fish before placing the fish onto the griddle. Goose fat is available at most supermarkets - I get mine from Sainsbury, really good stuff in the meat aisle with the ducks (where you can get duck fat, too) or jars of less good stuff in the oils section. Goose fat is a great fat to cook with.

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    Owen's Avatar
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    Hi Paul,thanks for the tip. I also have a cast Iron griddle but have been putting oil on it - definitely going to try it on the food instead! I usually cook my steaks on it.

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    pjgh's Avatar
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    ... further to this, hopefully not sounding "preachy" but oils tend not to stand heat well. Animal fats do. Coconut oil does. Goose fat from the fridge melts with body contact and can be massaged onto meat or fish easily.

    Here's another tip for your cast iron when it appears a little dry. Warm it up and smother it with coconut oil and then bake the pan in the oven. This will feed it and help build up that non-stick layer.

    Have fun!

  8. #8
    Owen's Avatar
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    You've anticipated a problem I've had - my griddle is indeed looking a bit dry so will do this - thanks. I always use coconut oil but will try goose fat as well.

  9. #9
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    That looks like dish you could easily serve in a restaurant. Great job!!!

  10. #10
    pjgh's Avatar
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    Very kind of you ... thank you.

    Don't let the presentation put you off making this - it is a straightforward dish to make, roasting squash, griddling watermelon, dressing a salad plate while you wait and then frying off some fish at the end. The combination is quite excellent!

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