We don’t dine out often, but Friday nights are usually when we do. After the long, chilly week we’ve had, we decided to just head home and eat in, but since I hadn’t planned ahead and didn’t have anything thawed, we had to punt. I was working a bit later than Mike, so he volunteered to stop at the market at Grand Central Terminal on his way home and pick up something for our dinner.
He called me before getting back on the subway to say that he had picked up a whole Dorade from Wild Edibles. I had never cooked Dorade before, but my initial thought was to stuff it with lemons and herbs and roast it whole, which was basically what I ended up doing.
I seasoned the fish with salt and pepper, then sliced up a Meyer lemon and placed it into the cavity along with several sprigs of fresh thyme. I then dusted the outside with a bit of flour and placed it into a hot skillet which had a few glugs of olive oil in it. I let it cook on the first side for a few minutes until the skin was brown and crisp, then carefully flipped it and let it cook on the second side for the same length of time before placing the pan into the oven to finish (I had preheated it to 350). I let it roast for 10 minutes or so, then removed the pan and transferred the fish to a platter.
I had thawed a box of frozen artichoke hearts while the fish was cooking, so I added those to the pan with a bit of salt and pepper and let them begin to brown. I added the juice of a second Meyer lemon to the pan and let it reduce it bit, all the while stirring and scraping up the browned bits the fish had left in the pan. I finished the sauce by stirring in a big chunk of butter and whisking it through, then I served this over the filleted Dorade. Mike had also picked up some frisee and butter lettuce at the market, so I tossed them together with a little champagne vinaigrette.
I’m incredibly pleased with how this turned out. The Dorade was excellent – the flesh had a nice firm texture and an almost buttery flavor, which contrasted nicely with the crispy skin. The artichokes and lemon provided a nice brightness and acidity. This was a light and delicious meal that came together quickly and with little fuss (and minimal cleanup!). It’s a definite keeper.
Wine Note: After selecting the fish for our dinner, Mike went to Grande Harvest Wines and asked for a wine recommendation. They suggested the 2005 Domenico Armani Pinot Grigio, which paired beautifully with our meal.