Last week I took a drive out to the Notafoodie family fishing boat in Cold Spring Harbor. I was planning on just being out there for a few minutes to take care of boat registration and mooring permits- the fun things that come along with boat ownership. While I was out there I ran in to one of the kids that run the boat launch during the summer. He is a couple of years out of high school and is back home working on the dock for the summer.
“I’ve got a question for you”, he said. “Can you show me how to fillet a fish?”
I told him I could help him out and he went to go get the fish in question. When I saw the beast, I told him that he was crazy. You don’t fillet a 29lb striped bass, you cut it in to steaks.
I sent the kid out to my boat to pick up a set of knives that we kept on board, and I spent the next hour cutting that beautiful fish in to 7 or 8 steaks and two fillets from the tail section. As a reward, I took home a couple of steaks for myself.
There is nothing like eating a fish that was swimming in the water a few hours earlier. Here is how I prepared it.
- Trimmed the red meat and belly flaps from the 2 steaks
- Cut the skin off and cut each steak in to two pieces of meat 1 3/4” each
- Put the scraps (bones and all) in to a stock pot with a half of lemon, the zest from the lemon, 3 cloves of garlic, an onion, some crushed red pepper, parsley, thyme, and water to cover it all
- I brought this to a boil and then let simmer for 30 minutes
While the stock was simmering I prepped the fish. I patted them dry on all sides and covered with sea salt and fresh black pepper
I turned the oven on and preheated to 350
In a large saute pan, I put a bit of olive oil. Just enough to coat the bottom. I got the oil nice and hot, but not smoking and then did a quick sear on all sides of the steaks (around 75 seconds per side).
When all sides were nice and seared, I popped the pan in the oven for another 5 minutes to finish them off.
While the steaks were cooking, I strained the fish stock to a nice clear liquid. I put a bit in another pan where I was cooking some salt and peppered bok choy in olive oil. When the bok choy was done, I divided it in to two shallow soup bowls. I then deglazed the pan with 3 ladles full of fish stock. I put a pat of butter in to the pan and whisked it in to the stock.
My five minutes were up, so I took the fish out and placed the steaks on the bok choy and poured the stock/ butter mixture over them.
The result was a semi spicy, but delicate fish dish that I deemed worthy enough of experimenting with again.
I can’t wait to make the dish again… this time with a fish that I caught.