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Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking - Sauteed Whole Fish with Mushrooms

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We're still in the fish chapter (just getting started really), and this is another week for me to cook a whole fish. This recipe was named Sauteed Snapper or Other Whole Fish with Mushrooms. The recipe called for snapper or sea bass. I decided to substitute salmon, as I had just caught some salmon and didn't want to purchase a different kind of fish.

In Alaska, there are several different types of salmon available. There is Chinook (King), Sockeye (Red) and Coho (Silver). There is another variety called Pink. This is the variety that you usually find canned in your grocery store. But Alaskan's are picky about their salmon, and most people won't keep any pinks they catch. I've always heard they're not as flavorful, and the texture is mushy. So we've usually thrown them back also. But I have to admit, the few times I have eaten them, I've really enjoyed them. They're much lighter in color, a light-pink flesh. And they are more mild-tasting, more similar to trout. But at least if cooked fresh, the texture is not soft or mushy. I had cooked one out on the grill the previous week with just olive oil, salt, pepper, and tarragon sprigs and thought it was delicious.

The day I decided to cook this recipe, we had just gotten back from a weekend of fishing in Prince William Sound. While I did catch a silver salmon, it was much too large to fit into a skillet for this recipe. I thought my 3 lb or so pink would do nicely. Until I went to place him in the pan. I had to cut him in half to fit in my largest pan. Oh well, when I plated him I placed the two halves together and covered the seam with mushrooms so you wouldn't notice.

Okay, back to the recipe. This was an absolutely delicious recipe that will be added to my recipes to make many times again. I was actually very surprised that it had as much flavor as it did. Here's what you do: For the mushrooms, you basically saute button mushrooms in olive oil, garlic, parsley and salt. When done, you set aside. The fish is a whole fish with head and tail left on, but scaled and gutted. You place olive oil and chopped onion in a skillet, and cook briefly. You then add chopped carrot and cook briefly again. You then add garlic cloves and cook a little more. Add parsley, bay leaf, white wine, and an anchovy. Cook briefly. You then place the fish in the pan, cook on one side about 8 minutes, turn it over and finish cooking. You then add the mushrooms to the pan and cook about another minute and serve.

Try this one, I know you'll like it. I think that the anchovy really adds a lot of flavor to this sauce.

Comments (1)

Amy:

That looks interesting--I rarely think about using mushrooms with fish, for some reason.

Did I ever tell you about the slightly undersized (looked huge to us) King we had to toss back when we were fishing out of Juneau? Just about broke my husband's heart.

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