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Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking - Baked Whole Fish Stuffed with Shellfish

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Is this a scarry picture or what? Sorry about that-it doesn't look so appetizing to eat here. I used Rock Fish, and it's just not a pretty fish.

I was really looking forward to making this recipe. It sounded delicious. Take a whole boned fish, stuff it with clams, mussels, shrimp, onions, lemon juice, and bread crumbs and bake. I went to the seafood store knowing that they always have fresh red snapper. That day they had none. The only appropriate-sized whole fish was an Alaskan Rock fish. Something we catch all of the time. I good, but rather mild white fish. I was impressed that the fishmonger was able to bone the whole fish. But I had negleted to bring Marcella's directions with me and he boned it not from the slit in the belly, but from the back. Even though I asked him to leave the head and tail on, he cut off the tail. As you can tell from the picture, he did not cut off the head. So I brought my fish home, and began preparing the dish. Wash and scrub the clams and mussels, and briefly cook until they open their shells. Remove the meat from the shells, and place in a bowl with garlic, sliced onion, shrimp, lemon juice, and olive oil and bread crumbs. Place in the fish cavity, and wrap in parchment paper. Bake until the fish is done, 35-45 minutes. I followed all directions except that my fish was a little smaller than the one called for. I wasn't going to use all of the filling since my fish was smaller, but it fit inside the fish just fine so I used it all. Okay, now the results-my first failure out of all of the recipes I've made. I'm not sure what happened, but the bread crumbs had just turned to the texture of paste. All of the beautiful shellfish wasted. Luckily it was only a girlfriend that was over for dinner, but we couldn't eat it. I thought about tyring to place it under a broiler to see if it would cook correctly, but I didn't think that would work. The fish was cooked perfectly, it was just the filling that was wrong. Luckily, we had started with a Caprese Salad, and had two wonderful side dishes you'll read about when we get to the vegetable section-Braised Artichokes and Peas and Fresh Mushrooms with Porcini, Rosemary, and Tomatoes.

Marcella, could you shed any light on what may have gone wrong?

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 9, 2010 1:46 AM.

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