Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Crispy Za'atar Lingcod with Roasted Pepper Caper Aioli

This can be made without the za'atar, a spice I brought back from Israel but that is readily available at Middle Eastern markets. You can make this an even quicker recipe by using store bought mayo instead of making the aioli base from scratch.

You'll need:

for the fish
1 fillet of lingcod per person (red snapper would be a good substitute)
1/4c panko (Japanese bread crumbs-- you can substitute with normal bread crumbs if you want; crushed cornflakes would better approximate panko's crunchy flakiness)
1t za'atar
1 egg
grapeseed or veggie oil for sauteing

for the aioli
1 egg
1/4c vegetable oil (do NOT use extra virgin olive oil-- it can turn a good aioli bitter!)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 roasted red pepper (you can roast it & clean it yourself, or buy the jarred kind)
1T capers + 1T crushed capers (crush them with your fingers)

Make the aioli first (it can be made a few days in advance). In a small food processor, beat egg with garlic & salt; slowly add oil while the processor is running so that the mixture emulsifies. Taste and adjust with more salt or garlic. (If you're using store bought mayo, just add crushed garlic and a little salt.) Add pepper and process until smooth. Transfer to bowl; stir in whole & crushed capers. Taste and adjust seasoning.

For the fish: Heat 1T oil in a nonstick or cast iron frying pan. Beat 1 egg in a shallow dish. Mix panko with za'atar in another dish. Salt and pepper fish fillet; dip in egg, then in panko. Press panko on so it sticks. Transfer coated fish directly into pan of hot oil. Saute until golden, then flip, about 3 minutes/side.

I served this with a farro pilaf. Farro is a very exciting wheat berry kind of grain with an earthy flavor and a very nice bite. You cook it like pasta in lots of boiling water, then saute it in oil or butter for some flavor. I sauteed 1 chopped onion, 1c mixed chopped mushrooms (crimini & shittake), 3 cloves pressed garlic, and 1t red pepper flakes, for about 10 minutes, then added the cooked farro. It was delicious.


Unknown said...

So *that's* why my aioli is always bitter!

Unknown said...

I got my Zatar from Penzeys Spices: http://www.penzeys.com/cgi-bin/penzeys/shophome.html

I love sprinkling it on toasted pita with olive oil!

Anonymous said...

i do not embrace the use of corn flakes as a substitute for panko, nor do i believe bread crumbs are proper for this dish, which appears to be really good. what does the purple person think one should drink with this?

purplecook said...

I'm sick right now and on an alcohol hiatus, but honestly this fish dish would be delicious with a strong dark beer (gasp! say the wine lovers). I'd recommend a medium IPA or a red ale.

Anonymous said...

what kind of an animal are you? go to davis!

purplecook said...

fyi, Davis has one of the top schools of viticulture & enology in the country. Expand your horizons.

Anonymous said...

davis is creating a culture of high alcohol fruit bomb wines. when its students create pepsi cola with 17% alcohol (see some zin on the market)and can get 40$ a bottle, it does speak well for the whatever culture or ology you speak of.

Anonymous said...

mmmmm zinfandel

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