Pickerel with Cherry Tomato Tatin - Serves Two
Pickerel is one of my favorite fish because it can be cooked in many ways: whole roasted, poached, steamed, grilled or pan fried. For those of you watching your food intake, this fish is very low in fat and full of protein.
360 gr. Pickerel
20-28 Blush Lane cherry tomatoes (amazingly sweet and delicious)
29.5 ml. (2 Tbsp) honey
29.5 ml. (2 Tbsp) red wine vinegar
1 box puff pastry (available in most grocery stores), thawed
29.5 ml (2 Tbsp) olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper to taste ( my favorite is white pepper)
29.5 ml (2 Tbsp) pistou ( 2 bunches of basil - leaves only, 4 cloves of garlic,
29.5 ml olive oil blended together to a puree ) or purchased.
In a medium sauce pan, heat the honey on medium. As soon as it starts to bubble add the red wine vinegar to deglaze. This is called a gastrique. Add the cherry tomatoes to the gastrique and cook on medium until the skins on the cherries start to crack open. Season with the salt and pepper. In two single serving ramekins, split the tomato mixture, and then top the mixture with the pistou. Cut a piece of puff pastry for each ramekin ( a little bigger that the ramekin itself) and place on top of each ramekin as you would a pie. Slice the top of each to allow the steam to escape. Cook for about 15-20 minutes at 360F or 180C, or until they are golden. Remove from the oven to cool while you prepare the fish.
Heat the olive oil in a medium sauté pan on high heat until it's sizzling. Add the pieces of fish skin side down and cook until the skin is crispy, 2-3 minutes (depending on the thickness) Flip the fish over and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until done.(take a toothpick and stab it into the fish. If it goes through easily the fish is done)
Unmold the tomato tatin crust side down on each plate, and place the fish off to the side. Garnish with a basil leaf and serve with some crusty bread and a glass of Domaine Montrose Viognier/Grenache from J Webb!
Cassis Bistro, Head Chef - Michel Nop