Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sofrito Marinated Pompano with a Brown Butter

I don’t believe there is a Latin American or Caribbean kitchen anywhere that is without a jar of Sofrito.  Although the recipe varies from person to person, this ubiquitous sauce is in everything from beans, rice, meat and fish.  I imagine it came about as a way of using up ingredients that were always around and typically part their native dishes.  Sometimes the ingredients are cooked and other times they are simply processed raw.

1 bunch scallions
4 cloves garlic
1 bunch cilantro
1 Serrano pepper
¼ cup olive oil

Put all ingredients in a food processor; pulse to a pesto consistency. 
Remove from food processor; place in a jar; you can store in the refrigerator for about 1 week.

Pompano is my favorite fish to prepare whole.  It requires no scaling and the skin is completely edible.  With an average size of less than three pounds, one can devour this flat bodied, pan size Carangidae with ease.  This is how I prepared it.

2-1 pound pompano gutted
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup white wine
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/3 cup Sofrito

Prepare the marinade by combining the salt, wine, lemon juice and Sofrito.   Cut 2 or 3 slashes in a crosshatch pattern on each side of the fish; pour marinade over the fish let marinate for 1 hour.

Meanwhile preheat oven to 450F.  Remove the pompano from the marinade; place in a non-stick pan.
Bake pompano in the oven for 30 minutes while basting with the marinade for more flavor. 

Normally I would prepare a sauce or salsa with this fish but I found that acidity and flavors from the marinade needed little enhancements.  I browned a little butter and poured it over the fish and it was perfect!

Brown Butter
For instruction on how to make brown butter check out  type in “brown butter” in the search box.  You will need only two tablespoons of butter.

Oh.. as for the pink stuff that’s on the upper left side of the plate---watermelon radish with scallion, lemon juice and olive oil, salt and pepper.  The fish has a little kick to it from the Serrano pepper that is in the Sofrito, so the radish is a nice place to cool off.  ENJOY!

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