Monday, April 23, 2007

sunday supper: spring cleaning

Finally the awesome weather! As much as I would have loved to spend all day yesterday out in the sun and warmth, I had been determined for several weeks to do a major cleaning of the apartment. I get this urge approximately once every 2 years, so if I were to ignore it, we'd be in serious dirt trouble. A warm day meant that all of the windows could be opened; great to keep air circulating while we were stirring up dust, and great for Opaw to get out from under our feet and onto the windowsill to chirp at birds.

A day of hard cleaning and organizing meant that I wasn't going to have time to spend on an elaborate dinner. The great weather also meant the end of the braised meat season, and the beginning of fresh flavors. The main course of last night's meal was salt-baked Branzino, a dish that I for some reason assumed was complicated, but is totally not.

Step one, whole Branzino, a small fish related to a bass. These were approximately 1 pound each. First rinse and pat dry, then fill the cavities with fresh parsley, fresh rosemary, sliced garlic, and lemon slices.

Step two, making the salt crust, simply a mixture of sea salt and egg whites. I used about 2 lbs of sea salt for 2 fish, and just kept adding egg whites and mixing until it resembled wet sand. I think I used a total of 4 egg whites, but honestly I lost count. Press the wet salt firmly onto the entire fish. PS. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper or removal will suck.

Step three, bake for 15-18 minutes at 400ยบ, adjusting time if your fish are different sizes. The edges of the salt crust will start to brown. Finally, release the fishies from their salty coffins. You'll probably want to scrape away a good deal of the salt if you intend to eat the skin and don't want hypertension. Delicious!

Up next, the pasta course!


B said...

Haha - I just imagined the 300 guy shouting "Release the fishies from their salty coffins!!! This is SPARTA!"

faycat said...

Cracking into the salt crust really did feel like you were excavating a tomb or something. It was way harder to break through than I expected. But it was pretty cool...

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, i tried this tonight and the fish was fantastic, it tastes just like the fish i had in restaurant.:D