Sound crazy doesn’t it? But oh is it good. On our first trip to Rome at our first meal in the city that night, the manager suggested fresh fish baked in salt. We couldn’t even imagine why it wouldn’t be very salty. It is not! It was so delicious and moist. What was even more amazing before they prepared the fish they presented it to us on a platter.
Needless to say I came home and started researching recipes and have made it several times now. The latest being when Des, Aleta, Robin and Gordon came over for dinner this week.
This time I made it with Red Snapper. I bought two that were about 2.5 pounds each. Had the fishmonger GGS them. AH HA … that is what I learned when I picked them up … after I said a myriad of words obviously being a newbie to fish cleaning lingo. That means Gut Gils Scales. You end up with a fish that is ready to cook. Yes, it still has the head on. In the picture … one fish is already stuffed with fresh lemon and thyme, covered with Kosher Salt and ready to pop in the oven.
Since I was having a very simple fish I decided that my menu would reflect that. I wanted the appetizer to be a little heavier and the salad to be unexpected and the sides to be simple yet flavorful. It was great that all the elements were easy and that was a good thing because we didn’t get back from taking Des and Aleta on a boat tour of Lake Santa Fe until 5:15pm and Robin and Gordon were arriving at 6pm and I hadn’t prepped anything!
Our Menu included Mussels Diablo for an appetizer (in a spicy cream sauce). Entree’ was of course the Red Snapper baked in Salt accompanied by Zucchini with Cilantro Mint Gremolata and Red Quinoa. The Salad Course was Shaved Fennel with Granny Smith Apples. To complete our meal we had Affogato for dessert.
It was a wonderful meal if I say so myself. I tried two new recipes on this menu and they were keepers. The zucchini dish and the salad are new to my collection, were delicious and will be served again.
What was very interesting Robin and Gordon had never had mussels before and loved them. They also had never experienced Quinoa. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a super food and the mother of all grains. (More about Quinoa in another post). It is my new favorite side dish, cereal or salad! Also, Gordon didn’t really like zucchini but LOVED it with the gremolata. See there is always a way to serve a vegetable and like it!
My ‘m.o.’ … if a guest has an allergy … pay attention. Otherwise present a creative menu and let them discover a tasty way to enjoy what they thought was not to their liking. Because as you know, it may only be the way it was cooked. Many times being mushy and tasteless. Fresh, with high flavor is an amazing way to tantalize the tastebuds.
A special thank you to my helpers who gave themselves names … WILLING aka Robin and ABLE aka Aleta who set the table and kept the dishes in the dishwasher and out of sight! FYI my new name is AND! What fun!