Recently I discovered one of the tastiest pieces of fish I have ever had – Golden Tilefish. If you have been following me for a while, you know that a co-worker of mine goes fishing out of Freeport, TX every few months, and afterwards I get really lucky with gifted coolers of the freshest fish around :). A few weeks ago he came back from one of these trips with a huge smile on his face. The first thing he said to me was, “Lizzy, you better get ready to cook tonight, because I brought you back a piece of fish that will knock your socks off.” Okay, maybe he didn’t use the words “knock your socks of”, but close enough. And, just like that, it has become my new favorite fish, and I have been buying it once a week since. The flavor is sweet, delicate, and buttery, with medium flakes, very similar to cod, halibut or red snapper. And, for those of you out there who aren’t as crazy about fish, the extremely mild flavor and medium texture of this one makes it the perfect introductory into the fish world for you.
When Ken (my in-office fishmonger) described the taste of the fish, I thought this would be the perfect time to try out a pistachio crust that I have been thinking about for a while, and top it with some sort of coconut curry sauce, since I am on a coconut milk craze right now. Oh my goshhhhhhhh, I cannot even begin to describe how amazing this fish tasted – the piece he gave us was supposed to serve around 5, but the 3 of us scarfed it down, and my boyfriend licked the sauce off his plate afterwards. It was that good!
Here are some photos from the fishing trip –
The golden tilefish is more of a rare fish, you probably won’t find it at your everyday grocery store. It has to be caught in very deep water, which makes the fishing equipment used to catch it pretty pricey also.
Don’t these photos make you want to go fishing!?! Well they did… until I saw how they had to sleep…. The lengths people go to for their passions!!
I placed the fish on top of a bed of roasted eggplant and spiralized zucchini that I cooked slightly in the green coconut curry sauce. The flavors meshed together so well, and the beauty is, you really could have put the fish on top of quite a few things – rice, pasta, veggies…
Look at the golden crust on this beauty! The key to the crust is placing the pistachios in a food processor, and pulsing them until they are finely chopped – I have tried this recipe several times and left them in a little bit bigger chunks, and it doesn’t work as well. So make sure to pulse the pistachios up well. Also, add salt! I didn’t add salt the first time because I thought the pistachios were already pretty salty – WRONG! I had to add salt after, which didn’t matter, but it definitely needs it.
- 1 eggplant, peeled and sliced into ¼ inch thick pieces
- 4 skinless golden tilefish fillets (or similar fish - snapper, cod, halibut)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup pistachio nuts
- ½ tsp. paprika
- ½ tsp. salt
- 4-6 Tbsp. canola oil
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 4 Tbsp. honey
- 2 Tbsp. Thai green curry paste
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 4 zucchinis, spiralized
- Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Brush olive oil onto each sheet, sprinkle with salt, and lay eggplant slices down. Brush a touch more olive oil on top of each piece, sprinkle again with a touch of salt, and place in the oven for about 15-17 minutes.
- Once you see the eggplant begin to turn golden brown, flip, cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, and remove. All pieces should no longer have their original spongy texture - if they do, place them back in the oven for several more minutes until they are roasted all the way through. Once the eggplant is done cooking, turn heat down to 375 degrees F.
- Combine all sauce ingredients except zucchini into a medium size pot, and bring to a simmer. Cook for ten minutes, stirring occasionally, and then add in zucchini. Cook for another 5 minutes, then turn off heat and cover.
- In a food processor, combine pistachios, salt, and paprika. Pulse until all the large chunks of pistachio are ground up. You don't want any chunks of pistachio left, otherwise it will be hard to bread the fish, and it won't stick.
- Place the beaten eggs in one plating dish, and the pistachio mixture in another. Salt the fish fillets, then dip in the egg, and then into the pistachio. Coat the fish well on all sides and set aside.
- In a medium size saute pan, add in the canola oil and heat on medium-high. Once the oil is hot, add in 2 fillets at a time, and cook about 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Once you have cooked the outside of the fish, place the fillets onto a baking sheet, and cook in the oven for about 5-6 minutes, until they are cooked all the way through.
- Plate a layer of eggplant in serving dish, then top with zucchini, and finally fish. Enjoy!