Today I proudly present one of my favourite fishes, the Greater Amberjack (Seriola dumerilli), cooked in two ways.
The first way is “boiled” in olive oil and vegetables.
The second way is grilled.
In both ways the fish must be sliced in thick slices. This is the key to the success of both ways. And the factor that requires cooking skills.
Make sure there is no blood left in the flesh and that the spinal cord of the fish has been removed prior to cooking.
The “boiled” way comes from the Greek islands. I present a variance of the traditional way.
Place a lot of olive oil in a deep pan and add cherry tomatoes, dry onions, and celery. Add coarse salt and pepper and bring to a moderate boil, in which tiny bubbles are formed but do not burst quickly. After most of the liquids have been evaporated, which will take approximately one hour, add the fish slices.
Let the fish cook in the oil until it turns white. Do not turn. This should take approximatley one hour. While cooking, make sure that the bubbles remain very small and do not burst in quick succession.
After the fish is cooked, remove from the pan and let it rest for thirty minutes. While the fish is resting, add zucchinis in the pan and cook for approximately half an hour.
If you feel like it, you may add some thin pasta in the oil that has been infused with the fish and vegetable stock.
If the fish is properly cooked, it is extremely soft and juicy. The low temperature has not hardened its flesh. For me it is one of the most original ways to cook fresh fish.
On the other end of the temperature spectrum is the grill. The punishing heat is the greatest enemy of the fish. This is where the skill is required. To grill the thick slice of amberjack so that it is crusty on the outside and juicy and delicious on the inside. I add a little salt and pepper and coat the slice in olive oil prior to placing it on the ultra hot grill.
Once the fish is cooked, remove from the grill and serve immediately. Add a little bit of olive oil and a few drops of lemon. I am very careful with the lemon because it hardens the flesh and destroys the taste when used without moderation.
Enjoy both dishes with a robust white wine.