Pacific Perch with Roasted Leek

  • Recipe(s):Pan-roasted porgy with a quick crispy fennel salad (page 217) & Roasted baby leeks with thyme (page 330) & Spiced vinegar dressing (page 26)
  • Prep: Easy & Easy
  • Taste: Very Good & Good

MILESTONE ALERT………we just passed the 100 recipe made mark. It is hard to believe that we have made 100 new recipes this year. Some have been great, some have flopped and some have been average but boy has it been fun this far. I never would have imagined making 100 new recipes, let alone 100 new anything in a year, and we still have just under half of the year left!

The recipe that actually put us over the top was the spiced vinegar dressing, which my partner actually made this morning and put on her salad for lunch. I am including it in this blog because it was made today and was the recipe that brought us to 100. Tonight (August 6, 2014) our meal consisted of something new to us, perch, and something familiar, roasted leeks.

The prep for the salad dressing was moderate for a salad dressing, simply because there was cooking required. It was a pretty simple dressing other than that with a decent flavour. I actually expected it to taste more like Christmas, with the cloves and star anise flavours, but it didn’t. Now, I actually tasted it later on this afternoon, as opposed to when it was fresh, so it could have lost some of its flavour.

As with most blogs you have probably read, I started the prep on the perch recipe by making the all to familiar trip down to Granville Island to pick up a fresh fish. They were nice enough to fillet it for me there while I perused the rest of the market looking for baby leeks. After 10 minutes of searching, and coming up empty, my fish was ready, so I made my way home and decided to use a large leek we had in the fridge in place of the baby leeks. To be honest, this was the hardest part of the prep. Everything else is super easy.

The one thing I would do differently, however, is not use the mandolin that we own for the fennel. It doesn’t have the ability to adjust the thickness of the cut and I was left with thicker pieces of fennel than I wanted.

As you can tell in the title, we substituted pacific perch for porgy in the recipe. Unfortunately, I was unable to find porgy and perch was the next best thing, aside from the mediterranean sea bream, but that was wickedly expensive! Neither of us have ever had porgy before so we didn’t feel like we missed out by using perch. To be honest, if we make this recipe again, we would probably use perch. It was a delicious piece of fish!

The spices that were used with the perch definitely enhanced the flavour profile of the dish. The fennel seed, with its liquorice sweetness, paired extremely well with the heat from the chilli pepper. The perch was a nice fish to use as it was robust enough to handle the heat and spice but light enough to not over power the other flavours in the dish, like a nice piece of salmon would. The addition of the fresh oregano, sun-dried tomatoes and balsamic vinegar (I used balsamic glaze) added a slight Italian feel to the dish, which I thought worked nicely with the rest of the ingredients.

The roasted leeks were just that, roasted leeks. The preparation of the dish was nothing new to us, in terms of technique or flavour. It was a good dish and extremely easy to make. It would make a nice side to a roast for sure. We probably shouldn’t have made it with the fish but…..we have to get through all the recipes somehow.

All in all it was a good evening. The fish was very good and would rank pretty high on the flavour to effort scale. The leeks rank high as well, due to their simplicity and the fact that they can be added to virtually any meal.

Tomorrow night we are making lobster. I already selected the one I will pick up tomorrow. It was nice and feisty!

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