Pistachio Crusted Fresh Opah from Fijian Waters
Pomegranate Nectarine Reduction
Opah, also called moonfish, weighing up to 200 lbs., is harvested incidentally by long-line boats fishing for tuna and billfish in the Pacific. This fish does not swim in schools, so it is caught by accident. Historically, catching an opah was regarded as good luck and was given away rather than sold. The fishmonger at Bristol Farms poetically told me that the skin of a moonfish resembles moonlight dancing on the ocean. (photo from hawaii-seafood.org)
Opah has a rich, creamy flavor and firm, fatty texture, resulting from a diet of mostly squid. To make this dish: Combine pistachio nutmeat and panko breadcrumbs with rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper in a food processor. Dust the filet with flour, lightly coat with mayonnaise, then crust the filet with the pistachio mixture. Sauté in olive oil in a non-stick ovenproof pan until both sides are browned. Finish cooking the fish for just a few minutes in a 400° oven.
The folks at POM Wonderful sent me a few samples of their pomegranate products, one of which is this awesome POM Nectarine juice. 100% juice. I simply poured it into a pan and reduced it over medium-high heat to a syrup consistency. It needed nothing else, and paired beautifully with the fish! I am looking forward to trying this juice reduction with other dishes. And thank you POM Wonderful.
One of my favorite parts of hosting a dinner party is setting the table in the morning. Sometimes our dinner parties have themes, as in the Jackie Kennedy Dinner, or the Gourmet Retro Dinner Party, the Wolfgang Puck Austrian Dinner, or the All-Salmon Dinner Party. But this night was just about some good food and good friends. The inspiration for the table setting came from my garden, I just picked what was blooming!