May 31, 2009

zander baked in salt crust

dad fishes a lot, and mom rows equal amount. they got this off a net just by the cottage. normally, this would have ended up fileed and fried in butter, which is very, very nice. however, we have been talking about baking zander in salt crust for a while now. i think dad saw an article in a newspaper, or one of his friends mentioned it, not sure anymore. i decided to try the salt crust method this time

there were a number of recipes for zander in salt crust (kuhaa suolakuoressa). i adapted one recipe that called for 3 egg whites and 1 kg coarse sea salt. my fish was so big i ended up using 2 kg of salt. i made a sort of paste with salt and egg whites, spread some of that on baking dish (biggest i have, orinigally bought for roasting turkey!), placed lemon slices and dill on that. next the fish, which was stuffed with leek, lemon slice and some more dill. added some lemon and dill on top as well

best way to get the fish covered was the old-fashioned "get your hands dirty"

50 mins in 200C oven

the crust was quite hard on the surface but soft and moist inside

tail part being dug out

probably the best tasting fish i've ever had in my life. certain someone seemed think the same. his only complaint was the lack of well chilled, crisp rose or white wine, i'll agree on the rose part. the fish itself was just perfect, breaking into big flakes, but not one bit dry. but the 2 kg salt, the fish must have been super salty, right? not at all, the crust kept all the moisture inside, you could taste hints of lemon and dill without them overpowering the taste of fish. naturally there were bits of salt on the fish, but because it was coarse it was easy to remove. the salad was just some greens with lemon vinaigrette.

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