For the last 8 weeks, I've been partnering with a research organization called Eating with the Ecosystem on an "eat like a fish" research project. Their mission is to promote a place based approach to sustaining New England's wild seafood, through healthy habitats, flourishing food webs, and short, adaptive supply chains.
As a part of their mission, they've curated a group of citizen scientists to help research market availability and knowledge for specific types of fish each week. One of my favorite new discoveries through the program is John Dory, a meaty white fish that cooks to a beautiful golden brown when pan seared.
The fish was being sold whole at the market, but they warned me about the spiny scales on its back that might make it difficult to fillet. Paul, one of the fish mongers at Quarterdeck Seafood in Maynard MA, was kind enough to fillet it for me.
To cook, I patted the fish dry and then seared over medium-high heat with a bit of olive oil and butter. It was delicious! I was surprised by how tasty and meaty the fish was, and pleased with how easy it was to cook! I tried this same method the week after with sole, and it turned into a flaky, mushy mess.
Truthfully, I ate the fish in both whole fillet and taco form. We cooked it on a night that Joe was out late at golf, so I enjoyed a few bites with the spinach salad and kidney bean mash pictured here, and then made tacos when he returned home.
The tacos were better than the fish alone! It held up well to minor reheating in the skillet, and we layered the bean mash, fish and some picked onions on top of our favorite locally made corn tortillas.
If you see John Dory at the market while you're making your rounds this summer, pick some up! It's delicious, has great texture and is economical too! I've got more posts coming up with our fish findings from the Eating with the Ecosystem project that I'll be sharing once the film scans come back!