Boy, we love Tim! He came back from a fishing trip this week and presented Galley Pirates with some just-caught-just-cleaned Rockfish fillets. They were still the temperature of bay water. Rockfish, known many places as Striped Bass, is a versatile fish that can be prepared any number of ways. Today I chose a slightly sweet, orange-based sauce with fresh tarragon. The aromas are distinct, but not overpowering to the delicate fillets.
Rockfish with Orange & Tarragon
3-4 Rockfish fillets
1 tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon salt
a few grinds of pepper
juice of two oranges
the rind of one orange
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon flour
garnish with fresh tarragon
Preheat your galley oven to 350 degrees. Mince the shallots. Zest one orange with a zester. (or, if you have no zester on board, shave the orange rind off with a vegetable peeler and mince)
In a large fry pan, sauté shallots and orange rind in the butter and olive oil. Add the orange juice, white wine, dried tarragon, salt and pepper to the pan and sauté for a minute or two longer.
Spray a baking dish with oil and place your fillets in the pan. Drizzle the shallot/orange mixture over the fillets and place in the preheated oven.
The fillets should be done in 20 minutes or when easily flaked with a fork. Move the fish fillets to a serving platter. Pour the remaining sauce from the baking dish back into the fry pan. Don’t turn your oven off quite yet. (Even if you have a skipper staring at the little red light saying “Do you still need that oven on?” There’s something about skippers and burning propane. They’re just wired to be cautious. And we’re happy about that!) Vegetables will go in the oven in a couple minutes.
Sprinkle a teaspoon or two of flour into the pan and stir until thickened. Add more wine if it becomes too thick. Pour the sauce over the fish fillets on the serving platter and cover with foil while you prepare your vegetables.
This evening we’re serving our Rockfish à l’Orange with roasted broccolini. Turn your oven temperature up to 400 degrees. A simple easy roast method is to spray the vegetables with spray olive oil, then I like to sprinkle them with a little Maldon Smoked Sea Salt flakes and fresh ground pepper. Roast in your very hot oven for 15 minutes.
Sprinkle the rockfish fillets with fresh tarragon and serve. This was so delicious. But it did come with a little guilt. Poor Tim, who brought us his wonderful catch, had to work all day and could not join us in this feast. A decent galley chef would have saved him leftovers. But Aargh! We had hungry crew and sometimes a pirate just has to be a pirate. Next time, Tim! You rock! (pardon the pun)