This colorful heavy-bodied fish is found along the eastern seaboard from Nova Scotia to the Gulf of Mexico. A deep water fish from the canyons of the continental shelf, it is considered superior to shallow water species: a diet of red crab gives tilefish a firm texture and a moist sweet taste.
Tilefish grow to 80 lbs, but most are harvested in the 4 to 15 lb. Range. Golden Tilefish, with its yellow dotted skin is the most abundant. A black spotted cousin from Argentina is less common, but also excellent.
Steamed Fish in Parchment with Fresh Herbs
- 2- ½ lb. Tilefish fillets, skinned if desired
- Fresh herbs: Scallions, Tarragon or Cilantro
- Good quality olive oil
- 2 pieces of parchment paper, cut 4-6 inches larger
- Than the fillets on all sides.
- Salt and pepper
Place parchment sheet on counter and brush center with oil. Place sliced herbs on oiled section. Rinse one fillet and season with salt and pepper. Place fillets on herbs skin side up. Close parchment by double folding two sides together, then double folding the other two sides. Turn over (with folded edges now facing under fish) and place on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven 10 to 12 minutes per inch of fillet. Serve one packet per person (slicing the parchment at the table). Serves 2
Deep-water fish are the choice for serviche, as they are less likely than shallow water species to have occurring parasites.
Fish must “cook” in citrus for at least 8 hours, so prepare fish the day before, or in the morning.
- ¾ lb. Skinned tilefish, cut into ½ inch pieces
- ¾ cup fresh lemon or limejuice
- ¼ cup orange juice
- 1 small red onion, sliced thin
- 1/3-cup fresh chopped cilantro
Toss chopped fish, onion slices, cilantro, and citrus juices. Marinate for at least 8 hours, turning occasionally. Fish will be opaque in color when “cooked”.
Toss with one optional addition and serve on a bed of romaine lettuce. Serves two.
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