Sunday, February 08, 2009

Savoring Saveur

Saveur magazine is not one of my regulars. I’ve picked it up a few times on the newsstand; my go-to cheesecake recipe is actually from Saveur. But when “savoring a world of authentic cuisine”, as the magazine’s tagline asks its readers to do, involves buying new equipment or venturing to Chinatown or Little India for ingredients (excursions I do enjoy … but not ones that generally work for me on a random Friday afternoon), I tend to do my savoring in restaurants. Saveur recipes are frequently more demanding than I, alas, can handle most days.

All that said, I picked up the January/February issue last week and really enjoyed it. It was a special edition – “The Saveur 100 Home Cook Edition”. The issue features an interesting list of 100 dishes, extraordinary home cooks, cookbooks, food markets, and essential pots and pans.

I cornered a few pages and prepared the Whole Roasted Red Snapper Friday night (except I used striped bass since buying a three-pound red snapper for two and a half people didn’t make a lot of sense). As you can see in the not-perfectly-centered photo above, you nestle a whole fish inside an aluminum foil packet with clams, kielbasa, fennel, fingerling potatoes, lemons, and herbs. The recipe also calls for olives, which I forgot to buy, so I subbed in briny capers. You sprinkle the mélange with salt, pepper, and white wine and roast it in the oven for about 35 minutes. I slit open the foil packet and brought the whole thing to the table on a large dish.

And we just dug in. We ate and ate and ate until there really wasn’t a whole lot left. Rosa loved the kielbasa and asked for more clams. For me, the fennel and the fish were the star. Dave was pretty happy with all of it. The ingredients retained their individual flavors, but everything had an aromatic, mellow tenderness from being cooked together in the moist environment of the aluminum packet.

It was also a very interactive dish since throughout we’d put a few nibbles on our plates and then reach back in for more. Probably not the most sanitary meal, but if you’re with family or close friends, I highly recommend it.

Click here for the recipe.

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