Monday 1 December 2008

Dorado Steaks with a Zingy Sauce of Capers, Herbs, Olives & Anchovies

Woolies branches here in Johannesburg are selling gorgeous fresh dorado steaks: if you love a dense, muscular, oily fish, you'll go mad for these. It's difficult to get good fresh fish here in Johannesburg, land-locked as we are, because all the best fish tends to jet directly into restaurant kitchens, and the pitiful specimens left over end up in fish shops, looking and tasting elderly by the time they hit my frying pan.

This zingy sauce is version of salsa verde. It's lovely whizzed up to a silken green cream in a liquidiser, and equally good served chunky. The choice is yours.

Woolies Dorado Steaks with a Zingy Sauce of Capers, Herbs, Olives and Anchovies

4 x 150 g fresh dorado steaks
salt and freshly milled black pepper
4 tsp (20 ml) butter
2 Tbsp (30 ml) olive oil

For the sauce:
1 Tbsp (15 ml) capers
2-3 anchovy fillets, to taste
3 Tbsp (45 ml) chopped fresh parsley
3 Tbsp (45 ml) chopped fresh mint (or coriander, or rocket, or a combination)
2 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and sliced
3 Tbsp (45 ml) green olives, pitted
3 Tbsp (45 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 Tbsp (45 ml) olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

First make the sauce. If you'd like a silken sauce, put all the ingredients into a liquidizer, or the jug attachment of a stick blender, and whizz to a paste. Add a little olive oil or water if the blades are reluctant to turn. If you'd like a chunkier sauce, finely chop all the ingredients and mix together. Put the sauce in the fridge while you cook the fish.

Pat the steaks quite dry with a paper towel and season on all sides with salt and pepper. Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan until very hot. Place the fish in the hot fat, skin-side down, and fry for 3-4 minutes, or until the skin starts to crisp. Now turn the steaks and fry and until golden brown on all sides, basting frequently with hot fat to prevent the fish from drying out.

 Poke the tip of a sharp knife into the fish to check for doneness: it should be a lovely, white, moist and flaky. If the centre of the steaks is still pink and transparent, cook over a gentle heat for a few more minutes. Peel off the strip of leathery skin before serving.

Arrange the fish on a plate and top with blobs - or lashings, if you've chopped everything - of cool green sauce.

Serve with boiled baby potatoes and dark salad leaves.

Serves 4.
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