Skillet cooked whole fish in a mussel and broth bath. Serve one fish per person. Substitute with your favorite mild fish that is freshly available. Use red mullet or sea bass.
Be sure to have your fishmonger thoroughly clean the fish and remove all scales. If you increase the portions of this recipe, you will need to cook the fish in batches, dividing the butter, mussels, broth, garlic and parsley among them.
Ingredients and Directions:
- 1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 medium onion, roughly chopped (this is to steam and flavor the mussels – use a partially used onion or leeks)
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 1 pound mussels (de-bearded)
- 1/2 teaspoon tomato paste
- 2 small whole red snappers (cleaned)
- Fine sea salt
- Ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 glove garlic, minced
Finely chop 2 teaspoons of parsley for the garnish and set aside. Combine the remaining parsley, onion and wine in a large pot. Bring to simmer over medium heat, then add the mussels and cook covered. Shake pot occasionally. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes until mussels open wide. Discard any mussels that do not open.
When cool enough to handle, remove mussels from the shells and place in a small bowl. Discard the mussels shells. Strain the steaming liquid through a very fine sieve in to a measuring cup. You can also place a clean white paper towel in a small strainer. Add water to the measuring cup to get a even 1 cup of liquid. Whisk the tomato paste into the steaming liquid.
Using a sharp knife, score each side of the fish with an “X”. Season each side of the fish with salt and pepper. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add the 2 fish and cook for 2 minutes, then turnover and sprinkle with minced garlic. Add the mussels and the mussel cooking liquid to the pan. Reduce the heat and very gently simmer the fish, spooning liquid over the fish, until the fish is cooked through. About 10 minutes.
Serve 1 fish per person. Spoon the mussels and a little cooking broth over the the fish and garnish with the chopped parsley.