Friday, February 19, 2010

Triggerfish. Triggerfish? Triggerfish.

They had it at Fresh Market. I was buying stuff for my big dinner tomorrow night, and Pootie saw the Triggerfish. "Triggerfish?" I said. "Uh... yeah. Sure. Triggerfish.", he said. "These guys?", I said.
"Yep.", he said. Except of course, I didn't have a picture with me, so that last part's a lie. I don't usually go to the grocery with visual aids. Anyway, kind of pretty, I suppose, except for the sharp, pointy teeth. (They bite, too, evidently.)

Well, OK, maybe not like that.

Maybe like this:

AAAUUUGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!

No, that's just Dinky, trying to "help" with dinner.You know, in case anything fell off the counter. Always helps to have an open mouth.

Here's a real triggerfish bite.












Ouch. Worse than a paper cut.

So Triggerfish. I've never had it. And a quick search of my ridiculous multitude of cookbooks offered nothing. Neither did my old standby Fine Cooking. Or Bon Appetit. So I resorted to Wikipedia, which at least described the flavor of the fish for me.

"Some species of triggerfish, such as the titan triggerfish (oooo! A titan!), may be ciguatoxic (what?) and should be avoided.[1] (we have not dropped dead yet, so my assumption is we didn't get this kind.) Others, such as the gray triggerfish (Balistes capriscus), are excellent table-fare. Their flesh is white, firm and flavorful, with only a few bits of red flesh which may be scraped off easily at the base of the ventral and posterior dorsal fins."

At least that gave me something to work with. Looking at the fish, it WAS pretty firm, with a little pink tinge, which said "Cod" or "Grouper" or "Monkfish", not quite "Tuna" (thank goodness - I really dislike steaky fishes). So I decided on a pecan-breadcrumb crust for it.

See? Kind of pinkish under that crust.

I threw that on a foil lined pan with some parchment so it didn't stick, salted and peppered it on both sides, then patted on the crust and grilled it on high heat for about 8 minutes.

I served this with some Pearl Couscous (or as my very very young friend Liza called it "coops coops") and some lima beans. I know. The lima beans didn't really "go", but when your husband begs you to cook lima beans for him, who can say no to that? When I tell my brother's wife Natalie we've had lima beans, she says "Were you bad?"

Pecan-Crusted Triggerfish
Pearl Couscous
Lima Beans

Pecan-Crusted Triggerfish
I almost hesitate to put this up, simply because I don't guess Triggerfish is all that available far and wide, but what the hey. You can substitute any other fairly firm white fish for this.
2 medium Triggerfish filets (about 3 - 4 oz. each)
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup whole grain bread, torn into pieces
1 Tbs. cold butter
kosher salt
fresh cracked black pepper

Salt and pepper each filet generously. Put the bread, pecans and butter in a food processor and whirl around in there until you've got a small crumb. It will be a little moist and should stick together. Cover the top of the filets with the bread crumb crust. You may have a little leftover. Place on a foil and parchment lined pan and put on a grill on high heat for about 8 minutes. You could do this in the oven instead at about 400 for the same amount of time, but if you don't have a good vent-a-hood, (I don't), your house is going to smell like fish for a couple of days, which I can't stand.

1 comment:

Spencer P. Nagle said...

Wow. That's a cool trigger fish!