Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Corvina is just about the most delicious fish in the world - it's certainly the finest in my world. Somehow one of the supermarkets local to me has obtained a supply of it, and, perhaps not knowing what they have on their hands, is selling it for about six bucks a pound. Score!

This is what you should use to make ceviche, by the way. Mexican ceviche tends to have fish, shrimp, scallops, and other stuff in it, and it's fine, but proper Panamanian ceviche is made from just corvina, onion, aji chombo peppers (scotch bonnets or habañeros), lime juice, and perhaps a bit of salt.

We'll serve the fish with Brussels sprouts; perhaps the most delicious vegetable in the world (yes, this post is full of superlatives) if properly prepared, and one of the most disgusting if mishandled. Wash, trim, and bisect them:

Parboil them in boiling water for about two minutes, then plunge them in an ice bath to halt the cooking process. Let them dry on a paper towel while we prepare the fish. All we're doing as far as prep is to cut the filet in manageable portions, season with salt and pepper, and dust with flour. Note the garlic on the side there - that's for the Brussels sprouts.

Have a nice white wine on hand. This is a pretty oakey Chardonnay, perhaps a bit much for this dish, but I like it quite a lot.

Start the Brussels sprouts early (they take a bit longer). Sauté them in olive oil with salt and pepper, taking care to get the cut sides nice and brown. When they're about done, toss in the garlic and finish with a bit of the wine after the garlic cooks in.

Meanwhile, sear the fish in a bit of olive oil with added butter. After it's turned and allowed to cook a bit on the other side, add some of the wine, a sprinkling of fresh thyme, and cover to poach gently till done. I'm pretty sure this is how they used to prepare it at La Casa de Mariscos in Panama City.

Plated, with plain white rice with a bit of butter (an affectation of mine) and lime wedges:

I have no idea where or how that supermarket is getting corvina, but I hope they continue to offer it.

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