With a reputation as one of the finest fish for the table, pompano lends itself to a range of treatments. This preparation requires a bit of assembly but yields an impressive presentation and combination of flavors and textures. The shrimp bisque also makes a fine stand-alone dish and may be augmented with roasted potatoes, corn or fish for a satisfying meal in itself.
- 4 pompano portions, skin removed
- 1⁄2 cup clarified butter, melted
- Fingerling potatoes, peeled (about one per fish portion)
- Kosher salt
- 1 lb. shrimp, half peeled and deveined (shells reserved for broth), and half unpeeled and chopped
- 1 cup onion, sliced
- 1⁄2 cup carrot, peeled, sliced
- 1⁄2 cup celery, chopped
- 1⁄2 cup red pepper, sliced
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 Tbsp. white rice
- 1 cup white wine
- 3 cups water or fish stock
- 1⁄2 cup cream
- Cajun seasoning of your choice, to taste
- Kohlrabi or mustard greens for garnish
- On a mandoline, slice the potatoes into thin coins.
- Melt clarified butter and brush it on the fish (skin side up), then place the potato coins on the fish, slightly overlapped, like scales.
- Brush the potato scales with the clarified butter and refrigerate for one hour.
- Heat a small amount of oil in a frying pan on high heat, season the fish with salt, and lay it scale side down in the hot oil.
- Reduce heat to medium and cook until potato scales are lightly browned.
- Flip fish and finish cooking, potato side up.
- Test with cake tester to determine if the fish is done.
- While the fish is refrigerating, place the onion, carrot, celery, red pepper, tomato, garlic, rice and seasoning in a saucepan and heat to sweat the mixture.
- Chop unpeeled shrimp into quarters and add, along with reserved shells, to the vegetable mixture.
- Add wine and water (or stock) and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Spoon the mixture into a blender and liquefy, adding the cream.
- Strain back into the saucepan, return it to the stove, add the peeled shrimp, and cook over medium heat until the shrimp are done.
- Place two shrimp on each plate, spoon the bisque over them, and place the finished fish on top. Garnish with black pepper and kohlrabi r mustard greens.