Fried Fish with Carrot Escovitch

TOTAL TIME: 1 hr 5 min
Prep: 50 min
Inactive Prep: --
Cook: 15 min
YIELD: 4 servings
LEVEL: Intermediate

ingredients

VINAIGRETTE:
ESCOVITCH SALAD:
  • 3 carrots, peeled and julienned (about 2 cups)
  • 3 scallions, greens only, thinly sliced on the bias
  • 1 Fresno chile, seeded and julienned
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
FRIED FISH:
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • Four 4- to 6-ounce black sea bass fillets, skin scored to create a 1/4-inch diamond pattern
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
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Directions

For the vinaigrette: Set a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the vegetable oil and swirl to coat. Add the garlic, bay leaf, ginger and Scotch bonnet and cook until aromatic, about 2 minutes. Add the vinegar and bring to a boil; then add the pineapple juice, sugar and soy sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

For the escovitch salad: Pour the warm vinaigrette over the carrots, scallions, Fresno chiles and red onions and let the vegetables marinate while frying the fish.

For the fried fish: Fill a wide, straight-sided pan or Dutch oven with about 2 inches of oil and heat the oil to 400 degrees F.

Add the coriander, cumin and allspice to a dry skillet and toast over medium heat until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Mix the cornstarch with the toasted spices. Sprinkle the fish with salt and lightly coat each fillet in the seasoned cornstarch. Slide the fish into the oil and fry until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes.

Transfer the fish to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet and season with salt.

Toss the marinated salad with the cilantro leaves. I love to serve this dish family-style, so I pour a generous amount of the salad and dressing onto the bottom of a platter, then I lay down the crispy fish and pile the remaining salad on top.

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  • on February 18, 2014

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    When I first saw the recipe on her show, it looked so creative and delicious, so I tried it for a going away party for my mom. Absolutely delicious. I couldn't get my hands on any black bass, so I used cod, but followed everything else precisely. The carrot escovitch is an absolute must - my family was eating it by itself when the fish was gone! The textures are crazy, and the flavors blend so beautifully; the sweet of the carrots and pineapple with the spice of the chile, all atop the seasoned crispy fried fish. This whole recipe was an experience, I felt like I was back in the Caribbean. Be careful with the habenero (Scotch Bonnet) if you don't like spice though, because just half of that thing brought heat. We didn't mind, it wasn't overpowering at all, but if you are spice sensitive keep that in mind. I served it with the coconut rice, also from this episode. I can't recommend this recipe enough, give it a try.

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