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John Dory with Tropical Fruit, Tandoori and Satay Spice Sauce
(ignore the ugly weird things at the top of the plate)

Chef Clergue started the Superior Cuisine session off Monday morning at 8:30 by reintroducing us to John Dory.  Have you met this fish at the fish mongers?  He is not a nice fish; in fact he’s rather nasty to work with, all spikey fins and a sharp prickly spine.  To appease us for having to work with such a mean fish, we were happily introducing very un-French spices and tropical fruit.

My first practical was not particularly strong on organization.  After successfully fileting John Dory, I fell behind trying to cut up his bones for my sauce.  Clearly I need to build more muscle or hutzpah as even with the cleaver it took me forever dismember John Dory.

The pressure is much more tenable in Superior as we must now advise our Chef what time we would plate.  Poor concentration, lack of coordination and muscle mass means I chose “la dernier place” – damn them bones.

The dish itself was actually delicious.   The filets are marinated in an oil, tandoori and satay spice mix for a short while and served with a spicy fruit infused sauce and wild rice with petite (or not so petite) brunoise of mango and papaya.

Fish

1 -2 tsp. tandoori spice

½ – 1 tsp. satay spice

2 tsp. canola or other light vegetable oil

4 John Dory filets

Mix the spices with the oil and rub onto the fish.  Place in the refrigerator.

Sauce

Sauté the bones in olive oil then add

  • A splash of white wine to deglaze; then reduce
  • Finely chopped onions and sweat;
  • 1 tbsp. of tandoori, 1.5 tsp. satay spices and 3 crushed garlic cloves skins on.
  • Water to the height of the bones
  • Mango and papaya trimmings
  • Juice of 1 lime and a few slices of the peel; add juice gradually as you test the flavors
  • Cilantro stems

Check the seasonings after 15 minutes.  If you like it spicier carefully add more tandoori and satay.  Simmer for 25 minutes, skimming off impurities throughout.  Pass through a sieve at the end, reduce a little more and keep warm.  When your sauce is ready, sauté John Dory (he had it coming) in olive oil a few minutes on each side until cooked through.  Serve with wild rice embellished with a dice of mango and papaya.

Chef’s wine match for this dish is an Alsatian Gewürztraminer which is classic pairing for spicy foods.  I hope MaryFrances approves!

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