It takes some doing to convince the missus to try a fish other than tilapia. The sea, to her, has a pervasive smell that gets into everything and warps the flavor of the meat.
So, when we were preparing our weekly grocery list and she said that we would go to the local fish market and see what inspired me, I was speechless (for just a moment). That said, we hit up Flying Fish in town. Sadly, a lot of their fish had just been wiped out by local restauranteurs who didn’t estimate properly for their weekend needs, so the pickings were slim. There was a nice slab of tuna (which we’d done before), some salmon filets (off-limits), and a whitefish I didn’t recognize. I thought it might be mahi-mahi (which is too tough for my tastes).
I was really in the mood for halibut, but clearly that wasn’t going to happen. The owner came by and recommended the opah (the unknown whitefish), which I’d never had before. It’s a medium-bodied white fish with a clean taste and no bones (a plus). What the heck—I took a pound.
GRILLED OPAH WITH TOMATO BUTTER
- 2 opah fillets, ½ lb each
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt and ground pepper
- 4 tbsp butter, divided into 1 tbsp portions
- 1 shallot, sliced
- 1 14-oz can diced tomatoes with liquid
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ¼ cup dry white wine
Preheat outdoor grill to medium-high heat.
In a skillet, melt 1 portion of butter over medium-high heat. Add shallot and saute for 1-2 minutes, until soft. Add tomatoes and garlic powder. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook until tomato liquid is almost gone, about 5 minutes. Add white wine and reduce. Drop heat to medium. Add butter portions, one at a time, melting and stirring each one into the sauce before adding the next one. When done, reduce heat to very low and cover with a lid to keep it warm.
Prepare the fish by drizzling with olive oil and seasoning with salt and pepper. Rub fillets gently to make sure they are completely coated with oil. Cook fish on grill, flesh side down, for 4 minutes a side, flipping only once. When done, remove from grill. Serve immediately topped with a generous portion of the tomato butter.
Makes 2 servings. Enjoy!