John Dory Fillets Seared In Indian Pastry With Tomato Cardamom

Discussion in 'Food and nutrition' started by yankeegirL425, Aug 19, 2005.

  1. John Dory Fillets Seared In Indian Pastry With Tomato Cardamom Sauce

    Editor's note: The recipe and introductory text below are excerpted
    from chef Neil Perry's book Rockpool. For your convenience, we've
    converted the measures - with as much accuracy as possible - from
    Australian to American.
    For those who have metric equipment and wish to follow Neil's recipe to
    the milliliter, we've included the original measures too.

    In this dish, the combination of pastry, fish, sauce, yoghurt and
    spinach makes a complete dish. The cardamom and tomato are a perfect
    match, and the fish steams gently inside as the outside of the pastry
    crisps up. This dish also works beautifully with the flat fish of
    Europe and America. It is important that the vegetables are
    well-seasoned and cooked until they caramelise to impart their flavour
    to the sauce. The depth of flavour of aromatics is so often lost when
    they are not allowed to do their job properly.

    The Tomato and Cardamom Sauce goes nicely with all seafood; its deep,
    rich flavour enlivens the taste buds. The tomatoes are cut up, skin,
    seeds and all. Slice into thin rounds, then into julienne and chop the
    julienne to give a uniform dice. Don't chop them as if cutting for
    concasse, they lose too much juice that way.

    two 1.2 to 1.4 kg ( Two 2 1/2- to 3-pound) John Dory, bought whole and
    100 g (3 1/2 ounces) baby spinach
    60 ml (1/4 cup) clarified butter
    4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) plain yoghurt
    Tomato and Cardamom Sauce
    200 ml (3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon) peanut oil
    1 large onion, finely diced
    2 large knobs ginger, peeled and finely diced
    10 cloves garlic, finely diced
    2 tablespoons sea salt
    1 knob fresh turmeric, peeled and finely chopped
    6 whole cloves, roasted and ground
    8 cardamom pods, roasted and ground
    8 vine-ripened tomatoes, diced

    Indian pastry
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup whole wheat flour
    a pinch of sea salt
    one 55 g (large) egg
    100ml (1/2 cup ) plain yoghurt
    2 teaspoons peanut oil
    1 teaspoon water

    To make the Tomato and Cardamom Sauce, heat the oil until very hot in a
    heavy-based pot. Add the onion, ginger, garlic and salt. Lower the heat
    and cook over a moderate heat, stirring constantly to prevent burning.
    Cook until well caramelised, approximately 1 hour. Add the turmeric,
    cloves and cardamom, and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes
    and cook slowly for 20 minutes until a thickish sauce forms. Set aside.

    To make the Indian Pastry, combine the two flours with the salt in a
    bowl. Make a well in the middle and add the egg, yoghurt, oil and
    water. Mix with a fork until they form a sticky mass, then knead on a
    bench for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Allow the dough to rest
    for 30 minutes. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts. Roll them out as
    thinly as possible on a lightly floured bench. Place them between
    sheets of greaseproof paper and stack them on top of each other and
    refrigerate until needed. Don't roll them out in advance of the time
    you need them, as they do not keep well when rolled out.

    Lay out the pastry sheets on a chopping board and place a fillet at one
    end. Fold the other half of the sheet over to completely enclose the
    fish, and trim the pastry right to the edge of the fish. Brush both
    sides of the pastry with clarified butter and wrap in greaseproof
    paper. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Repeat with the others.

    Heat up the sauce and keep warm. Set up a steamer to cook the spinach.
    Place a heavy-based frying pan on the stove to cook the fish (do 2 at a
    time). Put 15 ml clarified butter in the pan and heat to almost
    smoking. Add the fish and cook for about 3 minutes. Turn the fish over
    with a fish slice (spatula), and cook for a further 2 minutes. Remove
    and drain on kitchen paper. Wipe out the pan and repeat the process.
    Steam the spinach.

    To serve, spoon about 100 to 120 ml (1/2 cup) of the Tomato and
    Cardamom Sauce into the middle of 4 white plates. Place the yoghurt on
    top and the spinach on the yoghurt. Cut each piece of fish in half and
    place on top. Serve immediately.

    Chef Neil Perry shares his tips with Epicurious:
    .. To clarify butter: Start with 25 percent more than you need for the
    recipe. Melt over low heat, then remove from heat and let stand for
    five minutes. Skim the foam off the top, and carefully pour the pure
    butterfat off into a jar, discarding the milk solids at the bottom.
    Clarifying butter raises its smoking point, so that it can be used more
    easily for frying.
    .. Fresh turmeric can be hard to find. It can be ordered online from
    Pacific Rim Gourmet at

    Serves four as a main course.

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