Wait, that’s not asparagus! I know. The asparagus at the store looked awful so I improvised. In truth, the green beans weren’t much better. We are still waiting on our garden up here in the mountains so we get what we get. I might need to hit the farmer’s market today to see if I can score any real produce since I forgot to sign up for our produce basket this week.
Back to the fish. I’d say overall that this recipe was a total fail. The successful part was definitely my husband bringing home a whole red snapper and successfully fileting it by looking at a couple of diagrams in a cookbook (The New Basics Cookbook, which I have had for at least 15 years, is full of handy information). I’m pretty sure I never would have even attempted that, much less been successfully accomplishing it and still having dinner on the table before 10 pm.
It all seemed good, right? A nice fish filet. Smokey chorizo. Asparagus (or in my case, green beans). Anchovies. Lemon. I must have erred in the preparation. The first thing that I don’t understand is how the chorizo seasons the fish (see the introduction to the recipe - “Tim Byres has a secret ingredient for seasoning fish: thin slices of dried chorizo.”) when the two are not even cooked together. The fish is cooked first in olive oil, removed from the pan with all excess oil, then the chorizo is added, followed by a slew of other yummies (shallot, asparagus, garlic, anchovy, parsley, lemon juice, lemon zest, butter). The fish is then served over the chorizo/asparagus combination. I’m just not seeing how the chorizo seasons the fish. I would get it if the chorizo was cooked first, then the fish. Can someone explain to me what I am missing here?
Anyway, I thought there was far too much anchovy and Rob thought there was far too much lemon. The little kids thought there was far too much fish. They ate all of the chorizo. Fortunately, I picked up an ear of corn at the last minute for them, so dinner consisted of corn and chorizo. You win some, you lose some. If you do make this, consider (1) not buying a whole fish, (2) getting healthy asparagus, and (3) cutting back on the anchovy. Best of luck.