Sunday, May 13, 2012

On The Road - Belém (Pt. 10) - RECIPE - Pan-fried Filhote

We'll wrap up our series of "On the Road" posts about the city of Belém and its unique regional cuisine, based on the bounty of the world's largest river system, with this simple recipe for pan-fried filhote, one of the typical fresh-water fishes of the Amazon. The entire culinary culture of Belém, like the very life of the city itself, depends on the riches of the river and the rain forest that fills its basin. In Belém everything can be traced back, at some degree, to the waters that flow more than 4000 miles across the basin and to the plant and animal life that flourish there.

The Amazonian rain forest is the most bio-diverse ecosystem on our planet, and the food resources there, properly managed and controlled, could continue to nourish the bodies and souls of the regions inhabitants for millennia to come. Let us hope that we humans wisely shepherd this most unique of the world's natural resources.

This recipe is a typically regional way to cook filhote. The fish is only available in the region, however, but the recipe adapts wonderfully to all sorts of fresh-water and salt-water varieties of fish. Try it with catfish, with halibut or any other white-fleshed firm fish of your choice.
RECIPE - Pan-fried Filhote
Serves 4

4 filhote steaks (or filets) about 1/2 lb (250 gr) each
2 limes
1 serrano or japapeno pepper
3 cloves garlic, crushed
salt to taste
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp extravirgin olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/4 cup finely chopped green onion, green part only
additional olive oil for frying
lime wedges for garnish
Prepare the fish: wash the fish in fresh running water and refresh it with the juice of one the two limes. In a ceramic dish combine the juice of the the other lime, the white wine, the 1/2 cup water, the whole chili pepper, the garlic , the olive oil and the chopped herbs. Soak the fish in this liquid for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Remove the fish from the soaking liquid. Dry thoroughly with paper towels. Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium high heat. When hot, add a small amount of olive oil. When the oil is hot but not smoking add the fish and cook over high heat for a minute or two on each side, until the fish is nicely browned on both sides and just beginning to flake. Do not overcook.

Remove from heat, then serve the fish immediately, accompanied by wedges of fresh lime.

Recipe translated and adapted from Cozinha Regional Brasileira by Abril Editora.

1 comment:

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