We have been enjoying delicious fresh fish since arriving at the Cape from Chicago in late June. I know I’ve said it before, but you simply can not beat the fish on the Cape for it’s freshness. Striped Bass (Striper) is a particular favorite of ours, and so Dennis headed to Cape Fish & Lobster to see if they had any in stock. Unfortunately, they had sold out for the day, but Anthony clued him in to the days they receive striper and the best times to come in, or to simply call ahead and place an order to reserve some. (It pays to develop a relationship with your local fish monger and visit frequently.) In the interim, Dennis was eyeing some tuna when Anthony pointed out a beautiful looking piece of halibut that was all that remained of a fish they had received just 2 hours prior. That was all the convincing he needed, so he scooped up the entire piece, which amounted to 2 1/2 pounds.
I took one look at the fish and realized I needed to do something special to showcase the amazing fish. Obviously at 2-1/2 pounds it was way more than what we’d need for dinner, so I carved it into filets for dinner and froze the rest for a future dinner or for Cioppino. I had red curry paste and some mangoes in the refrigerator, so decided to simply grill the fish and serve it with red curry sauce and mango salsa. I had made this preparation for pan sauteed soft shell crabs, and was a bit worried that it might be too bold for the fish, but I made sure the curry sauce was not too spicy and it turned out to be spectacular. Thai basil from my garden added just the right garnish, and a Thai Watermelon Salad was a refreshing accompaniment.
THAI WATERMELON SALAD
- 6 TBSP freshly squeezed Lime Juice
- 1 TBSP Fish Sauce
- 1 TBSP Sambal Oleek or other Asian Chili Sauce
- 1 TBSP fresh Ginger, finely minced or grated on microplane
- 1 tsp Honey
- 1 Large Watermelon (seedless), but into 1 1/2" chunks (8 cups)
- 1 bunch Scallions, thinly sliced on diagonal (8 scallions)
- 8 Radishes, thinly sliced *Optional
- 2 Fresno Chilies, very thinly sliced, seeds removed
- 3/4 Cup Cilantro leaves, chopped *Mint may be substituted
- 3/4 Cup Thai Basil leaves, torn
- Whisk dressing ingredients together until well blended.
- Place all salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss with the dressing.
- Garnish with extra Thai Basil leaves.
- 2 Ripe Mangoes, peeled, pitted & chopped
- 1/2 Cup Red Onion, finely chopped 1/2 red onion
- 1/2 Cup Red Bell Pepper, finely chopped 1/2 large or 1 small bell pepper
- 1/2 Cup fresh Cilantro leaves, chopped
- 1 Jalapeno pepper, seeded & minced finely
- 2 TBSP Honey
- 2 TBSP freshly squeezed Lime Juice
- 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt & Black Pepper
- Mix all ingredients together in a non-reactive bowl (glass or plastic).
- Allow to sit for an hour before serving to allow the flavors to meld and juices to release.