Roasted Opakapaka with Orange-Ginger Butter
When French technique meets fresh island fish, you get a refreshing dish like this roasted opakapaka. Cradled in puree and orange sections, the fish is moist and bright with island flavor. Opakapaka is a pink snapper; red snapper, sea bass, and monkfish may be substituted.
- Opakapaka - 1 whole, other mild white-fleshed fish, about 2-1/2 pounds, cleaned
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil - 2 tablespoons
- Fresh savory - 1 small, bunch
- Hawaiian or Thai Chili - 1, seeded and chopped, or 1 pinch of red pepper flakes
- Orange - 1/2, cut in 1/4-inch slices
- Potato-Carrot Puree
- Potatoes - 2, large, peeled and coarsely chopped
- Carrot - 1, peeled and coarsely chopped
- Unsalted Butter - 4 tablespoons
- Salt, ground nutmeg, and white pepper to taste
- Orange-Ginger Sauce
- Water - 1/4 cup
- Unsalted Butter - 1/2 cup (1 stick), cut into pieces
- Fresh Ginger - 2 teaspoons, minced
- Hawaiian or Thai chili - 1, seeded and chopped, or 1 pinch of red pepper flakes
- Orange Juice - 1 orange
- Orange - 1, sectioned and seeded
- Green Onions - 2, tops only, chopped
To prepare the fish: Preheat the oven to 450 F. Place the whole fish on a work surface. With a sharp knife, score the fish in a criss-cross pattern on each side. Sprinkle the fish cavity with salt and pepper. Fill the cavity with the savory and chili, and top the fish with orange slices. In a large ovenproof saute pan or skillet over high heat, heat the olive oil and add the fish. Cook for 30 seconds on each side, then place the fish in the oven and bake for 25 minutes, until the meat flakes but is still moist. Remove from heat.
To make the puree: In a medium saucepan of salted, boiling water, cook the potato and carrots until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain and put the vegetables in a blender or food processor with the butter and seasonings. Puree. Set aside and keep warm.
To make the sauce: Add the water to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Gradually add the butter, then the ginger, chili, and orange juice. Cook until reduced by one fourth in volume.
To serve: Arrange the fish on a platter. Place the puree in a large pastry bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe curving swirls of puree on each side of the fish. Pour the butter sauce over the top and arrange the orange sections around the outside. Sprinkle the top of the fish with the green onions.