Crispy Bluefish Collars with Mole Verde and Nuoc Cham Vinaigrette - Modern Farmer

Crispy Bluefish Collars with Mole Verde and Nuoc Cham Vinaigrette

Fish collars usually end up in the trash, but Chef Rojas calls them "the tenderloin of the fish, fatty with a mellow taste.”

So for this seaside dinner, hosted by Walrus and Carpenter in July 2016, he sourced nearly every ingredient from producers within a 50-mile radius. Yet the resulting menu hopscotches the globe, incorporating Southeast Asian and Argentine influences – not to mention Rojas’ own Mexican roots. Turns out big flavors pair perfectly with the bounty of the country’s smallest state. Read more about Rojas’ ocean-to-table dinner at Rhode Island’s Walrus and Carpenter in “On Ninigret Pond” from the Summer 2017 issue of Modern Farmer. And don’t miss his other recipes, either!

 

Crispy Bluefish Collars with Mole Verde and Nuoc Cham Vinaigrette

“Fish collars usually end up in the trash,” notes Rojas. “But they’re the tenderloin of the fish, fatty with a mellow taste.” He fries them until extra crispy, and offers both creamy and citrusy dipping sauces.

  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour ‘
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder (4 ounces each)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 2 cups canola oil
  • 4 bluefish collars, or 8 bluefish fillets (4 ounces each)
  • 2-2 tbsp roasted salted peanuts (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro (plus more whole sprigs for garnish)
  • fresh mint sprigs (for garnish )
  • 2 limes (halved)
  • Nuoc Cham Vinaigrette (recipe linked below)
  • Mole Verde (recipe linked below)
  1. Preheat oven to 250°F. Meanwhile, in a shallow bowl, mix together ours, salt, cayenne, and garlic powder. Pour milk into a second shallow bowl and place cornmeal in a third.
  2. In a large cast-iron skillet fitted with a candy thermometer, heat oil to 350°F over high heat. As oil heats up, dredge bluefish in our mixture, then milk, then cornmeal, shaking off any excess. Making sure not to crowd pan, fry fish in batches, 2 to 3 minutes per side, until crispy and golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel”“lined baking sheet to drain and keep warm in oven until all fish is fried.
  3. Arrange fish on serving plate and sprinkle with peanuts and chopped cilantro. Garnish with cilantro and mint sprigs. Serve immediately with lime halves and Nuoc Cham Vinaigrette and Mole Verde on the side.

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