Summertime, and the livin’ is easy. Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high…I love the summertime, even with the brutal Texas heat. I guess it was about time to get really hot. It’s August after all but you sure can beat the heat with this deliciously refreshing meal.
Yes, it’s hot in DFW. For the last 2 weeks the temps were 100, 101, 97, 104, 105, 104, 107, 105, 107, 106, 104, 101, 102, 102. Thankfully, we had 1 day in there that was less than 100 but it is summer, it is August and life is good. We just try not to heat up the house any more than necessary during the dog days of summer and try to eat wonderfully refreshing meals. This is one of those meals.
When Baby Lady got off work and came home we made a trip to our local market to figure out what we were having for dinner. They had some beautiful, fresh Nairagi (Striped Marlin – pronounced na-da-gee) and luscious ripe East Texas tomatoes, which we bought. Now, what were we going to make with it? Baby Lady suggested a nice pesto to go along with the fish. Pesto is such a versatile condiment and we like it a lot. We have fresh basil in the backyard, some walnuts, parmesan cheese and lots of lime so a lime basil pesto, it was. But what were we going to do with the fish. It’s way too hot to grill and we wanted something different anyway. How about poaching the fish at low temperature in olive oil? That would work beautifully and the tomatoes would form the perfect backdrop for this dish. Game on! This is what we did and we sure are glad we did it because this was a fabulous meal. It’s quick, simple, doesn’t heat the house too much and has vibrant, fresh flavors. Oil poaching the fish makes it tender, succulent and flavorful bringing the beauty of the fish forward. You won’t believe how good this is and it’s perfect for a weeknight, summertime meal.
For the Pesto
- 1-1/2 cup fresh basil
- 2 limes, zested and juiced
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- salt & pepper to taste
For the Nairagi
- 2 Nairagi filets, 7 oz each
- 1-1/3 cups olive oil
For the Accompaniments
- 1 Tbsp chives
- Crushed red pepper
- 1 large tomato, sliced 1/4 inch slices
Making the pesto:
Add the basil, lime juice, lime zest, parmesan cheese, walnuts, salt and pepper to a food processor.
Puree and slowly drizzle olive oil into running food processor to incorporate. Set aside.
For the Fish:
Place each fish in a separate vacuum seal bag with 2/3 cup olive oil. Place in a chamber vacuum sealer and seal with 23 lbs of pressure.
Place the bags in a 59 C/138 F water bath and poach for 12 minutes.
After 12 minutes, remove fish from bags and place on a rack over a towel to drain.
While the fish is draining, slice the tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices. Get a serving plate and sprinkle with chopped chives and crushed red pepper. Place tomato slices on plate in a line.
Remove the blood meat from the Nairagi. Slice the filets on an angle and place on top of tomato slices. Drizzle a line of pesto on top of the Nairagi slices. Serve & enjoy!
NOTES: Now, I poached the Nairagi sous vide because it is so much easier to hold its temperature on a very low setting. You can do this without the sous vide immersion circulator by using a pot large enough to hold the fish filets and covering them with olive oil heated to 140 F. You can maintain the 140 F over very low flame and moving the poaching pot on an off the burner or you can place it in a 185 F preheated oven. Poach the fish for 11 minutes and remove from oil.