I was sitting in a pretty stuffy Italian restaurant in Philly (ask me no questions and I’ll tell you no lies) and chuckled out loud at a sidebar note on the menu, which proudly claimed “we don’t combine meat with fish.”
Is this something to be proud of? Why?
What about Paella, or Jambalaya, or any one of those classic dishes that use a spiced sausage or hearty meat to lend weight to a fish dish…?
I have no such qualms with this combination. And neither does my fave Brit chef Jamie Oliver, who came up with this recipe for Monkfish wrapped in Proscuitto.
Except for when making kebabs, Monkfish is too chunky and meat-like for me. I much prefer a flakier fish – one that actually reminds me of why I am eating fish and not chicken, so I switched out the monkfish for a cod filet, which came fresh from John Yi’s wet fish counter in Reading Terminal Market.
The recipe calls for a jar of sun-dried tomatoes. Didn’t have these to hand so I improvised with dried tomatoes, olive oil and a handful of fresh basil, which I ground up in a coffee grinder. This worked beautifully.
I slathered this tomato mixture on the cod filets then wrapped them in prosciutto, seasoned with plenty of salt and pepper and then we were away.
The salty crispness of the prosciutto gave an edge to the cod and was enhanced by the aroma and saltiness of the tomato and basil mixture.
What on earth was this antsy restaurant going on about…?
Next they’ll be saying no cheese and seafood combos. And then where would we be? No Lobster Thermidor…?
Enough with this food snobbery.