Recently on "Morning Living," we learned how to cook a whole fish from Paul Bartolotta, executive chef at Bartolotta Ristorante Di Mare at the Wynn in Las Vegas. Paul, who is passionate about seafood, explained why he loves to cook an entire fish and some of his favorite techniques. He also told us how to prepare octopus (another of his favorites) for a great appetizer. Check out the clips and recipes from the show and let us know if you make one of these delicious dishes.
How to cook a whole fish:
How to prepare octopus:
Insalata Di Piovra
5 pounds whole octopus (large size is preferable; should be 2 1/2 pounds each)
2 stalks celery, cut in 1-inch pieces
1 onion, quartered
2 lemons, cut in half
4 sprigs parsley
1 cup white wine
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
2 pounds fingerling potatoes
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoon flat leaf rarsley, coarsely chopped
Salt and black pepper to taste
1. Place celery, onion, lemon, parsley sprigs, wine, vinegar, and salt in a six-quart stock pot, fill with water and bring to a boil.
2. Wash octopus in cold running water and remove beak using a paring knife, cutting a circle around the beak (the beak is located at the point where the tentacles meet in the center of the octopus).
3. Place octopus in boiling water and cook covered until tender, approximately 30 minutes to one hour, depending on the size.
4. At the same time, boil fingerling potatoes in separate pot of salted water until tender. Peel and slice into 1/2-inch pieces.
5. Carefully remove octopus from water and cool slightly.
6. Cut octopus tentacles into 1/2-inch pieces.
7. Gently mix octopus, potatoes, chopped parsley, extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, and black pepper.
8. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Pesce In Crosta Di Sale Profumato
Whole fish cooked in aromatic sea salt crust
4 cups course sea salt (preferably Sicilian)
1/2 cup wild fennel pollen (may substitute anise seed)
1 cup star anise, crushed
Zest from 2 lemons
Zest from 2 oranges
Egg whites from 8 eggs
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix until homogenous.
2. Refrigerate until ready to use.
3. Spoon 1/3 of salt mixture onto a baking dish large enough to fit a two pound fish.
4. Lay fish that has been cleaned and stuffed with orange slices and fennel leaves on salt.
5. Cover fish with remaining salt and pat to ensure a strong crust.
6. Bake the whole fish in 400 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 130 degrees.