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Exceeding One's Own Expectation - Turbot Pontchartrain

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    Exceeding One's Own Expectation - Turbot Pontchartrain

    Every once in a while I exceed my own expectations, but not often. In cooking it's funny how you start with a recipe or an idea, you cook it then look at it and wonder for a brief moment what it's really going to taste like. About a year and a half ago I did a post on one of my all time favorite seafood dishes, Red Fish Pontchartrain. Those from south Louisiana are all too familiar with this sauce, it's basically a Creole buerre blanc or butter sauce that usually has lump crab meat as it's main ingredient. I won't go through the whole recipe again, if interested here's the original write up....

    Red Fish Pontchartrain

    Since that time I've had the occasion to refine the sauce and introduce other types of fresh fish. At the end of the post I said that I didn't think my attempt was as good as the dish I get at my local seafood restaurant called Pappadeauxs. With this cook I matched and by golly exceeded their dish, at lest in my humble opinion.

    My local fish monger in Seabrook carries a fresh supply of Turbot fillets. They range in size from about 2-4# each so they're large in size and can easily feed a family of four. For those unfamiliar with the fish it's in the flatfish family, larger than a flounder but smaller than a halibut. Similar texture and mild flavor as both, found it to be a perfect canvas (with the exception of Red Fish of course) for this dish.

    One refinement I've made to the fish and shrimp prior to grilling is to start with the usual lemon and olive oil dressing, Tony C's seasoning and dried dill, but I've kicked it up a notch with a paste of chopped fresh cilantro, rosemary and garlic. Then onto a hot indirect charcoal grill with a few small chunks of apple wood;

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    It takes about 20 minutes to grill the shrimp, no more. Shrimp gets to the point where it turns from uncooked to shoe leather dry very quickly. It demands babysitting. The fillet at about 2.5# took right at 30 minutes. I like it tender, moist and beginning to flake, not overly dried out. I believe the addition of the fresh herbs not only gave the seafood more flavor but also helped maintain moisture..

    While the fish was grilling with one eye on it, the other eye cooked the Pontchartrain sauce. In the original post I complained that I had added too much roux and the sauce tightened up on me. Since then I've played with it and adjusted it to a smooth, creamy consistency that does not break when it hits the hot surface of the fish. This stuff is good enough on it's own...

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    I believe I've gotten this dish as perfect as I'm capable of cooking it. As I sat and enjoyed every mouthful, nearly teary eyed at having exceeded my own expectations, I asked my 14 year old daughter what she thought of the dish. After having gulped down a small portion and as she's running back up to her room to resume some all important phone conversation with her friends, she just says "yea Dad is was okay".

    For those of you with daughters, you gotta love them when thy're teenagers. It's like you want to put them in a deep freeze when they're 12 and thaw them out when they're 20 !! Regardless she broke my bubble, brought me back to the reality of a kitchen full of dirty pots, pans, grill racks, and an assortment of utensils. So even in my culinary triumph, I ended up suffering a degree of continued self loathing.

    But seriously, if you love seafood as much as I do, give this recipe a try. Be safe, wash those hands thoroughly and enjoy this time with family cooking up a storm. Enjoy the parting shots.

    Troutman is out !!

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    #2
    Okay my mouth is watering. I thought about licking my screen.
    And the Daughter.............I have 2, both grown now but I remember!

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      #3
      Troutman I followed your original post for future reference. That looks truly amazing. I love Redfish Pontchartrain and will have to give your version a try. Are you going to update your original post with your changes? Would be nice to have all of this in the same thread.

      As far as having teenagers, I see no point in doing dishes, mowing the lawn (for the boys), or washing a car while they live in the house.
      Last edited by 58limited; March 22, 2020, 10:30 AM.

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      • Troutman
        Troutman commented
        Editing a comment
        I probably spoil my daughter too much. I had her quite unexpectedly later in life but have found a warm softening in my heart that I thoroughly lacked with my three sons.

        As to the recipe, really nothing different other than the fresh herbs at the seasoning stage. I've just played with the sauce and learned to add a little less roux and use either the shrimp or chicken stock to adjust the thickness. It's more of a splash here or there. Just get it smooth and creamy instead of oatmeal like.

      #4
      Beautiful! I really like seafood. Thanks for the write up, I can really appreciate all the effort that went into this, awesome when you hit that sweet spot!

      Comment


        #5
        ZOMG Troutman - awesome! Just awesome! I gotta get down to the coast to do some fishing, been too long. I need some redfish... also some red snapper - what recipes for red snapper do you have for us?

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        #6
        I'm totally digging on that dish/platter whatever

        Food looks great too

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          #7
          Beautiful! This is a restaurant favorite, but need to try your version. I‘m with you on the daughters—have similar memories from four of them, all well grown now.

          Comment


            #8
            My only disagreement with anything you said, was I thought the perfect age for my daughter was 8, not 12. LOL.

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              #9
              Wowser. Looks fantastic!

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                #10
                I gotta say that looks amazing T! The marriage of the flavors on this has to be out of this world!

                Well done!

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