Monday, June 13, 2011

Pesce Pouches

This is an americanized version of the fish dish the three marias made me and my family when we visited my uncle minguccio's house in Rutigliano Italy. It's fish prepared in a pouch made of aluminum foil. It's typically served with a whole fish, head on tail on skins on bones in... a whole fish. It's gutted and the belly filled with good things. It's delicious but I don't really care for the dangerous picking through pin bone skeletons all that much, and the head on makes me feel like i'm being stared at, and think of mortality. And the skin isn't too fun either. So usually*... now, I make mine with boneless skinless tilapia fillets. :)

*cept that one time :D I was feeling nostalgic for italy and living in tarrytown and there was an old fish market by my office, a kind of westchester import grocery that is full of little old foreign ladies, getting great deals on obscure cheeses and vegetables. So I decided to make pesce pouches with whole fish, the monger offered to gut them for me, but fearing he'd take the head and tail i declined, but when I got home I noticed he hadn't cut the center either. My kitchen was white and i had no sharp knives, so the big knife i had could barely pierce the skin lol I made such a ridiculous mess lol ... After how gruesome cutting open the middle had been i decided serving them head on was not going to be appealing afterall, so I tried to cut off the head.. but every time i pushed down on the knife the head would bend toward me and the mouth would open slightly, it was pretty hysterical, my friend was there making the fish talk saying "oww quit it!" whenever the mouth opened... like it was definitely dead but the pressure from that stick of a knife not going into the neck made him kinda look up at me funny :/ lol, ... when my roomate got home we were rolling on the floor in tears of laughter and dinner was so not made... sharp knives make the hugest difference!

Anyway This is how I make this recipe these days, american style.
This is a one serving recipe! (five people = five pouches)


Grab a big piece of heavy duty aluminum foil, one pouch per person.
Put it in a bowl or rectangle tupperware so half the foil is kinda encouraged and pressed into a bowl shape, and there's a flap left of enough foil to seal off the top, the pouch has gotta hold juice and close well enough to seal in the steam, and be reopenable for emergency checking.

So yeah make a pouch, toss in olive oil, and stick in two pieces of tilapia, stacked on top of eachother like a sammich, or like the two sides of a big fish would be, in between add some good stuff, such as:
olive oil
juice of half a lemon (no pits)
three round slices of lemon
three round slices of lime,
two or three fresh basil leaves,
five or six good marinated olives (depitted - cut up),
four or five cloves of garlic cut up,

Put a lil oil and parsley on the top of the sammich and close up the pouch, steam tight, and stick on the BBQ on low for about 15 minutes, no flipping - no peaking! (I put my pouches in an aluminum foil pan for easier carrying). The Fish is done when its flaky, don't open the pouch til its done, it can open on the plate.

Serve with rice :) and a side vege like string beans or asparagus or whatever n stuff :)


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