When he was a kid, D's dad used to bring home 20 porgies at a time after fishing off the party boats in Canarsie. It was a good way for his dad to hang out with his buddies away from the wives and bring home food for his family. Who knows if you can even bring home 20 porgies at a time anymore? We've been eating less and less fish these days because of sustainability and toxicity concerns. We've also been searching for good information about what to eat and what not to eat, like this terrific NPR story that we heard by chance a few months ago about a book called Four Fishes. Tonight, we watched the movie The End of the Line, a documentary about overfishing featuring scientists predicting the extinction of many of the tastiest species. Porgies aren't one of those endangered fish, yet, but all of the experts advise eating less fish and trying to find sources that are committed to sustainable fishing methods.
Local is usually better. With that in mind, D and I trekked to Chelsea Market to get some fish at The Lobster Place after a day at the Highline Park, a park built on an old elevated former freight line (definitely worth a visit). At $4.50 a pound, the porgy--known for its tasty & firm white meat, locally fished, and not on the "Do Not Eat" list--was the fish to pick. We had 2 porgies filleted, and D prepared them for dinner. We garnished the fish with this black salt that we picked up at Williams Sonoma.
Seared Porgy with Corn & Olive Relish
1.5 lb fresh porgy, filleted
salt, pepper, olive oil
6 olives, chopped
one ear of corn, removed from the cob
small red pepper, diced
2 scallions, chopped
1/4 stick of butter
splash of white wine
Saute in a cast iron pan the olives, corn, red pepper, and scallions in 1/4 stick of butter. Season with salt and pepper; finish with a splash of white wine and the juice of 2 limes. Season the porgy with salt and pepper and sear, skin side first, then flip to sear the other side. Pop it in the oven to finish. Serve on a bed of relish with some greens on the side (we used broccoli rabe). Enjoy!