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Red Snapper and Mushroom in a Port Reduction From the book My Best by Eric Ripert

First, if you like fish buy the book. Mr Ripert has some very ingenious ways of making the fish stand out with unexpected flavor.

Start by preparing the ingredients. Get everything ready before you begin cooking.

  • 2 cups of Port Wine, (3/4 of the bottle)
  • 2 cups of Sherry Vinegar (16 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons corn or canola oil
  • 1 pound of Portabella mushrooms (2 packages).  Cut stems lengthwise into 1/4 slices.  Caps halved if small or cut into 1/4 slices as well.
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 clove garlic peeled and halved
  • 1 large shallot, peeled and finely diced
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 pieces of snapper, 6 ounces each with skin
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
  • 4 tsp minced fresh chives
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh ground white pepper

Begin with the sauce and take your time.
In a medium size pot add the port and brig to a boil, do this slowly, don’t put the flames on high and burn the port.  Once the port is at a boil reduce the heat to a simmer.  We want reduce this to one cup.

Now add the vinegar and simmer until reduced almost to a syrup, lowering the heat as necessary.  The goal is to have about 7 tablespoons of liquid.  Set aside off of heat.

In a skillet add1/2 tablespoon of corn oil.  Turn heat to high and just at smoking add 1/2 of the mushrooms, 1/2 garlic, and 1/2 of the thyme.  Lower the heat to medium and stir until browned about 4-5 minutes.  Reduce heat to low and add in 1 tablespoon of butter,  1/2 of the Shallots, lightly salt, and add a small amount of white pepper.  Cook until the shallots are softened and the mushrooms are tender, about 6 minutes. Remove and set in a bowl.  Repeat to cook the remaining mushroom, add to bowl cover to retain heat.  The book used two skillets at once.

Season the snapper on both sides with salt and white pepper. Sprinkle the five spice powder over the skin and rub it in. A 1/4 teaspoon for all four pieces of fish will be plenty. when you rub it into the skin.

Clean the skillet and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Turn heat to high and right when the oil is smoking add one piece of fish skin side down. The skin will want to shrink so old it down flat with spatula.  After a minute the skin will stop shrinking and it can stay in the skillet without pressure.  Let the fish cook for 5 minutes, the skin will be dark and crusted.  Turn and cook until a metal skewer inserted into the fish for 5 seconds is met with medium resistance and feels warm when touched to your lip, about 5 minutes longer.  Keep warm and repeat for the other pieces.

Reheat the mushrooms. While they are warming finish the sauce.

Cut the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter into 1/2 in pieces.

Bring the sauce to a boil over high heat.

Reduce flame to medium, lift the pan off of the flame and add in butter and shake the pain back and forth until incorporated put back on the flame, do not stir or whisk the butter, just shake until the sauce is very shiny and clear.

This takes about 3 minutes.
Remove from heat.

Stir the chives into the mushrooms.  Divide the mushroom mixture on four plates, top with snapper.  Drizzle the sauce around the mushrooms and serve immediately.

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