As promised, on to a different fish, in this case, the Palometa, oft-times here referred to as Atún de Mar del Plata, despite not being a tuna, though it is generally caught in the area around Mar del Plata. As I noted in my writeup of the fish at the link above, it’s a strong flavored fish and generally needs strong flavors to accompany it. That’s even caused an occasional problem when we’ve had guests who simply don’t like “fishy” fish – once garnering us pretty much our worst ever Trip Advisor comment.
Personally, I love stronger flavored fish, be they tuna or salmon, bluefish, or, here, fish like pacú and palometa. So when I came across the following recipe I just knew I was going to like it. It’s kind of healthy snack food for sitting in front of the television watching a game… or at least that’s how I envision it. I foresee it reworked somehow into a menu somewhere down the line.
Palometa Frita con Salsa de Nueces (Fried Leatherjack with Walnut Sauce)
Nice and simple, quick to prepare – this is a small batch on display in the photo, half the recipe amounts, but I’ll give you the amounts for a full recipe: 100 grams ground walnuts, 2 hard-boiled egg yolks, 1 tablespoon good mustard, 1 tablespoon whole wheat breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 150 ml white wine vinegar, 1 kg palometa in fillet, cleaned, salt and pepper to taste, flour.
Cut the fish into small pieces, roughly 2-3 cm, salt and pepper them and dust them with flour.
You can do this in a mortar or a food processor or a blender or whatever works for you, but basically combine the remaining ingredients and whisk it or blend it until it has the consistency of a thick mayonnaise.
I found that it needed just a touch more oil, for a half recipe I ended up using about a tablespoon and a half, so I’d figure on more like 3 tablespoons for the full recipe.
Fry the fish in some hot oil until lightly golden and crispy on the outside. Drain on paper towels.
Serve with the walnut dip.
Overall, I liked this a lot. It did, as noted, need a little more oil than the recipe called for, though that could partially be due to that I used pre-ground walnut flour which likely has less natural oil in it than if I’d started with whole walnut pieces and ground them myself. I loved the flavors – it is a bit vinegary, but I like that with fried fish – kind of like fish and chips with malt vinegar – but if you’re not a huge vinegar fan you might want to cut back on the vinegar and maybe blend in a little water to get a consistency that isn’t too thick. I’d snack on these anytime. I think I might also make it more mayo-like by using raw or just soft-boiled egg yolks rather than hard-boiled, which would give it a lighter texture too. To be revisited.