The Whole Roasted Fish at Becco
I really love having dinner at Becco. It's Lydia Bastianch's place on restaurant row (West 46th between 8th & 9th Avenues). I often have the pasta serving, which is three separate, random pastas that are served throughout the evening. The pastas come with an appetizer of Caesar salad and is a real deal at $22.95 for all you can eat. But last night I was feeling guilty about my recent indulgences and opted for the whole roasted fish instead.
But we started with fried zucchini blossoms. (So much for keeping the dinner low calorie.) Lydia's recipe calls for creating a batter with flour, salt and cold water. The blossoms are first stuffed with a ricotta cheese and braised veal mixture and then sauteed in extra virgin olive oil on the stovetop.
Here are fresh zucchini blossoms straight from the Farmers Market. I plan to see if I can come up with substitutions to make this dish less caloric - I'm thinking of substituting plain Greek yogurt for the ricotta, skipping the braised veal and flavoring with herbs. For the coating I'll try whole wheat flour, egg white and maybe panko. I'll report back after I experiment with this. Lydia's blossoms are served with a marinara. I squeezed lemon on top and they were truly delicious.
The whole roasted fish last night at Becco was an Orata - which is a member of the Sea Bream family. They present the fish to you tableside after it's been roasted and then take it back to the kitchen to filet. It, too, is stuffed with herbs. When served it's garnished with wilted leeks and crispy chopped potatoes. In a future blog I will do my version of this dish - roasted Branzino served with roasted fennel and Spanish onions. I'm not in Lydia's league, but my Branzino is pretty good - I learned to cook it in Amalfi.
My friend had the chicken parmasan. It looked wonderful. We finished up with raspberry, pear and watermelon sorbets.