We are mostly carnivores around here, and while we love a juicy slab of red meat, changing it up is a good thing as well. A goal this year is to cook more fish as well as seafood. Whole Foods approached us about working together on some recipes using a new to use fish, Paiche. What was this mystery fish called the Paiche (pronounced pie-chay)? After some trial and error along with reach our favorite way to enjoy this white fish was this recipe for Roasted Paiche with Garlic Potato Puree.
Paiche is quickly becoming the trendy white fish at the market. It is an Amazonian firm white fish. I would say it is comparable in flavor and texture to sea bass or halibut. One of the best things about it is great news is that it is more affordable.
The Paiche was so popular in South America that it became overfished and went extinct for some time. Whole Foods is sourcing it from a responsible and trustworthy farming practice, which in turn is putting the fish back on our tables. They are also partnering with the South American government to help regrow the wild population by providing eggs so that the fish are raised wild, not farmed and then released.
Paiche is lightly buttery in flavor with moist and firm fillets and the flavor is so clean, not fishy at all. Besides the outstanding flavor, I loved that the Paiche is raised without pesticides, no added hormones or antibiotics, instead it is loaded with omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, and a whopping 20 grams of protein for every 3 1/2 ounces.
Cooking with the Paiche is easy since the fish is so moist it is really hard to dry out a fillet. The first time I cooked a filet I kept the seasoning simple, a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. I wanted the true flavors which are very mild, not fishy with creamy butter flavor to shine.
For this recipe, I lightly seasoned the fish as I did the first go-around, but this time I added fresh minced Italian parsley and lemon zest. I seared both sides of the fish before finishing in the oven, which sealed in the delicate flavors and help kept the Paiche very moist. I served it on top of a bed of creamy garlic potato puree. The creamy potato puree with hints of garlic was the perfect companion to the slightly lemony and buttery paiche.
Roasted Paiche with Garlic Potato Puree
* serves 4
1 1/4 pound paiche
1 small lemon
handful of Italian parsley
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2″ pieces
4 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly smashed
1/2 – 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
fresh cracked black pepper
Place the potato pieces and garlic in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a medium simmer and cook until very tender; about 25 – 30 minutes. Then drain and set aside.
Preheat oven to 375.
Cut the fish into 4 pieces. Pat dry using paper towels, then set aside.
Zest the lemon and place it on a cutting board. Add the parsley to the lemon zest and then finely mince.
Lightly drizzle a small amount of olive oil over both sides of each piece of fish. Season with a little salt and pepper on both sides.
Coat each piece of fish with a small amount of the lemon/parsley mixture.
In a large frying pan heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Lightly sear each side of the fish.
Keep the fish in the frying pan, then slide into the oven. Cook for 15 – 20 minutes, until the fish is opaque in the center.
While the fish is cooking prepare the potatoes.
Mash the potatoes with a potato masher.
Add the butter and chicken stock. I start with 1/2 cup and then move up. When making a potato puree, I tend to want a smoother texture, therefore, I keep adding the stock until the potatoes are ultra-creamy.
Season with salt and pepper.
Place a small amount of potato on a plate then top with a piece of fish.
More Paiche Recipes
Disclosure: Whole Foods supplied the $25 gift card for the giveaway, as well as compensating Chez Us for developing this recipe. As always, all opinions expressed are our own.