Photo: Carina Salvi

Oily, mean, and gluttonous. If ever a so-called “animated chopping machine” needed some good PR, it would be the bluefish. Sportsmen love them because they put up a good fight, but because of their relatively strong taste and dark flesh, the general fish-eating public isn’t as enamored. Which is where Landmarc’s Marc Murphy and this recipe come in. Soaking the fillets in milk takes care of the oiliness, while Spanish chorizo and roasted red peppers stand up to the bold flavor. Smaller blues are best for pan frying. Look for the freshest specimens now and throughout the summer at Greenmarket’s Blue Moon Fish stand.

Marc Murphy’sPan-Seared Bluefish with Chorizo
4 6-oz. bluefish fillets, soaked overnight in milk, then completely towel-dried
Salt and black pepper to taste
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 pound Spanish chorizo, diced
1/3 cup almonds, sliced
1/2 cup roasted red peppers, diced
4 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/4 cup tomato sauce
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
2 large bunches watercress

Illustrations by John Burgoyne

Heat a large sauté pan over high flame. Add 3 tablespoons olive oil to pan.
(1) Season fish with salt and pepper and immediately place skin side down in pan, lowering the heat to medium.
(2) Cook fish for about 6 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove fish from pan, and place skin side up (so the skin remains crisp) on a warm plate. Add the remaining olive oil, garlic, chorizo, sliced almonds, and roasted peppers to the pan and sauté for 3 minutes. Add sherry vinegar, tomato sauce, and parsley, and cook until warm. Correct seasoning with salt and pepper.
(3) Arrange watercress on 4 plates. Spoon sauce over and around watercress, and place the fish atop the watercress. Serves 4.