Salt Baked Fish

Our early spring menu allows for a variation on our typical serving format in that many of the courses have some degree of tableside preparation.  One dish that definitely has a some captivating cool factor is the salt crusted fish (which may be snapper or bass depending on what is the best available).  Your Spy first experienced this dish is Portugal and a mound of salt dramatically cracked open to reveal a beautiful and perfectly cooked fish was definitely memorable.  This preparation has some interesting history that goes back to as early as the 4th century BC. The basic recipe calls for a whole, round white fish to be cleaned and gutted. Herbal seasoning is inserted into the cavity and then it is encased with as much as two pounds of salt moistened with water and egg whites to hold the shell together.  After baking, the crust is cracked and removed and the fish is served simply.  The salt crust doesn't impart any salty flavor into the fish but rather serves as impenetrable barrier to trap steam and flavor.

Now, the interesting historical perspective is that there have been times in history where salt has been a valuable resource and the luxury of using a few pounds to cook a fish would have been reserved for only the most wealthy of Europeans.  Fortunately, we can bring it to you as part of culinary experience with no regrets!  Spy out.