October 5th marks the beginning of blackfish season, and it will continue through the middle of December. Fresh, delicious, and caught off Montauk, this local delicacy is satisfying. Similar in flavor to flounder or striped bass, this versatile flakey fish makes for easy and delicious dinners. We have provided two easy blackfish recipes along with wine pairings. Both recipes are for 6 servings, but can be adjusted to feed however many you need.
Prosecco Battered Blackfish
Prosecco battering, similar to beer battering, makes an amazingly light and crunchy crust. Paired with a mint aioli, this recipe is sure to satisfy any comfort food cravings. Prosecco is the traditional choice for this recipe, but any sparkling wine will do.
- Six 6-ounce skinless blackfish fillets
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup mint leaves
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- Freshly ground pepper
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 2 cups Prosecco or other sparkling wine
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- Lightly season the cod with salt; cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the garlic and mint and process until finely chopped. Add the mayonnaise and pulse to blend. Scrape the mint aioli into a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
- In a large saucepan, heat 2 inches of oil to 325°. Set a wire rack over a baking sheet. In a large bowl, whisk the 1 1/2 cups of flour with the Prosecco. Spread a handful of flour in a shallow bowl. Dredge each fillet in the flour, then dip into the batter to coat; let any excess drip back into the bowl. Working in 2 batches, carefully add the blackfish to the hot oil and fry, turning once, until browned and crisp, about 3 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the blackfish to the rack to drain for 1 minute. Serve immediately with the mint aioli and lemon wedges.
Tip: The mint aioli can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated overnight.
Wine Pairing: Sparkling wine and fried food go well together because the bubbles and crispness of a sparkling wine cuts the fattiness of the fried food. For this recipe, prosecco is natural, but cava, champagne, and other sparkling wines are nice alternatives. An italian white, such as Sartarelli Tralivio ($18.95) is another great option. With buttery almond, apricot flavors and herbal undertones, this fuller bodied yet crisp white is sure to stand up to your meal – without overpowering it.
This traditional preparation celebrates the freshness of our local blackfish. The spice blend can be adjusted to your taste.
- 2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 4 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoon cayenne
- 4 teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 6 blackfish fillets
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- cooking oil
- lemon wedge
- Mix together the garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, paprika, salt, pepper, thyme, and cumin; heavily coat the fish in the mixture.
- Drizzle with melted butter and sauté in a very hot cast iron skillet, approximately two minutes, or until blackened.
- Turn and repeat on other side.
- Serve with lemon wedges as garnish.
Wine Pairing: Pair this meal with a slightly chilled light red wine. Verduni Pelaverga’s Reverdito ($16.95), with its delicate floral notes and hint of pink peppercorns, is a delicious match. These flavors will interact playfully with the blend of spices used on the fish, yet don’t overwhelm the dish.
Have you made these recipes? In search of other wine pairings? You can comment here on our blog, on Facebook or in the store. We are excited to hear from you! We also deliver locally, to East Hampton, Wainscot, Bridgehampton, Sag Harbor, and Montauk.
—Pauline Fink, Staff