Simple Fish, and Peler a Vif

Sometimes, I just want a simple meal. Tonight was one of those nights.

I took some turbot and seasoned both sides. I cut some scallions that had been languishing in the produce drawer into strips and set them on a baking sheet. I put the seasoned fish on top and dusted with some good paprika. Then I cut the skin off some lemons, sliced the flesh, poked out all the seeds, and lay the slices over the fish. I capped the fish with a few dots of butter.

I baked the turbot in a hot oven and served it with simple white rice and a green salad. Nice and easy.

On a related note, I love to use the peler a vif technique–using a serrated knife to shave all the skin and pith off a citrus fruit, leaving a skinless sphere of fruit. If you do it right, when you slice the flesh, the slices of fruit will be perfectly round. In the winter, I eat grapefruit often, and I take off the skin in this fashion every time. Then I cut the sections away from the walls that separate them, and use the tip of my knife to poke out the seeds. The resulting sections–also called supremes–are ready to eat with no further fussing, and you can squeeze any excess juice out of the fan-like star-shaped wall structure that remains as an extra treat. I worked in a restaurant once that sold a salad capped with several grapefruit and orange supremes. My friend Ana would squeeze out all the grapefruit juice from the wall structure and save it for me to drink whenever she was cutting fruit for this salad. The only thing better than fresh grapefruit is freshly squeezed grapefruit juice after a long hot night on the line.

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