Charlotte Fresh and hubby have been waiting for Clean Catch Fish Market to open in Myers Park. It finally opened late August in Tranquil Court off Selwyn Ave., and we visited last Saturday morning. Not your ordinary fish market, CCFM is upscale – it looks like a hip bar when you walk in, but we did get a slight whiff of seafood (not a bad smell, though) as they were still preparing the cases for the morning. You want to spend your time here; don’t rush your purchase. Interesting selections – beautiful tuna, salmon, opah, scallops, blue Hawaiian prawns, oysters and more. Not necessarily locally fished, but fresh inventory and a nice local business. For the premium prices, you get very fresh seafood and terrific service. They also have wine bottles on a rack on the wall – not sure if they are for sale, I was focused on the fish.
We met Bill Ryan, the owner, and we chose something we had never had before: triggerfish. Bill told us not to worry and suggested we consult with Chef Zack Gadberry (sous chef & fishmonger) on how to cook it. Whoa! Consulting with Zack was a great experience, like watching a dish unfold itself – the back and forth of ideas, maybe this ingredient, or even better this one, etc. Other patrons paused to listen. (The store offers little pre-printed note pads for you to jot down recipes so you don’t forget by the time you get home!) Zack trimmed and pulled out all the little bones from our fish and packaged it up for us. We were offered ice to pack it for the trip home, but didn’t need it; we had come prepared with a cooler and blue ice.
We loved this place and adored the preparation Zack suggested for the triggerfish. Of course, I never write things down (drives hubby crazy), so here’s how I made it with a little adaption where my memory faltered:
Fresh Recipe: Triggerfish with Prosciutto and Apples
Adapted from Chef Zack at Clean Catch Fish Market
Notes: Use an iron skillet for this dish, since you will need to put it into the oven. Zack says that triggerfish is higher in sugar and will burn easily, so cook it with a vegetable oil that has a higher smoking point, not olive oil. Zack originally suggested pancetta and peaches, but I used Grateful Growers Farm prosciutto and Hendersonville, NC apples that I had on hand. The melon balling is so the apples don’t mush, according to Zack. I also used a Bourgogne Aligote, but Sauvignon Blanc would be good for the white wine. Serve with rice or a light starch that doesn’t over-power the delicate fish. Serves 2.
- 2 triggerfish fillets from Clean Catch Fish Market
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1-2 slices of prosciutto, cut into small pieces
- 1 large apple, cut up with a melon baller (I used Golden Delicious)
- 1/2 C white wine
- 1 Tbs unsalted butter
- Canola oil or other vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Put 2-3 Tbs canola oil in the skillet. Saute prosciutto until brown. Remove. Saute shallots and remove from skillet.
Make sure there’s still sufficient oil in the skillet so the fish doesn’t stick and place trigger fish in silvery side up. (The non-silvery side might burn too quickly when it goes in the oven if face-up.) Cook the fish about 1-2 minutes over medium heat – until you start to see cooked white flesh creeping up the edges.
Add the prosciutto, shallots and apples to the pan, and put it in the oven. Cook for about 4 minutes, or until the fish is cooked and starts to flake. Don’t overcook. Remove fish from the pan to serving plates.
Put skillet back on stove with the apples, prosciutto and shallots, and add wine to deglaze the pan. Add butter and cook for 1-2 minutes. Pour sauce over fish and serve.
Where to find Clean Catch Fish Market: 2820 Selwyn Avenue, suite 150. Open Tuesday-Friday 11am-7pm, Saturday 10am-5pm and Sunday 1-5pm. (704) 333-1212