The SCORPION FISH .... a monster of the deep sea, dwelling the Mediterranean crevices, or a chef's sought after delicacy?
Often caught around the reefs of Italian islands, it conjures up the long summers that I spent on one of the smallest islands of the Tuscan archipelago: Gorgona. I was probably 7 years old when I first saw the bright red colored fish that was untangled from the fishermen's nets and unloaded from the boats in the marina. Soon enough, I was pleased to learn that it was likely the only fish whose meat resembles lobster in texture: once it's cooked, it breaks down in consistent white morsels with an incredible taste . To the villagers in Gorgona it was considered the king of fish.
My suggestions? It should be slow cooked in a casserole with a splash of extra virgin olive oil , garlic, basil , some dry white wine and a hint of dry hot pepper. Served on a tray with toasted garlic bread. Another way is to scale, fillet the fish and grill on charcoal. Then serve with a simple dressing of extra virgin olive oil, a drizzle of lemon juice, salt and pepper.
And the bones? They can be used to prepare a fish stock (fumet) with onion, celery, carrot, garlic, thyme and parsley : a very essential base for seafood pasta and risotto.
If you are headed to Tuscany this summer be sure to look for it on coastal menus ... you won't be disappointed!!