We received an amazing 50" Striped Bass today out of Rhode Island, by far biggest striper Ive seen. Ive been drawn to fish this year, and the acquisition of my Winston CVAP oven has given me a whole new outlook on the way I cook fish. Being able to cook fish in a vapor controllled environment at precise low temperatures has given me the opportunity to do things I have never been able to do with fish.
After my exec sous broke down the fish , we decided to try a technique we learned a few weeks ago using the CVAP on Ideas in Food Blog, Fish "Head Cheese". We decided why only the head?So we put together a standard fumet set up (without water) and cleaned the head of gills and put the head and remaining skeleton into the cvap on the fumet set. (Onions, fennel, celery, carrots, lemons, white wine, sachet on sheet pan)
We cooked the fish for 1hr & 45minutes , at 58C. When we took the fish out of the oven we were left with the most tender meat just falling off the cartilage and bones cleanly. Clean enough that I was left with a perfectly clean, large spinal cord. After breaking each joint apart and washing, I deep fried the spine to get rid of any lingering cartilage. What was left were these awesome serving pieces that I will utilize for serving a trio of striped bass. Maybe a belly tartar, ceviche, escabeche combo.
Using the whole fish usally means scraping the flesh off the bones for various applications and if big enough using the ribs as a little scooby snack. But using the usually unusable parts as serving pieces is something I'm going to continue to explore.