Grilled Blue Fish on Watercress with Warm Bacon Dressing

Total Time:
52 min
30 min
22 min

4 servings

  • 6 cups watercress, washed and spun dry
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pound apple-smoked bacon, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup thinly sliced Granny Smith apples
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 (6-ounce) blue fish fillets, at least 1/2-inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons Emeril's Original Essence, recipe follows
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil, plus fresh basil sprigs, as garnish
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • Place the watercress in a large heatproof bowl and set aside.

  • Preheat the grill. Place a large saute pan over medium-high heat.

  • Add the olive oil and when hot, add the bacon. Cook, stirring often, until most of the fat has been released and the bacon is crispy, about 6 minutes. Add the shallots and garlic, and cook for 1 minute. Add the walnuts and cook until just toasted, stirring, about 1 minute. Add the apples and honey and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Season the blue fish filets on both sides with the Essence, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Place on the grill and cook for 3 1/2 to 4 minutes per side.

  • Season the bacon apple mixture with 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of the black pepper, and the basil. Add the vinegar and reduce by half, about 30 seconds. Remove the dressing from the heat and pour over the watercress.

  • Season the watercress with the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Toss well to coat and divide the watercress among 4 plates. Place the fish on top of the watercress, and garnish with the fresh basil sprigs. Serve immediately.

Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):
  • Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.

  • Yield: about 2/3 cup

  • Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William and Morrow, 1993.

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