Help me devise a delicious fish dish for my wedding!
September 21, 2009 4:02 PM   Subscribe

What would be a delicious fish dish for my wedding? What are your favorite fish recipes, flavors or dishes?

I am looking to serve a white fish at my wedding either crusted or with a sauce/relish but am having trouble coming up with something really great. No pork products or seafood (shrimp, lobster, crab etc) can be in the dish. In general, I like more of a savory flavor than a sweet one on fish. Also, nothing too heavy/creamy/cheesy. All suggestions welcome!
posted by rglass to Food & Drink (23 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Roasted Halibut with Herbs.
posted by donovan at 4:11 PM on September 21, 2009

Can I ask if this is going to be a catered affair in a nice restaurant, or a hall of some sort?

Because if you are cooking for a large group, fish can get a little dicey. I love fish myself, but it is easy to overcook.

So, if you have a nice restaurant for the wedding, or you really trust the chef, I'd go with a lemon talipia, but if you are having this at a hall or hotel, you might want to re-think fish altogether.
posted by misha at 4:13 PM on September 21, 2009

Last night, I had fluke and bass with sorrel sauce and it was heavenly. I don't know what recipe my hosts used, but this one seems to have all the right ingredients, and should work with several kinds of fish.
posted by ocherdraco at 4:45 PM on September 21, 2009

Seconding misha...but:

Caterers will tell you that Chilean Sea Bass is the way to go, because the fish stays moist for a long time in a chafing dish or when held at temperature, and weddings can be stop/start sorts of things. Problems with timing occur when the photog takes too many photos, the cocktail hour runs long, people aren't sitting, etc. You can stick Chilean Sea Bass in the oven and not worry too much about it.

However, if you do choose to go with this fish please note that it is under very heavy fishing pressure, and there are a lot of unofficial and unmonitored pathways for illegally caught fish that enters the US. Look for fish that carries the MSC certification, this is product from Australia and NZ that is monitored and sustainably caught.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 4:57 PM on September 21, 2009

Fish is seafood! I think you mean to exclude shellfish...

Is this going to be a starter or a main course? This has some impact on the dishes that might be suggested...

Assuming either a main course or a substantial starter, I really like the traditional Thai way of preparing fish. Recipes vary from household to household (and most usually work without a recipe as such), but this should get you started. It works well with most white fish, but the 'fishier' it is, the better (haddock is better than cod for this, for example).

All this being said, misha raises a very good point.
posted by Dysk at 5:05 PM on September 21, 2009

Salmon - either smoked or seviche.
posted by torquemaniac at 5:11 PM on September 21, 2009

If your caterer is a kosher caterer, they're going to be more limited in the choice of fish than just avoiding shellfish. (I've never heard of caterers who have their clients 'devise dishes' though...if you're catering this yourself, or having friends cook at your direction, let me send you to this rundown of which fish are kosher and which are not.)

One of my favorite kosher fish recipes is this, which is magnificent with white fish like cod. Another take on this, with a great aioli, is here.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:34 PM on September 21, 2009

I imagine baked salmon with dill and garlic butter would be easy to do without the fish being gross. If you are concerned about a having a parve dish you could probably try olive oil instead of butter, but I've never done that myself. If you are okay with the fish officially being dairy, the butter would barely be noticeable as it is not cooked on the fish but simply placed in the pan with it.

Salmon is actually the only fish I can think of that could be okay if served at a catered affair -- although it probably won't be the best salmon anyone's ever had. But it also probably wouldn't be the worst.
posted by brina at 5:38 PM on September 21, 2009

Hiring a sushi chef to prepare fresh sushi during cocktail hour might be a fun thing for a wedding.

I had a pretty delish pecan crusted halibut last time I was in Alaska. Yum.
posted by paperzach at 5:54 PM on September 21, 2009

A fish ceviche could be good. You would have to look it up, but I think you could prepare it a few hours before hand and it could stand sitting for 30 minutes to an hour in the fridge after it's ready.

If you want to go for something cooked (in the traditional sense of cooked), any white fish cooked on a grill with some butter, salt, pepper, Worcestershire, lemon pepper and Tabasco is good. Do it over aluminum foil and save the sauce for people to spoon over. It doesn't take long to do fillets (on a grill, in a pan, or in the oven) so even with typical wedding delays it could be started after the guests are seated. Just make sure some appetizers are served first and you have enough chefs and equipment to cook for everyone in a timely manner.

Also, I just wanted to suggest one of my favorite white fish. Speckled Trout. I believe it's a game fish, but it's damn tasty. The same goes for white trout. They are also very abundant where I live so your mileage may vary.
posted by robtf3 at 6:26 PM on September 21, 2009

Probably not the direction you're thinking of but I like Jamaican ackee and saltfish and find that just about any salt water fish can be substituted for the cod and it's still yummy.
posted by bonobothegreat at 6:52 PM on September 21, 2009

You are correct, I mean shellfish, not seafood. And, the wedding is in a hotel. Therefore, cooking, serving and timing are the hotel's responsibility.

Please keep the responses coming!!! Suggestions for breaded or encrusted fish would be great!
posted by rglass at 6:54 PM on September 21, 2009

salmon baked with a sprig of rosemary lying across it -it looks and tastes lovely, and I find some people don't like dill, which is the spice usually paired with salmon
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 7:03 PM on September 21, 2009

Macadamia Crusted Mahi Mahi. Yummmmmm. (There are also google-able recipes for macadamia-crusted other fishes, such as tilapia, which I'm sure is good, but I can personally vouch for the deliciousness of macadamia mahi mahi.
posted by wuzandfuzz at 7:20 PM on September 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

Please avoid Chilean Sea Bass and Orange Roughy.

I dunno the theme, environment, or people at your wedding. I am however a monstrous proponent of tuna, ideally the closer to raw the better. Bluefin, yellowfin, black---whatever you can get. The people I know who would elect to eat a fish dish at a wedding would eat raw or close to raw tuna. I have weird friends though.

Any given whitefish will hold up fine in a chafing dish (cod loins are cheap---I can't stand them but they're cheap.), but that doesn't mean they'll be amazing.

I personally plan on fried catfish at my PERSONAL wedding, but we're going waaaay less formal and waaaaaaaaaay more fun, serving people as it comes out-the-fryer.
posted by TomMelee at 7:37 PM on September 21, 2009

Salmon or trout almondine.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 7:45 PM on September 21, 2009

Baked Wild Barramundi with Lemon, Fennel and Herbs. I made something like this, turned out fabulous. You could replace barramundi with any firm white fish. Or from the same site (untested by me), Baked Almond Ocean Trout - this one is kind of stuffed with breadcrumbs, which might meet your above request.
posted by AnnaRat at 7:59 PM on September 21, 2009

In the crumbed topping department, Baked Salmon with Cranberry-Thyme Crust. This seems to have converted my non-salmon eating family to salmon eaters.
posted by AnnaRat at 8:02 PM on September 21, 2009

Mexican style Pescado a la Veracruzano is delicious. You can find a variety of recipes, all of which use the same basic ingredients based on a firm white fish.
posted by X4ster at 8:26 PM on September 21, 2009

How about a potato crust? I've made something similar to this before, but I imagine that a recipe with mandolin-sliced potatoes would be very elegant. Everyone likes potatoes, and a potato crust would probably work with most sauces.
posted by lalex at 8:27 PM on September 21, 2009

Therefore, cooking, serving and timing are the hotel's responsibility.

That doesn't mean they'll time it correctly. Unless your wedding is quite small, some people are going to end up with overdone fish. Fish is simply more delicate to cook than meat.

That said, I've made this Pecan Coconut Crusted Fish with Mango Salsa it was very tasty.
posted by 26.2 at 9:28 PM on September 21, 2009

If it's not too late, you might remove all fears by asking to talk directly to the banquet chef at the hotel. Who better, would know the availability of the freshest fish from local purveyors, it's preparation, and service. You can bet he/she has done dozens of fish preps, and they know what works. So it doesn't hurt to let them have a say-so. If it's something they've done a dozen or so times, all the better, so long as it meets with your approval.

I know a lot of people talk about fish being over done, but since it cooks so quickly, you usually have someone babysit the ovens. It's time-consuming meals that most often get over-cooked. Pans should be rotated (top to bottom) as well as turned 180. Nearly all commercial convection oven I've worked with, the bottom cooks faster than the top. No one knows the equipment better than the chef.

I really think talking to the person who will be responsible for your dinner, will give you one less thing to worry about. Don't be surprised if your fish is as good, if not better than any to-order dish you've had.
posted by JABof72 at 6:15 AM on September 22, 2009

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