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Broiled Florida Pompano (picture intensive)

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#1 Lunch Money Surf

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Posted April 12 2007 - 10:34 AM

On the Atlantic coast of Florida in the wintertime, the prize of all surf
fishermen is the Florida Pompano.

A member of the jack family, these voracious little guys run up and
down the beaches sucking crabs and other shellfish out of the sand.

You fish for them with long (15') surf rods and either sandfleas (mole
crabs) or clam strips.

I had a good season this year and I'm getting pretty good at cooking them.

Over the years I have found the simplest preparation
is best for this fish, with its mild, finely textured and fatty flesh.

Here is how I like to cook them:

Set your oven on warm, and get all your ingredients together.

All you need is olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon and fish.

I cut the belly bones out of my wife's filet (on left), but I like
all the pomp I can get so I leave mine whole (on right).

Liberally squeeze fresh lemon juice on both filets.

Salt - not too much because you will put more on the fish later on.

Let the filets soak up the salt and lemon for 3-4 minutes, just long
enough for the surface to start turning opaque.

Then pour olive oil on the filets, and rub into the fish. Get a good coat going.

Now salt and pepper the filets again. You can use other dry seasoning
here if you'd like. Pompano is very fatty and balances spices out well,
but it's a very mild fish and too much will overpower the fish.

Put the filets skin side down in the broiler pan - you MUST use a
broiler pan, or a disposable broiler pan as in this example, because
it allows the juices to drain off. If you use a baking pan, the pomps
will sit in their own juices and tend to get mushy.

Crank your oven to broil.

KEY STEP - Drizzle some more olive oil over the filets. Don't rub it in,
just drizzle it.

Put them in oven on the second rack from the top.

Note: this recipe will smoke, because the olive oil will spatter up onto
the heating element. Your fish is safe. You can check on it if you'd like,
but it's the olive oil, not the fish, that is smoking.

These filets took about 13 minutes to cook, as they are from a pretty
thick fish. Thinner filets will take less time.

If you're not sure how long they'll take to cook, err on the side of caution
and check them by inserting a fork into the thick part of the filet. If the
fork drops right through the fish with no resistance, they are done.
If you can feel resistance, they are not yet done.

Be vigilant with this step, because fish only have about a 1-2 minute
window when they are perfectly cooked. Pull them out too early and
fish will be slimy, leave them in too long and the fish will be tough.

When they are done to perfection, pull them out and squeeze some
more lemon on the fish.

Look at how golden brown these come out, that final drizzle of olive oil
produces an awesome crispy crust.


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#2 VicIII

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Posted April 13 2007 - 5:00 AM

that looks great.
I do a similar prep.. except on the grill.
great post and thanks for the pics.
We did not see as many pomps this year. Very slow pomp fishing here in Vero...

#3 Kings over Queens

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Posted April 13 2007 - 7:52 AM

Excellent post.

#4 Lunch Money Surf

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Posted April 13 2007 - 7:57 AM

It was a real good February here in Satellite.

Conditions cooperated all month. Cold, calm and clean.
Caught my limit on five or six trips.

In March, conditions changed and fishing became more difficult.

Last weekend was perfect but I threw my back out on Thursday
evening and was laid up.

Luckily February was good enough to stock my freezer. They are
REALLY good smoked, too.

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#5 wilfish4774

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Posted July 16 2007 - 11:55 AM

I learned a few things in your instruction. The aluminum pan I have never seen and I can see that it is perfect for the job now that I know that it exists I will start looking for it. I have never used the oil to the degree that you do and I am going to give that a try. Now I am going to have to see if I can catch a couple of them because all of a sudden I have gotten pompano hungery.

#6 robraz

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Posted July 16 2007 - 1:11 PM

Excellent post.

very nice!


#7 VicIII

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Posted July 17 2007 - 10:49 AM

I tried this and added very small amouths of Parm cheese on top near the end so the cheese would not totally burn but get browned. It was great. Like burnt cheese on a pizza. It always taste good.

#8 fishingnuke

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Posted July 19 2007 - 12:25 PM

Back in 1973 and 74 i made a boat load of money selling those fish. We used to fish off the lake worth pier.

#9 RayRay

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Posted August 09 2007 - 5:51 PM

Back in 1973 and 74 i made a boat load of money selling those fish. We used to fish off the lake worth pier.

I just broil them as is - skin on/whole fish, gutted of course. Wrap it up in aluminum foil along with the butter, salt/pepper to taste and the almight lemon or lime. Kinda slow steam over fire. Excellent food fish no matter how it's done.

#10 DMacLeod

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Posted August 09 2007 - 7:42 PM

That does look good

#11 Azballa7

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Posted August 24 2007 - 1:12 AM

Why?! Why!? Why!? did I open this thread Im soooo hungry now ... That looks delicious!!!

#12 triple-x

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Posted August 24 2007 - 1:43 AM

Man that looks good!