Sautéed Pompano With Melon And Mango Salad by Tenney Flynn
Credit: Sarah Essex

Pompano, a firm and sweet fish with a high fat content, pairs naturally with ripe fruit. This, says Flynn, makes it the perfect warm-weather fish. Pick your three favorite melons – watermelon, honeydew, casaba – to combine with mango and papaya for a bed of salsa underneath the sautéed filet. The key here is to get it crispy, which means considerably more cooking on the skin side. Flynn: "You know when you make pancakes and the first side takes a lot longer to cook than the second? Same thing here."

Sautéed Pompano With Melon And Mango Salad (serves 6)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup each of 3 different melons peeled, seeded, and 3/4-inch diced (Any sweet melon will do, such as watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, casaba, Crenshaw, Santa Claus, canary)
  • 1/2 cup diced mango
  • 1/2 cup diced papaya
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp chopped mint
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 6 each 8-10 oz pompano filets, scaled and scored, pinbones removed
  • salt and pepper as needed
  • flour as needed
  • canola oil as needed
  • butter as needed

Preparation

Dice the melon, mango, and papaya. Mix together with the honey, cilantro, mint, lime, and salt. Toss, cover, and refrigerate. Season the pompano filets with salt and pepper and dust with flour. Divide the six filets in two large preheated sautéed pans with 1 tablespoon of Canola oil and 1 tablespoon of butter, skin side down. Cook over medium to high heat for about 3-4 minutes. More of the cooking needs to be done on the skin side so it's nice and crispy. Turn and continue cooking for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until done. Serve each fillet atop a scoop of melon/mango salsa.