WHOLE ROCKFISH, WITH OYSTER CORNBREAD STUFFING
3 Tablespoons salted butter
2 each medium shallots, minced
1 each clove garlic, sliced
2 stalks celery from center with leaves, minced
10 each extra small oysters, shucked, halved or quartered, strained, reserve the liquid
3 Tablespoons Italian parsley leaves, chopped
1 Tablespoon chives, minced
As needed sea salt, black pepper and coriander
3-4 cups day-old cornbread, homemade or purchased, crumbled
3 whole red rockfish, 1-1 ½ pounds each
3 each lengths of butchers twine, approximately 18″ each
Melt butter in a medium sauté over moderate heat until frothy and lightly brown. Add shallots and garlic continuing to cook until aromatic and tender; add celery and cook 1 additional minute to just take off initial crunchiness. Add oysters and herbs, cook to incorporate flavors. Add reserved liquor and adjust seasonings as needed. Remove from heat and add a small amount of cornbread to bring mixture together. Do not over mix or form into a paste when adding the cornbread. The stuffing should hold its shape when pinched in your hand. The stuffing will become more moist from the fish as it cooks.
Confirm that the rockfish is free of all scales and has been rinsed and dried well both inside the cavity and on the outside of the fish. For best results the head should be left on. Season the cavity of the fish with sea salt, cracked black pepper and ground coriander. Drizzle with. EVOO and rub all throughout the cavity. Place about 1/3 of the filling in the cavity of the fish and repeat with the two remain fish.
To tie, start at the head of the fish, placing a slip knot through its loop and thread through creating a lasso. Tighten gently and then repeat 3-4 more times down the length of the fish, enclosing the cavity and securing the stuffing. Repeat with the remaining 2 fish. Season the outside of all the fish with sea salt, cracked black pepper and coriander. Depending on the size of each fish, you may need to score the flesh through the skin of the fish with a sharp boning knife priori to roasting to ensure even cooking.
Place stuffed fish on a well-greased roasting rack over a baking sheet. Place fish in a preheated 400˚ F convection oven and cook for approximately 20-25 minutes or until internal temperature reach 145˚F. Clip twine to remove and serve whole fish with caper berry sauce.