Our recipe today comes from multi-talented team member and author Mollie of RoughMagicCreations, who created it especially for one of the books she wrote with Joe, The Theatre Lover's Cookbook: Recipes from 60 Favorite Plays.
"Back in the day, when my husband Joe and I were writing books on subjects theatrical, we put together a couple of theatre related cookbooks. For these, we'd choose a variety of plays in which food is mentioned or served, add a few introductory comments, and create our own recipe to fit each scenario.
Ah, Wilderness! Eugene O'Neill's only comedy, written in 1933, presents a nostalgic and bittersweet picture of American family life. Act II takes place in the dining room of the Miller home, where Mrs. Miller is talking with her husband Nat's sister Lily.
Mrs. Miller: Well … you know how Nat carries on about not being able to eat bluefish. Lily: I know he says there's a certain oil in it that poisons him. Mrs. Miller: Poisons him, nothing! He's been eating bluefish for years -- only I tell him each time it's weakfish ... Lily: Aren't you ashamed, Essie? Mrs. Miller: Not much, I'm not! I like bluefish!
And so may you!"
Essie Miller's Weakfish
- 2 whole bluefish*, about 1.5 pounds each, cleaned and filleted (*Substitute salmon if you prefer)
- 1/4 cup butter or margarine, well softened
- 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh onion juice
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Cayenne pepper, to taste
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Fresh lemon slices, for garnish
- Preheat the broiler.
- Place the fillets, skin side down, on a well greased broiler rack and cook, without turning, for about 6 minutes.
- While the fish broils, combine the butter, anchovy paste, onion and lemon juice and cayenne pepper in a small bowl and blend thoroughly.
- Remove the fish from the broiler to a warm serving platter or individual plates, skin side down.
- Spread with the butter mixture, sprinkle with salt and pepper and garnish with the lemon slices.
- Serve with boiled new potatoes, a crisp steamed vegetable and crusty whole grain bread.
- And if you like wine, I suggest a crisp, dry white.
A Note. In the Broadway production of Ah, Wilderness!, the role of Nat Miller was played by George M. Cohan of "Yankee Doodle Dandy" fame.