2 to 3 pounds of Hiramasa King Fish
1 cup flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
2 ½ cups olive oil
2 large shallots, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, smashed
2 fresh oregano sprigs
2 Tbs. dry white wine
1 tsp. red wine vinegar
2 Tbs. plus 9 cups water
3 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh basil
2 ½ lb. heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
½ tsp. plus 1 Tbs. salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 cups instant polenta
- Warm the olive oil in a large, heavy fry pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and celery and sauté until lightly golden, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and oregano sprigs and cook for 1 minute more.
- Pour in the wine, vinegar, and 2 Tbs. water. Stir to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
- Transfer contents of the pan to a slow cooker. Stir in tomatoes, ½ tsp. salt, and several grinds of pepper.
- Cover and cook on low for 3 to 4 hours, stirring 2 or 3 times, if possible. The tomatoes should be mostly broken down and the ragout should be juicy. Remove and discard the oregano sprigs.
- Just before the ragout is ready, bring 9 cups water and 1 Tbs. salt to a boil in a saucepan over high heat.
- Reduce the heat to low. Add the polenta in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly. Cook, stirring constantly, until the polenta thickens and starts to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 5 minutes.
- Heat ½ cup olive oil over medium/high heat. Coat the Hiramasa fish with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Dredge one side of fish in the seasoned cup of flour then place fish, floured side down, in sauce pan.
- Sear fish until flour golden brown, about 4-6 minutes. Turn fish and finish cooking another 4-6 minutes.
- Divide the soft polenta among warm shallow bowls. top each portion with a piece of Hiramasa fish and a heaping spoonful of the ragout. Sprinkle with the basil and serve immediately.