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Aguglie, Gar-fish, or Needle Fish

Aguglie col Salmoriglio, or Gar-Fish with Salmoriglio Sauce

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Aguglie, or Garfish

Aguglie, or Garfish

Kyle Phillips © 2006 Licensed to About.Com
With their long pointed beaks, gar-fish somehow bring syringes to mind (and indeed are also called Needle Fish), but don't let this put you off: Gar-fish are quite tasty, and the filets, which are bone-free, are delightfully long. As a general rule, figure about a gar-fish per person. What to do with it? This recipe for grilled gar-fish is Sicilian:

Aguglie col Salmoriglio - Gar-Fish with Salmoriglio Sauce

To serve 6:
4 gar-fish weighing a half pound (200 g) each
1 clove garlic, crushed
A small bunch parsley, minced
A small bunch fresh oregano, minced
2 lemons
3/4 cup extravirgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Light your grill, and while it's heating clean, rinse and dry the fish. When the coals have whitened grill the fish, figuring about 10 minutes for every inch (2.5 cm) of thickness of the fish; when the fish are done and pleasantly golden, put them on a serving dish.

In the meantime, put the olive oil in a small pot and whip it with a half cup of hot water, the juice of the lemons, the garlic, and the minced herbs. Season the sauce with salt and pepper and continue whipping it until it is homogenous; heat it briefly by dipping the pot into boiling water, and transfer it to a sauce boat. Serve at once.

A couple of variations: Some people use red wine vinegar rather than lemon juice, while others omit the parsley.

Note: The backbones of gar-fish, which are purplish-green raw, turn bright green when cooked. This is not a sign of spoilage, but just the way the fish is. Gar-fish are closely related to flying fish, and there are varieties to be found in both the north Atlantic and American waters, including the Pacific.

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