A well cooked, poached fish is a wondrous thing, and a simple finish of really good olive oil, mustard and fresh lemon should only make it better.
But your recipe calls for putting fish steaks in cold water, bringing the water to the boil, and cooking the fish -- still at the boil, for "15 or 20 minutes." That's wrong on several levels.
- Fish steaks that size cannot be poached, let alone boiled, for "fifteen or twenty minutes" without cooking them to death. It takes, for instance, about 7 minutes to poach a 1" thick salmon steak;
- Only large fish should begin the poaching process in cold water; smaller fish, fillets and steaks should begin the process in water which is already simmering (~75C, ~170F); and
- Your recipe doesn't actually call for poaching, but for boiling. If 10 minutes poaching will severely overcook, 15 or 20 minutes at the boil will do far worse.
- The recipe does not specify what type of mustard -- whether prepared, mustard-flour, or crushed mustard seed. That's a problem for someone who doesn't already know what to use.
- There are more sophisticated and just as authentic methods for making an olive oil / lemon / mustard sauce (infusion or emulsion, e.g.) rather than just dumping stuff into the poaching (boiling?!) stock before removing the fish and serving it; but the simplicity of the dish is the most important part of its charm.
- The recipe does not specify a lot of other things. For instance, whether the fish should be served with some of the cooking liquid or served dry.
- Mediterranean tope is endangered. If you're cooking tope from Greek waters, you shouldn't be.
- The translation is very rough. Is your example from the English edition of the book, or is it something you did yourself, on the fly?
You're clearly very enthusiastic about this book, I don't mean to be rough on you, and do wish there were a better way to say these things. Unfortunately, to the extent that the recipe is an example of authentic, Mediterranean, Greek cuisine, it's an example of bad authentic, Mediterranean, Greek cuisine.
Edited by boar_d_laze - 5/14/13 at 8:35am