- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons hot paprika
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 2 small garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chopped thyme, preferably lemon thyme
- 1 teaspoon chopped caraway seeds
- 1 stick plus 4 tablespoons (6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
- Six 6-ounce pompano or Spanish mackerel fillets, with skin
- Freshly ground pepper
- Preheat the oven to 500°. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet. Add the tomatoes and cook over moderately high heat for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderate and cook, stirring and mashing the tomatoes with a fork until a thick puree forms, about 15 minutes. Add the hot and sweet paprikas and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Scrape the tomato puree into a bowl and let cool. Stir in the garlic, thyme and caraway seeds. Fold in the butter and season with salt.
- Lightly oil a large, rimmed baking sheet and arrange the pompano fillets on it, skin side down. Season with salt and pepper. Spread the tomato butter over the fillets, leaving a 1/2-inch border all around. Roast the fish in the top third of the oven for 6 minutes, or until golden brown and just cooked through. Transfer the fillets to plates and serve.
The butter can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before using.
A full-flavored dish like this pompano finds its soul mate in a full-bodied white wine like Pinot Gris from Oregon.