Savor & Swirl: Pokomoke rockfish and Carolina iced tea

Chef Brent Shellem reflects:

Being from Annapolis and growing up on the Chesapeake, rockfish is what we know. Just the thought of rockfish reminds me of fishing on the bay, and what better way to fish than with a cold beverage in your hand? I decided on Carolina Iced Tea because the Carolinas have great fishing as well, but mainly because my wife loves it and it pairs well with the citrus and the light nature of the fish. 

Pokomoke rockfish

•    8 ounces rockfish
•    1 ounce extra-virgin olive oil
•    Juice of 2 fresh oranges
•    2 ounces vodka (3 if you’re thirsty)
•    5 fresh basil leaves, ripped
•    1 ounce butter
•    Pinch of garlic, salt and pepper

1. Clean rockfish.
2. Add oil to hot saute pan, and cook fish skin side down for about 3-4 minutes to get a good crisp skin, then flip fish over.
3. Deglaze with vodka away from heat, and let the alcohol burn off.
4. Add juice of the oranges and reduce about 1 minute.
5. Add the butter, and swirl pan to incorporate butter.
6. Add basil right at the end. Serve fish with rice or with your favorite vegetable.

Carolina Iced Tea

•    1 ounce Captain Morgan
•    1 ounce peach schnapps
•    1 ounce Southern Comfort
•    5 ounces iced tea

Shake all ingredients with ice. Serve in a tall glass and garnish with sliced lemon.

About Shellem

Hailing from Annapolis, Brent Shellem was born into a culinary family. His mother, Linda, was an exceptional cook and for four decades was the office manager for Middleton Tavern and O’Brien’s Bar and Grill. Brent began working at Middleton Tavern in his teens, performing a variety of roles.

In 1996, he began to work under the mentorship of Greg “Cowboy” Richardson, as a line cook and eventually kitchen manager at Rams Head Tavern’s Annapolis flagship restaurant. When it was time to open the Savage Mill restaurant, Brent was promoted to executive chef at Rams Head Savage Mill. He was involved in designing the kitchen and creating the menus, as well as hiring vendors and staff.

When his family relocated to Austin, Texas, he was sous-chef at La Traviata, where he learned to prepare Italian cuisine, and then at Truluck’s Steak and Seafood.

Upon returning to Maryland in 2005, he served as executive chef for OB’s Prime, then returned to Rams Head Tavern in 2007 as regional chef, a role in which he is responsible for kitchen operations and menus at all five of the Rams Head Tavern restaurants.

About Rams Head Tavern

8600 Foundry St., Savage • 301-604-3454 •

Dining Room Hours:

Monday-Saturday:  11 a.m.-2 a.m.   
Sunday:  10 a.m.-2 a.m.   
Sunday Brunch:  10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Rathskeller Hours:

Saturday-Thursday:  4 p.m.-2 a.m.

Friday:  3 p.m.-2 a.m.

Copyright © 2018, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad