Posts Tagged ‘Fish’

Red Snapper Meuniere

May 27, 2009

meunierWhen you live on an island in the middle of the Pacific fish is paramount to your diet.  There are relatively few cases of grouchy teenage syndrome, behavioral and learning problems among youngsters and life expectancy is above average for the adult population.  The indigenous diet is full of veggies, fruit, fish and coconut in every form.  Its probably a contributing factor to the high number of PhD’s per capita among the Tongan populace.  Unfortunately, this results in a brain-drain of the islands as the educated migrate to mainland countries. However, they do return to the islands for retirement.

One of the most popular main courses served at my restaurant, Coco’s, was red snapper meuniere.  Lightly dredged in flour, pan fried in butter and olive oil, and dressed in a aromatic lemon sauce with hints of tarragon and chili sauce for sparkle.   Side dishes included a choice of yellow coconut rice or baked potato and ratatouille.  Nothing compares to a fresh caught fish for flavor and nutrition.  The American Heart Association recommends 3 servings of fish per week so try this dish one night soon.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. fresh red snapper fillets (or cod, white fish, or tilapia)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • pinch of tarragon
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • splash of white wine
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • dash or two of Tabasco sauce

Method:

  1. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium high heat.  Add oil and butter and heat until bubbly.
  2. Mix flour, salt, pepper, and tarragon in a flat pan or plate.  Dredge fish fillets lightly, shake excess flour off, and place in skillet.
  3. Cook 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown and fish flakes with a fork.  Remove from pan to a plate. 
  4. Add wine to deglaze pan, scraping up brown bits, add lemon juice and swirl.   Add butter and Tabasco, swirl until creamy.
  5. Pour sauce over fish fillets.  Garnish with lemon slices, capers or parsley sprigs.

Poached Tarragon Salmon

April 3, 2009

poached-salmon-thumb-135xautoThis recipe takes 10 minutes to prepare and goes great with rice, pasta, or steamed spaghetti squash, a crisp salad with feta and kalamata olives, a loaf of garlic bread and a glass of wine.

  • Salmon fillets or steaks
  • olive oil to sauté veggies
  • 1 small onion, sliced thin
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, chopped coarse
  • fresh tarragon leaves, 2-3 sprigs
  • fresh parsley, curley or Italian flat leaf, chopped
  • a dash of Tabasco
  • 1/3 cup white wine or lemon juice

Salt and pepper salmon fillets, sauté onion, garlic, and tomatoes in a little olive oil until aromatic.  Add fresh herbs and Tabasco and cook 2 minutes more.  Deglaze pan with wine or lemon juice, poach salmon in liquid until just barely done, or to your preference.  Top salmon with sauté and serve.   

  • note:  cook fish 10 minutes per each inch of thickness.  So if your fillets are 1/2 inch thick, only cook 5 minutes total time, whether you turn them or not.

Swordfish & Zucchini Pie

March 24, 2009

ist2_6222730-grilled-swordfishThere is nothing quite like reeling in one of these sport fish.  They put up a hero’s fight and are beautiful breaking the surface with their long lances flailing the air.  The flesh is much like halibut, dense and pink in the raw.  Swordfish grills beautifully, even without marinating, though the marinade helps retain moisture.  This recipe is from the classic cookbook by Dorothy Batchelder, The Fishmonger Cookbook.  Tuna or halibut also work well in this recipe.  It was so popular at my restaurant in Tonga that lunch customers would come early so they wouldn’t miss out on this Friday special.  It is a bit time consuming with many steps, but it is not a difficult recipe and is well worth the effort.  Serve this with pickled lemons or hot and spicy mango chutney, a Greek salad, and a glass of wine.

 

Orange Zest Crust:

2 Tbsp orange zest

2 1/2 cups flour

1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp sugar

1 cup cold butter, 4 egg yolks

Cut butter into dry ingredients and mix in egg yolks just till crust holds together.

Knead together 2 or 3 times.  Roll out 3 rounds of crust to fit a 9-inch spring form; use the bottom of the form for a pattern.  Transfer to a flat baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and chill until assembly.  Sprinkle 1 Tbsp bread crumbs in the bottom of the 9-inch spring-form pan.

Zucchini Filling:

4 pounds zucchini julienned

1/2 cup flour, 1 beaten egg

Olive oil for frying

Dip zucchini in beaten egg then dredge in flour. Fry little bundles of the zucchini in oil until golden brown. Drain on a rack.

Halibut Filling:

1 1/4 pound swordfish steaks- cut into chunks

1/4 cup olive oil

1 clove garlic minced

1/2 cup onion minced

1 Tbsp tomato paste

1 celery rib, finely chopped

1/2 cup green olives chopped

1 Tbsp capers chopped

Sauté onion, garlic, and celery until translucent, add tomato paste, stir, and then add the fish.  Cook just until the fish is done, add the olives and capers.  Cool.

Assembly

Place one crust on top of crumbs in spring form, top with bundles of fried zucchini, add another crust on top of zucchini, fill with swordfish, and top with last crust. Cut vents into top crust and egg wash.  Bake at 350° F. 45-60 min or until golden brown.  Let cool for 15 minutes before removing sides and slicing.