Monday, August 17, 2009

Recipe: Foolproof Fish, Two Ways

When I had my recent cooking class, the guest of honor (aka, birthday girl) requested that we cook fish since she was uncomfortable making it at home. Fish, my specialty! Actually, my dad was the one that had a seafood market and cafe for over 25 years, but I watched him cook a lot of fish, that I in turn, ate, so I feel like an authority.

I picked 2 fish recipes that quick and easy. The first being a Mahi Mahi 'packet' with fennel, purple potatoes and pancetta. Foil is the 'quick and dirty, I'm at home cooking for my husband on a Thursday' type of material, so if you really want to impress, use parchment paper. For a super wow factor when a visiting dignitary comes to dinner, use banana leaves.

  • Spread foil out on a baking sheet and grease with butter.
  • Dice fennel bulb (save the green fronds for garnish), dice or medallion purple potaoes (I use purple becuase they add great color to the dish, but you can use red or fingerling) and brown in a pan wth pancetta. You can use olive oil, but I prefer a little butter for this one.
  • Rinse Mahi Mahi (you can also use halibut, swordfish, or any thicker filet of fish).
  • Put pancetta mixture into foil, lay fish on top. Add salt, pepper and a drizzle of oilve oil
  • Fold foil to make a packet, but be sure to leave space for steam to build up
  • Place baking sheet (with foil packet) in the oven at 375 degrees. It will take anywhere from 10-20 mins depending on the fish, so check it regularly.
  • Fish should be flaky but not dry....a good rule of thumb, if you think it's almost done, it is!

The second recipe is actually my comfort food. If we didn't eat at the restaurant and my mom had to cook, we had pan fried tilapia/sole/snapper (with rice a roni and vegetables). With this recipe, I just added an extra step, and the principles can apply to finish any fish with a sauce.

  • Take snapper, rinse and pat dry. Season both sides with salt and pepper. A purchasing suggestion, estimate about 6 oz raw fish per person.
  • Heat oil in pan until just about smoking, and lay filet in the pan - you should hear a big sizzle! You'll only need about 3 mins on each side
  • Remove fish from pan and place on a plate
  • In the same pan, add 1/2 cup white wine to deglaze, scraping up all the bits. Let that reduce down to about 1/2 and add the juice of 1-2 lemons. Add 1/2 cup of capers (or more if you're a fan of the briney deliciousness) and let summer for an additional 2 minutes. Add 1 tbs of butter and stir, then remove from heat.
  • Plating: Place filet on plate and spoon sauce over top.

And special thanks to my sous chef, Brody, who actually went out and caught the fish that morning...just kidding


Bullitt said...

Both dishes were excellent. I preferred the Mahi Mahi 'packet' with fennel, purple potatoes and pancetta. Deee-licious!!!

Nikki said...

Loving your recipes! Felt like commenting a few times but continued to read instead. A dog in a snorkle though? That made me stop ;) Adorable!

Love your blog!


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