Category Archives: fish

Sauteed Sea Bass w/ Lemony Pea Cream

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Here’s a dish that just screams summer. With fresh peas readily available in the markets, or your garden if you are lucky enough to have one, this dish makes for an easy and flavorful dinner. The recipe comes from Saveur Magazine and I’ve made a few adaptations to fit the needs of my pantry and my family’s taste buds. The recipe originally used cod filets as the protein. I substituted sea bass filets but you could use any firm white fleshed fish.  In a pinch you can use frozen peas but if fresh are available, do use those since they are just so good. Serve the fish alongside a starch of your choice –I used steamed jasmine rice– and dinner is ready.

SAUTEED SEA BASS w/ LEMONY PEA CREAM

4 boneless, sea bass filets cut into 2 inch pieces

1 tablespoon mustard seeds, lightly crushed

2 cups fresh peas

Zest of 1 lemon, finely minced

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Salt & pepper to taste

2/3 cup half and half or light cream

2 tablespoons olive oil

Dill to garnish, optional

  • Sprinkle the sea bass filets with the crushed mustard seeds and let marinate in the refrigerator for 1 1/2 hours.
  • Add lemon juice to the fish and allow to sit for an additional 1/2 hour.
  • Place the peas in a small sauce pan and add 1/2 cup of water. Steam until tender and drain. Reserve 1/2 cup of peas.
  • Using a stick blender, puree 1 1/2 cups of peas and the lemon zest with the half and half. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Transfer the mixture into a small saucepan and place over low heat to keep warm.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.
  • Sprinkle the fish on both sides with salt and pepper then add the sea bass to the hot oil. Cook, turning once, until the fish is lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes in total.
  • Divide the pea puree between 4 plates and top with the fish.
  • Sprinkle the reserved peas over the top of the fish and garnish with dill if desired.

Serves 4

Browned Butter Flounder w/ Lemon Snap Peas

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It’s Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing I want to do is cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat. The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes. Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

This is a fast and fresh tasting dinner option adapted from Cooking Light that literally cooks in minutes (so be sure to prep all of your ingredients before beginning to cook). There are just a handful of ingredients and best of all, everything is cooked in a single pan meaning cleanup is a snap as well. I’ve used flounder in this recipe but use whatever firm white fish you prefer.

BROWNED BUTTER FLOUNDER w/ LEMON SNAP PEAS

4- 6 ounce flounder fillets

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4teaspoon kosher salt

4 teaspoons olive oil, divided

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Juice of 1 lemon

Zest of 1 lemon

8 ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

  • Combine the flour, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika and salt in a shallow dish.
  • Dredge the fish in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess.
  • Heat half of the oil in a large non-stick skillet set over medium-high heat.
  • Swirl the oil to coat then add the fish to the pan, cooking for 3 minutes on each side or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.
  • Remove the fish from the pan and keep warm.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and add the butter to the pan.
  • Cook for 1 minute or until the butter begins to brown.
  • Pour the butter into a small bowl, stir in half of the lemon juice and the parsley.
  • Return the pan to medium-high heat and add the remaining oil.
  • Add the snap peas and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until just tender crisp.
  • Stir in the remaining lemon juice and zest and serve alongside the fish topped with the brown butter.

Serves 4

 

Lemon Roasted Cod over Garlicky Kale

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It’s Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing I want to do is cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat. The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes. Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

I love serving fresh fish for dinner. Not only is it incredibly healthy but it cooks quickly, making it the perfect weekend night meal. For me, the simpler the fish the better as a good fish doesn’t require a lot of additional seasonings or sauces. And this Cod dish doesn’t get much simpler; all it takes is a dash of salt and pepper and a bit of lemon juice and it is perfect.

I like to serve the Cod on top of a bed of garlicky kale. The strong and earthy flavors of the kale contrast nicely with the fish and provide for a satisfying meal. Cook the kale while the fish is roasting and you will have dinner on the table in less than half an hour.

LEMON ROASTED COD OVER GARLICKY KALE

For the Cod:

4 4 ounce cod filets

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 slices lemon

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat lightly with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Place the Cod filets on the baking sheet and sprinkle the salt and pepper over the tops of each filet.
  • Place one lemon slice on top of each filet.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. Cooking time will depend upon the thickness of the filets.

For the kale:

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

6 cups kale, rinsed, dried and coarsely chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.
  • When it shimmers, add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add the kale and cook, tossing regularly, until the kale has wilted and is bright green.
  • Sprinkle with salt.

Serves 4

Sauteed Sea Bass w/ Lemony Pea Cream

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Here’s a dish that just screams summer. With fresh peas readily available in the markets, or your garden if you are lucky enough to have one, this dish makes for an easy and flavorful dinner. The recipe comes from Saveur Magazine and I’ve made a few adaptations to fit the needs of my pantry and my family’s taste buds. The recipe originally used cod filets as the protein. I substituted sea bass filets but you could use any firm white fleshed fish.  In a pinch you can use frozen peas but if fresh are available, do use those since they are just so good. Serve the fish alongside a starch of your choice –I used steamed jasmine rice– and dinner is ready.

SAUTEED SEA BASS w/ LEMONY PEA CREAM

4 boneless, sea bass filets cut into 2 inch pieces

1 tablespoon mustard seeds, lightly crushed

2 cups fresh peas

Zest of 1 lemon, finely minced

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Salt & pepper to taste

2/3 cup half and half or light cream

2 tablespoons olive oil

Dill to garnish, optional

  • Sprinkle the sea bass filets with the crushed mustard seeds and let marinate in the refrigerator for 1 1/2 hours.
  • Add lemon juice to the fish and allow to sit for an additional 1/2 hour.
  • Place the peas in a small sauce pan and add 1/2 cup of water. Steam until tender and drain. Reserve 1/2 cup of peas.
  • Using a stick blender, puree 1 1/2 cups of peas and the lemon zest with the half and half. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Transfer the mixture into a small saucepan and place over low heat to keep warm.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.
  • Sprinkle the fish on both sides with salt and pepper then add the sea bass to the hot oil. Cook, turning once, until the fish is lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes in total.
  • Divide the pea puree between 4 plates and top with the fish.
  • Sprinkle the reserved peas over the top of the fish and garnish with dill if desired.

Serves 4

Coconut Red Curried Cod

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It is Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing you want to do to cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat. The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes. Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

If you like curry this dish is for you. First, it cooks up fast. Start a pot of rice before you begin chopping your scallions and garlic and in less than half an hour you’ll have dinner on the table. I used cod since its mild firm white flesh cooks up fast and holds together well but you could easily substitute another white fish or even shrimp. Add some crusty bread to sop up the tasty coconut milk sauce and a crisp white wine and your Friday night dinner is complete. Enjoy!

COCONUT RED CURREID COD

1 tablespoon canola oil

8 scallions, whites and greens separated, chopped

2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste

4 cloves garlic, minced

Pinch of salt

1 lb cod or other firm white fish, cut into bite sized pieces

1 8-ounce can coconut milk

2 teaspoons fish sauce

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Juice of 1 lime

  • In a large nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat, heat the oil until shimmering.
  • Add the scallion whites and red curry paste then sauté one minute.
  • Add the garlic and salt and cook about 2-3 minutes.
  • Gently stir in the cod and stir to coat.
  • Add the coconut milk and fish sauce and mix well.
  • Simmer about 4-5 minutes, until the cod is cooked through.
  • Remove from heat, stir in the lime juice, cilantro, and scallion greens.
  • Serve over rice.

Serves 4

Mediterranean Trout

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Fish doesn’t need to be intimidating to cook.  In fact, it is surprisingly easy and since it cooks quickly makes for a fast dinner.  Fish filets are nice but if you want to really impress your guests serve them a whole fish.  You can either serve a large one for the table or an individual fish for each guest.  Your fish monger can clean them for you making preparation even easier.

Think of the combination of vegetables I’ve used as a method rather than an exact recipe using and substituting whatever vegetables you like or have on hand.  If you don’t have capers substitute black olives or use both.  I like oregano but you can also use thyme, basil or a combination of all three.  Experiment with different combinations until you find a winning one for your family.  It really is that easy.

I served this with buttered baby red potatoes but mashed potatoes, orzo, or Israeli couscous would also be good.

MEDITERRANEAN TROUT

4 whole trout, cleaned, scaled, rinsed, and patted dry

2 large tomatoes, diced

1 large eggplant, diced

1 green pepper, diced

1 red pepper, diced

1 zucchini, diced

1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced

1 small red onion, minced

4 cloves garlic, divided

2 tablespoons capers, rinsed

Juice of 1 lemon plus 8 lemon slices

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon dried oregano

Salt and pepper to taste

  • Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Coat four pieces of tin foil with spray and place a trout in the center of each foil piece and place on a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Thinly slice two of the garlic cloves and distribute the garlic slices and 8 slices of lemon evenly inside the four fish.  Generously season the outside of the fish with salt and pepper.
  • Place the tomatoes, eggplant, green and red peppers, zucchini, fennel, and onion in a medium-sized bowl.
  • Mince the remaining two garlic cloves and add them to the vegetables along with the capers, lemon juice, olive oil, sugar, and oregano.  Toss well to combine all of the ingredients.
  • Evenly divide the vegetables over the top of each fish.
  • Tightly wrap each fish with the foil to create packets.  Be sure to seal the edges so that the juices don’t escape.
  • Place the pan in the oven and bake the fish for 35-40 minutes.  Take care when opening the packets since hot steam will escape.

Serves:4

Fish Tacos w/ Tropical Salsa

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Much to my surprise, during a recent trip to Greece my son gobbled up fresh fish during lunch proclaiming that “he loves fish”.  Wanting to take advantage of this newfound adoration I came home searching for new ways to appease his ever-changing appetite.  I’m always on a quest to find new ways to serve fish to my family.  This isn’t always easy since they shy away from anything that has too strong of a fish flavor.  Part of the attraction of the fish in Greece was it’s fresh and mild taste.  I’ve learned that the best way to get them to eat fish at home is to  make sure that there are plenty of other flavors accompanying the main dish and these tacos do the trick.

I used Cod filets for my tacos but any firm white fish will do.  Breading the fish in panko crumbs before frying it created a crispy crust on the exterior of the each piece that added additional texture to the taco. The tropical salsa was made with the fruits  I had available.  Make sure they are ripe since under ripe fruit will not yield the same flavorful results.  Fresh peaches would also work in this salsa.  You can use them in place of one of the other fruits or add them into the mix for more variety.

FISH TACOS W/ TROPICAL SALSA

8 Greek-style pitas

For the salsa:

1 avocado, diced

1/2 cup mango, diced

1/2 cup fresh pineapple, diced

1 chili pepper, minced

1 small red onion, minced

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Juice of 1 lime

Salt & pepper to taste

For the filling:

1 small head radicchio, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

For the fish:

1 pound firm fish filets, cut into strips

6 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 eggs

2 tablespoons water

1 cup Panko bread crumbs

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Salt & pepper

  • Wrap the pitas in aluminum foil and place in a 200 degree oven until ready to serve.
  • To make the salsa, combine the avocado, mango, pineapple, red onion, chili pepper, and lime juice in a medium-sized bowl.  For a spicier salsa use the seeds of the chili pepper, for a milder salsa, remove them before mincing.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  • To make the filling, combine the radicchio, cider vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small bowl.  Set aside until ready to serve.
  • For the fish:  Place the eggs and water in a shallow dish and whisk to combine. Place the flour, salt, and pepper in a separate shallow dish and whisk to combine.  Place the panko crumbs in a third shallow dish.
  • Dip the pieces of fish in the egg mixture and coat them on both sides.  Dredge each piece in the flour then in the panko crumbs.  Set aside.
  • Heat one-third of the olive oil in a large skillet placed over medium-high heat until it is shimmering.
  • Working in batches and adding more oil as needed, fry the fish for 3-4 minutes on the first side then an additional 2-3 minutes on the second side until each piece is browned and crispy.
  • Remove from the pan and set aside on a paper towel lined plate while the remainder of the fish is cooking.
  • To assemble, place two pitas on each of four plates.  Divide the radicchio mixture over the top of each pita then place 2-3 pieces of fish on top of the radicchio.  Top with the salsa and serve immediately.

Serves 4

Asian Steamed Cod w/ Ginger-Soy Soba Noodles

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It is Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion.  If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing you want to do to cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat.  The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes.  Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

I recently rediscovered my bamboo basket steamer, an item that we had been gifted with when we got married but I have rarely used.  I forget how easy and healthy steaming food can be.  With no added fats or oils steaming is a dieter’s delight.  The key to good results is starting with a quality protein and to use a flavorful steaming broth since (in this case) the fish readily absorbs the flavors of whatever it is sitting over.  A bland broth will result in flavorless results.  For this recipe the combination of soy sauce, ginger, and garlic produces tasty results.  As the broth simmers the sauce reduces so you can spoon a small amount over the fish when you serve it to heighten its flavor.

The noodles cook while the fish is steaming so add a vegetable and you have a well-balanced dinner in less than half an hour.

ASIAN STEAMED COD w/ GINGER-SOY SOBA NOODLES

For the noodles:

6 ounces soba noodles or other Japanese-style noodle

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon sesame oil

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 green onions, thinly sliced

  • Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil.
  • Add the soba noodles and cook 2-3 minutes or until the pasta is done to your preference.
  • Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the water.
  • Add the sesame oil to the pot; add the ginger, garlic, and green onion.  Saute one minute.
  • Return the noodles to the pot, add the soy sauce and toss to coat.  If the noodles are sticky, add in the reserved pasta water in 1 tablespoon increments.

For the cod:

4 cod filets or other firm white fish

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup lower sodium soy sauce

1/4 rice vinegar

4 cloves garlic, sliced

3 pieces of fresh ginger

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 green onion, sliced

Salt & pepper

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

  • Coat a bamboo steamer with cooking spray.
  • In a shallow saucepan in which the steamer can fit snuggly, add the water, soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes and green onions.  Bring to a boil then reduce the heat so that the liquid  remains at a simmer.
  • Sprinkle the cod filets with salt and pepper and place in the basket of the steamer.  If you have a smaller steamer you will need to put two filets in each basket.
  • Place the basket over the simmering liquid and steam for 8-10 minutes.  If you have a tiered basket switch the top and bottom baskets half way through cooking so that the filets cook steam evenly.
  • Divide the fish between four plates, spoon some of the steaming sauce over the fish and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.  Serve with the ginger-soy noodles.

Maple – Soy Glazed Salmon

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It is Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion.  If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing you want to do to cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat.  The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes.  Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

Fresh salmon makes for a fast dinner since it cooks quickly under the broiler.  I like to marinade the salmon for a few minutes while the broiler pre-heats so that the flavor penetrates the fish.  Do not let the fish soak for too long otherwise the flavors will be too strong and the texture will become mealy.  I served this alongside leftover cucumber salad and a cherry and pecan quinoa pilaf that I started before I made the marinade for the salmon.  By the time the fish was done so was the quinoa.

MAPLE-SOY GLAZED SALMON

2 salmon steaks

1/4 cup real maple syrup

1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

2 cloves garlic, minced

Salt & pepper to taste

  • Combine the maple syrup, soy sauce, and minced garlic in a shallow non-reactive dish.
  • Remove any pin bones from the salmon steaks.
  • Place the steaks in the marinade and let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Pre-heat the broiler.  Coat a broiler pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  • Place the salmon on the prepared broiler pan.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Place the pan in the oven and broil for 3 minutes; baste with marinade and broil for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the oven, turn the salmon over and baste with the marinade.
  • Broil for an additional 3-4 minutes or until the salmon flakes with a fork and is cooked through.

Serves 2

Maple-Soy Marinated Salmon over Orange & Olive Oil Tagliatelle

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I love fresh salmon but due to its being a cold water fish, can rarely find it in the fish markets here in Albania.  It is sometimes available in frozen form but I find that its flavor and texture just doesn’t compare with the fresh version. I had all but given up the hope of finding any so imagine my surprise in seeing some while perusing the fish counter at the supermarket this weekend.  Without a particular recipe in mind I quickly bought two fillets since “easy come, easy go” seems to be the motto here.  I’ve learned the hard way that just because something is for sale this week doesn’t guarantee that it will be available next week.

Once home I dug into the pantry and put together a simple marinade based on the ingredients I had on hand.  The marinade is easy and because you don’t want to let the fish sit in the marinade for too long, the entire meal can be put on the table in less than twenty minutes.  If you don’t have an orange, a lemon can just as easily be substituted.  The same goes for the maple syrup; if you are using it be sure to use the real stuff.  If you don’t have maple syrup you can substitute honey or even brown sugar.

MAPLE-SOY MARINATED SALMON OVER ORANGE & OLIVE OIL TAGLIATELLE

1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce

3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup

1 Teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 clove minced garlic

Salt and pepper to taste

2- 4 ounce salmon filets, pin bones removed

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Juice from one orange

250 grams fresh tagliatelle

  • Combine soy sauce, maple syrup, orange zest, and minced garlic in a shallow, non-reactive dish.
  • Sprinkle the salmon filets with salt and pepper.  Add to the marinade and turn to coat.
  • Let sit for 15 minutes turning two or three times to evenly distribute the marinade.
  • Preheat a gas grill to medium-high heat.
  • Grill the salmon for 4-5 minutes per side until the fish is firm.  Baste regularly with the marinade.
  • While the salmon is grilling cook the tagliatelle for 4-5 minutes in a pot of boiling water.
  • Combine the orange juice and olive oil in a small bowl.  Season with salt and pepper.
  • Drain the tagliatelle then pour the orange juice mixture over the pasta.
  • Divide the pasta evenly between two shallow pasta bowls.  Top with the salmon.
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