Sunday, February 10, 2008

Holy Moly!

It's hailing here in Boston! Oye vey and it's coming down hard and it's extremely windy as well. It looks painful just to be outside. It looks like someone put Boston on the wash cycle and we're not taking gentle rinse here people!

Anyway, I wanted to post about fish today. One of my new year's resolutions was to eat fish at least once a week. So far I've done a pretty good job of it. Up till now I've been poaching the fish in foil with a bit of olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon or orange. It's been fairly tasty and light. But lately I've had enough of the poaching in foil route and wanted to try something a bit different. My experience cooking fish at home is limited to none.

I'm an avid reader of food blogs and came across this recipe here: Sweet Nicks
I like this blog because I think it's great that this mom makes time to try out all sorts of new recipes. Not to mention that her son is perhaps the cutest thing ever too. Anyway, her recipes don't usually appeal to me (different folks, different strokes), but when I saw this fish recipe I knew I just had to try it. I made the recipe with Sweet Nicks' modifications I love anything with capers!

Sautéed Tilapia with Lemon-Peppercorn Pan Sauce
Recipe courtesy of Pam Anderson, Cooking Light, MARCH 2004
And Sweet Nick
3/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons drained capers (I used probably double the amount b/c I'm a caper fiend like that)
1 teaspoon butter
1 lb fish
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons butter
Lemon wedges (optional)

Combine first 3 ingredients. Melt 1 teaspoon of butter with oil in a large nonstick skillet over low heat. While butter melts, sprinkle fish fillets with salt and black pepper. Place the flour in a shallow dish. Dredge fillets in flour; shake off excess flour.

Increase heat to medium-high; heat 2 minutes or until butter turns golden brown. Add fillets to pan; sauté 3 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Remove fillets from pan. Add broth mixture to pan, scraping to loosen browned bits. Bring to a boil; cook until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 3 minutes). Remove from heat. Stir in two teaspoons of butter with a whisk. Serve sauce over fillets. Garnish with lemon wedges, if desired.

The recipe said you should serve with rice. Rice would have certainly soaked up all the lovely sauce. But since I had just gone to the grocery store earlier than evening and only had long cooking brown rice (aka would have taken another hour), I decided to try something a little different. I didn't have any thing that would really soak up the sauce on the fish but as I stood in front of my fridge, it dawned on me that I had bought a cute little head of cauliflower to roast in the oven for later in the week. Hmmm, perhaps I could do a faux mash of cauliflower...kinda like masked potatoes. I cut off some florets, rinse them well and popped them in the microwave for a few minutes. Once they were fork tender, I threw them into my blender with some chicken stock, a small pat of butter, lots of salt, some pepper and a fresh chopped scallion.

I scooped out the mixture. It kinda looked like mashed potatoes and smelled delicious. I placed the fish and plenty of the sauce on my plate and settled in for an evening of reading the Sunday New York Times and channel surfing for a bit.

How was it? Divine! I took a small bite of the fish, sauce, caper and cauliflower mash and boy was it good! The fish was tender and moist, a bit crispy on the edges. The sauce had the right balance of acid and I swear the cauliflower almost tasted like mashed spuds (and no I didn't use a lot of butter!).

It was a lovely, easy and fairly light meal. I was proud of myself for venturing into new territory with fish. And actually I can't wait to make this meal again soon! the time it took me to write this post, it stopped hailing, started snowing and now has stopped completely. Boston weather is strange indeed!

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