Showing posts with label fish. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fish. Show all posts

Friday, March 3, 2017

Sweetlips

Betcha that title caught your eye, eh?

Blame it on the fish department at our supermarket: they slipped in a fish I’d never heard of. Yup, Sweetlips. 



Sweetlips, aka Plechtorhinchus, is a genus of grunts (oh, this just keeps getting better), which tends to live on coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific (Indonesia). They like to hang out with each other, or with other fish. One cool fact: their coloring and patterning change throughout their lives (google the images—there are some wonderful ones). Sounds like a pretty, friendly fish—with big fleshy lips.

[Note: most of the online articles cite their suitability for aquariums before considering them as food. Now I feel guilty about cooking it.]

But what was in the store was not a cute patterned fish with big lips, it was a mound of filets. Our favorite fish person did something smart: she sauteed a bunch with a marinade and handed out free bite-size samples. It tasted good! It’s a nice mild-flavored, slightly flaky fish, and holds together well when you cook it.



What the heck, we’re having sweetlips for dinner!


Sweetlip Filets with Asian Sauce

(this recipe should serve 4—as usual I cut it in half)

Ingredients:


2 lbs sweetlip filets
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp chopped fresh ginger
3 Tblsp teriyaki sauce
2 Tblsp fish sauce
1 tblsp brown sugar

Oil for frying

If you’re craving a bit of spice, you can thinly slice a red chile and add that at the end, or sliced scallions for color. I didn’t have a fresh chile on hand, so I added a dash of some kind of red pepper sauce (that name was the only English on the label!).

What the heck, it
might taste good!


Instructions:

Heat the oil in a sautee pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until softened.



Add the teriyaki sauce, fish sauce, ginger and sugar and simmer for a few minutes until it thickens a little.



Add the fish filets to the pan (turn them in the pan to cover with the sauce), reduce the heat to low, and steam/simmer until the fish is cooked (the filets are thin, so it shouldn’t take long).



Garnish with the sliced chili and scallions if you’re using them. Serve with steamed rice and a green vegetable.






Eleven days and counting until the release of Cruel Winter, the fifth County Cork Mystery! (Will winter be over by then?)

What do you do when you're snowed in at a pub in Ireland? You talk, you drink, you make some music--and you solve an old murder.

Available for pre-order at Amazon ad Barnes and Noble. And still on sale!

www.sheilaconnolly.com

(And coming soon--a major update for my website!)




Friday, February 17, 2017

Celery Root Remoulade

Do you watched the show Chopped on the Food Network? That’s the one where four contestants are handed mystery baskets of food items and told to make something yummy in twenty minutes. The results are judged by a panel of food critics and restauranteurs. In case you’re wondering where the hook is, the ingredients can by as weird and wonderful as marshmallows, pickles, frogs legs and peanut butter—and all of them must be used in the same dish. It’s cruel fun to watch the contestant cooks panic, but I must say I get a lot of ideas there.

I hold my own Chopped challenge at home. It’s been snowing around here a lot lately (oh, look, there it goes again), and I really don’t want to go to the local store because I don’t happen to have a lemon or six eggs. So I challenge myself: what can I make using only ingredients in my fridge, freezer or pantry?

What do I have now? Frozen mussels and leftover Thanksgiving turkey. A pair of quinces. A celery root. Some parsnips. A number of spices I can’t even identify, and at least a dozen kinds of salt. All the staples, of course—sugar, flour, butter, eggs, milk. Six kinds of rice, and as many kinds of pasta. Surely there’s a dish waiting to be made somewhere in there?

This is a celery root. Ugly, isn't it?
But somebody tried really hard to make
it sound appealing

Celery root seems to be the prime candidate—you know, that gnarly thing that stays underground while that cluster of nice green stalks rises above it. However, I wanted to skip the obvious choices like puree of celery root, or celery root soup, or celery root gratin, some of which involve combining the celery root with potatoes or even apples. Trolling through Epicurious, I came upon an old recipe from Gourmet magazine that involved celery root and sea scallops. Sorry no scallops, I don’t have any scallops on hand. But I do have a nice filet of fresh (never-frozen) American-caught haddock, which is a sturdy white fish. Bingo. Swap in the haddock for the scallops, and the celeriac goes into a pungent remoulade sauce—for which I actually have all the ingredients!

Haddock with Celery Root Remoulade

Remoulade Sauce:

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup finely chopped sweet red pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow pepper
1 Tblsp capers, drained and chopped
1 Tblsp Dijon mustard
1 Tblsp chopped shallot
1 Tblsp fresh tarragon, chopped
1-1/2 Tblsp fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

1-lb celery root (aka celeriac)

Fish filets
Olive oil for sautéeing


Instructions:

Chop whatever needs chopping;



Mix together the sauce ingredients and season with salt and pepper. (The sauce can be made ahead and kept chilled.)

Sorry, it's still ugly

Peel the celery root (they’re lumpy critters!) and cut into matchsticks (okay, get real—I am not going to slice this thing into 1/8-inch sticks—I’ll settle for maybe 1/4-inch thickness). Add to the sauce and toss (taste for seasoning again and add salt and pepper if needed).



Season the fish lightly with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a skillet and saute the fish filet(s) until they’re cooked through. (I’ll admit, haddock seems to flake apart when you’re cooking it, so it doesn’t look very tidy.)



Serve on a plate with a mound of the remoulade alongside, and some kind of starch—I used pearl or Israeli couscous. Oops, everything on the plate seems to be white. Blame it on the snow.





As you can guess from the cover and the title, Cruel Winter takes place during a snowstorm. Don't worry--snow doesn't hang around in Ireland for very long. In this case, it's just long enough to solve an old murder. Maybe.

Coming March 14. You can pre-order it at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. And after March 14 I hope you can find it everywhere!

www.sheilaconnolly.com



Friday, September 16, 2016

Fish Filets with Mustard Sauce

(This recipe was adapted from The Seafood Cookbook: Classic to Contemporary, by Pierre Franey and Bryan Miller (1986))


I’ve been collecting recipes for a long time, and now they fill two large binders, one for savory recipes, the other for sweet. Note that the sweet recipes far outnumber the savory ones. Guess that tells you something.

These recipes come from all sorts of sources. One is a hand-scrawled recipe for lobster Cantonese, which I made with a group of friends in our college dorm circa 1970 (we kept the live lobsters in the bathtub on our floor until we were ready to start cooking). Some come from friends, like my easy chocolate mousse recipe, from a guy who dated a number of my roommates. I subscribed to both Bon Appetit and Gourmet for a number of years, and copied recipes I thought sounded good. Others I clipped from newspapers in several different states and carefully saved.




How many have I used? Maybe 20 percent. But every now and then I go rummaging for something different—and that’s where this recipe popped up in the Savory binder.

In our house we eat fish at least once a week, and white fish and salmon offer endless options for cooking and sauces. This rediscovered recipe was a happy surprise: while it dates for 1986, it’s reasonably health and quite quick and easy to prepare. Brilliant of me to save it for thirty years, right?


Fish Filets with Mustard Sauce

(note: this recipe serves four, but I reduced it for two at home)

Ingredients:

3 Tblsp olive oil
6 skinless fish filets (you can use any firm-fleshed white fish), about 2 lbssalt and freshly ground pepper4 Tblsp Dijon mustard1/3 cup finely chopped shallots1 Tblsp minced garlic3/4 lb small fresh mushrooms2 tsp dry white wine4 Tblsp unsalted butterChopped parsley (optional)


Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Select a baking pan large enough to hold the filets in one layer without crowding.

Pour the olive oil over the bottom of the pan. Turn the filets in the oil to coat, then sprinkle with salt and pepper and brush with mustard.




Scatter the shallots, garlic and mushrooms around the filets.




Place the baking pan on top of the stove and heat until the oil begins to sizzle. Add the wine and bring to a simmer.

Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 15 minutes (keep an eye on the filets—if they’re thin, you may not need to cook them this long, and you don’t want to overcook them). Baste, then return the pan to the oven and bake for another 5 minutes.




Remove the fish to a serving platter. Swirl the butter in the baking pan until it melts, the pour over the filets. (If you’re being health-conscious, you can omit the butter—there’s plenty of flavor from the other ingredients.)

Sprinkle with parsley if you like, then serve immediately.



It’s nice to see that some of the older recipes stand the test of time!


Oh, right, there's a book coming: Seeds of Deception, October 4th (soon!).

Yes, there are recipes--even sleuths have to eat. 

Waiting for you at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

www.sheilaconnolly.com
\

Friday, July 22, 2016

Citrus-Poached Fish

It has been hot here in Massachusetts lately. I do not have air-conditioning (I have lots of fans and windows that open on both sides of the house, but it’s not the same, believe me). And there’s a heat wave scheduled for today, and tomorrow, and . . .  So lately my thoughts have run to recipes that involve a minimum of heat to prepare.

Oh, all right, it's not Massachusetts. But this
is how it feels!

Sure, I could grill food outside, but for a few weeks it’s been only me at home (spouse has been gallivanting around the world to exotic places where other people prepare his food for him), and it seems a waste to stoke up the Weber to grill one pathetic piece of chicken.

So, I looked to fish. Cooks quickly. Adapts to just about any flavor. Healthy. Over the years I’ve provided MLK readers with a lot of fish recipes, from creamy to spicy. Well, here’s yet another one!


Citrus-Poached Fish

(This recipe serves four; I made a half recipe)


Ingredients:

3 lemons
1-1/2 cups chicken broth
2 Tblsp dry white wine
1/2 cup chopped shallots
2 Tblsp fresh dill
2 Tblsp drained capers (note: the capers were in short supply in my pantry, so I added a few green peppercorns to spice things ups)
4 fish fillets (a generous pound total)—you can use any firm-fleshed white fish, such as cod. I chose pollock, because at our market this week it was wild-caught and never frozen.
4 tsp olive oil
Salt to taste

Slice one of the lemons in half and squeeze to make 2 Tblsp juice. Slice the remaining lemons thinly.



In a large skillet, combine the broth, wine, lemon juice and shallots. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 2 minutes, then reduce the heat and simmer for another ten minutes. Stir in the dill and capers.

Dill

Place the fillets in the liquid. Drizzle with the olive oil and lay the lemon slices on top. Simmer, loosely covered, until the fish flakes easily (this should take about 5 minutes, depending on the thickness of your fillets).

Ready to cook
Taste the broth and add salt if needed. Serve with rice or couscous, and spoon some of the cooking liquid over the fish.




This is the next book, Seeds of Deception, coming from Berkley Prime Crime in October. As you can guess from the cover, it takes place in winter.

In this I've managed to combine Monticello and the Mafia, and the town where I went to high school. It was a lot of fun to write.

You can pre-order it at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.


As it happens, I'm working on two other books at the moment: the next County Cork mystery, Winters Past, also set in winter (with a blizzard!); and the next Relatively Dead mystery (still nameless), which takes place in October. Good planning, right? At least I can think cool thoughts while I swelter at my keyboard.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Tilapia with Caper-Parsley Sauce and Roasted Potatoes


LESLIE BUDEWITZ: You’d think from my posts the last few months that we’re big fish eaters. We do try to eat fish a couple of times a week, and the sauces we’ve discovered recently make that easy. Tilapia is great baked with a Panko and Parmesan coating, with smoked paprika, but I wanted other varieties, so I went looking. Hence, my posts on Lemon-Garlic Grilled Tilapia with Couscous and Grilled Cod with Parsley-Caper Pesto, not to be confused with this sauce! (Okay, you’re confused. It’s okay—I’m confused, too. But at least we’re all well fed.) Cod or any other firm, white fish would be good here, too.

We’re big sauce fans, so when we make this for the two of us, we don’t cut the amount of sauce ingredients. (Mr. Right calls sauce “goop.” Not long after we were married, his older brother visited. Dinner involved a sauce. He called it “goop.” Their mother, ever gracious, simply rolled her eyes.) It's a fairly simple reduction, much like Julia Child's famous sauce for chicken.

Potatoes might seem like an odd side dish to fish, but they’re terrific here. And they are scrumptious with the goop. (As the picture shows, we also enjoyed asparagus that night, but of course, it's highly seasonal, so choose whatever side vegetable you'd like.)

Tilapia with Caper-Parsley Sauce and Roasted Potatoes 

1 ½ pounds fingerling or new potatoes, halved

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more if needed

kosher salt and black pepper

4 6-ounce tilapia fillets

4 ½ tablespoons cold butter

1 cup dry white wine

2 tablespoons capers

1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley

Preheat oven to 450° F.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. On the baking sheet, toss the potatoes with the oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Roast, tossing once, until tender, 30 to 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, season the tilapia with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Heat 1½ tablespoons of the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the tilapia in batches until cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side, adding more oil to the pan if necessary. Transfer to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.

Add the wine to the skillet and cook over medium-high heat until reduced by half, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter, plus the capers and parsley. Serve with the tilapia and potatoes.

Serves 4.














From the cover of GUILTY AS CINNAMON: 

Murder heats up Seattle’s Pike Place Market in the next Spice Shop mystery from the national bestselling author of Assault and Pepper.

Pepper Reece knows that fiery flavors are the spice of life. But when a customer dies of a chili overdose, she finds herself in hot pursuit of a murderer…




Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model and avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website  and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebookwhere I often share news of new books and giveaways from my cozy writer friends.


Friday, April 22, 2016

Pickled Herring Casserole

Last week I regaled you with tales of the local Herring Run Festival (where the guests of honor—the herring—failed to show up).

In case you’re wondering (ha!), local herring (or alewife) are flatish fish between 10-15 inches long, that migrate by the millions each year, gathering offshore to begin their difficult trek up coastal streams and rivers to their traditional spawning grounds. There’s one in my town (and I’ve seen the herring running there), and also one in Plymouth, in the stream that runs behind the gristmill there that was managed by one of my ancestors. Local agencies in Plymouth have worked together to improve the herrings’ passage at that spot, on a “notched weir-pond fishway.” Whatever that is.




Oh, all right, back to food. I decided I wanted to try cooking herring, because it’s herring season. Which turned out to be complicated. It’s difficult and in some cases illegal to harvest the herring during their run upstream. I asked my helpful fish-vendor at my local supermarket if herring was available and she looked at me like I was crazy. Which left me with only one option: pickled herring.



I do like pickled herring, courtesy of those same Swedish step-grandparents I mentioned earlier. But most of the recipes I found were either for how to pickle your own (assuming you find herring), or how to use the finished product in a salad. I am not ready to face salads—it’s still cold out there. I finally found one recipe, originated by Emeril Lagasse (who included the recipe for pickling your own, which he borrowed from a Massachusetts source), later repeated by Martha Stewart. I bought a jar of pickled herring in white wine.


Pickled Herring Casserole

Ingredients:

1 Tblsp butter

1 cup fine dried bread crumbs (I used panko)
1 Tblsp finely chopped fresh parsley
2 oz. grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
1 pound potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 cups thinly sliced onions
2 Tblsp four
Pickled herring (the recipe called for six whole ones, but mine were already cut up—I used one jar)
1-1/2 cups whole milk (or cream)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a glass or ceramic baking dish with butter.

If like me you are using pre-made pickled herring, rinse it in water and drain.

In a small bowl, combine the crumbs, parsley and cheese, and season with the salt and pepper. Mix well.



Season the potatoes and onions with salt and pepper. Place a layer of potatoes on the bottom of the casserole, and add a layer of onions on top. Sprinkle 1 Tblsp of flour over the onions.



Place half the herring on top of the onions. Repeat, making a second layer of potatoes/onions/herring. 



Pour the milk slowly over the contents of the casserole. Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the top, and dot with any butter you have left.

Cover the top with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until the crumb topping is nicely browned. Test with a sharp knife to see if the potatoes are cooked through.



My assessment? Not bad. The herring adds a nice tang to the dish. I think next time I’d increase the cream to milk ratio to create a bit more sauce. Actually you could make this with almost any preserved fish (smoked salmon, for example), and it’s quick and simple. 



Happy Herring Season!


Getting closer all the time...

I grew up outside of Philadelphia. My father worked in North Philadelphia, and his company (Philadelphia Gear Corporation) was among the first to flee the city in favor of the suburbs, in 1958. So in a way, I witnessed the decline of the city.

But I worked in the city too (and I worked for the City), years later, and I believe in the city and its citizens. So does my protagonist Nell Pratt--and with some help from her friends, she comes up with some creative ideas to try to turn the tide of urban decline.

Coming June 7th. Available now for pre-order at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.