Archive for the ‘fish’ Category

Chermoula Salmon

May 31, 2013

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Another simple salmon recipe: just slather salmon with chermoula–a pesto-like Moroccan marinade–and roast until done (in my toaster oven, this takes 20 minutes at 425 degrees, but your mileage may vary).

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Tapenade Salmon with Orange Spinach en Papillote

May 23, 2013
Tapenade Salmon en Papillote over Orange Spinach before baking

Tapenade Salmon en Papillote over Orange Spinach before baking

This is an easy, low-carb make-ahead supper. Well, it is easy if you buy a jar of  olive spread (I used Ta’amti tapenade).

It also helps if you know how to cook “en papillote,” which is a French term for cooking something wrapped in paper. According to the dictionary, the term doesn’t come from “papier” (paper) but “papillon” (butterfly). Maybe because the paper is traditionally cut into a heart shape, folded in half, so it looks a bit like a butterfly? I don’t know . . . But, you can even more easily wrap the fish in a rectangular piece of foil and that will still accomplish the primary “en papillote” goal of trapping and infusing flavor during baking. I have made this fish in foil and in paper and both ways work.

Here is what you do: saute baby spinach with garlic and orange zest and then lay it on a piece of parchment or foil (traditionally, the paper is greased, but I didn’t bother and it was fine). Spread a piece of salmon with tapenade and place the salmon over the spinach. Squeeze over a little lemon juice. Wrap the fish up in the foil or parchment (here is how you crimp the parchment, if that is what you are using). Set the package aside in the refrigerator until about 20 minutes before you want to serve the fish. Then cook the fish and serve.

You could also make this fish without the paper or foil, just roasting it uncovered on a baking sheet. The spinach can be cooked separately on the stove instead of with the fish in the oven. The en papillote method seems to infuse the flavors more, plus you get a delicious blast of savory aromas when you open the package. Olive, orange and garlic fuse together, creating an aroma that is intense, almost meaty in its umami-ness (if that is a word).

The spinach all by itself is lovely, fragrant with garlic and a hit of orange that is both unexpected and yet absolutely right. If you want to make the spinach separately, you can just leave the spinach in the pan in which you wilt it, cover it and cook it another 20 minutes on low before serving.

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Miso Happy

May 16, 2012

Is there anything as cheering on a gray, rainy day as a bowl of miso soup? It is so healthy and energizing.

This isn’t authentic miso soup, but more of a simple cheat. All the same, it strongly reminds me of the kind of soup I have had in restaurants.

It is really pretty easy. Combine miso, water, a little soy sauce, cubed tofu, sliced scallions and sliced mushrooms. Heat to not quite boiling. Put a spoonful of fried onions in a ceramic bowl, add the soup.

Miso is very versatile–no need to save just for soup making (although I hear that a little bit added to French Onion soup is fabulous). You can use it in dressings, spreads and marinades for fish, poultry and vegetables.

Miso-glazed cod is a classic, but you can use miso on salmon, too. I concocted a marinade with 2 Tbl. white miso, 2 Tbl. Mirin, 1 Tbl. honey, the juice of half a lime, a few shakes of dried ginger and a pinch of white pepper. This is enough marinade for a pound of fish. Roast at 425 for 25 minutes.

Here is another thing you can do with miso that is extraordinarily easy: combine peanut butter (2 Tbl.), miso (2 tsp.), and honey (to taste, maybe a teaspoon or two). Spread this on toast and top with sliced apple, pear or banana.  This sandwich idea (with the apples) originally came from Serendipity. The recipe was published in The Serendipity Cookbook, which is out of print. I don’t have a copy of that book and can’t find the recipe online, so my version is from memory. Actually, I think I remember first learning about it from this episode of this show, where the owner of the restaurant Serendipity, Calvin Holt, demonstrated how to make the sandwich. I think the original sandwich involved alfalfa sprouts, but I can’t precisely remember.

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South African Sweet and Sour Gefilte Fish Sauce

February 24, 2012

Me to husband: Oooh, “South African Sweet and Sour Gefilte Fish.” Doesn’t that sound good? Should I make that?

Husband: I like plain gefilte.

Me: The gefilte in this recipe is baked with a sauce made with apricot jam, vinegar, onions, ginger, golden raisins . . . .

Husband: I like plain gefilte.

Me: Well, I could make plain gefilte and make the sauce to serve on the side.

Husband: Fine. As long the gefilte is plain.

So, I made the sauce and served it on the side. And, guess what? Huge hit. Husband approved and asked for more (actually slathered on the sauce, which ended up being incredibly good).

The sweet and tangy, with a little burn from the spices, this South African gefilte sauce is a delicious alternative to the usual chrain.  It is kind of a chutney, and I imagine it might be a nice condiment or sauce for other dishes (chicken? meatballs? tofu?).

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Garlic Paprika Tilapia

January 15, 2012

My grandmother A”H used to make wonderful garlic carp. She would take carp steaks and rub them with garlic, salt and paprika and then bake the fish for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees. This carp was one of her fish specialties, along with pickled salmon.

I tried this with some tilapia filets, and the delectable smell of this cooking brought my family to the table in record time.

Here is what I did: mashed garlic to a paste with a little salt and rubbed it all over the fish filets (1 clove was enough for three filets). Sprinkled over a very generous amount of paprika. I added a light sprinkle of Paul Prudhomme blackened fish seasoning (which has paprika, herbs, garlic powder, onion powder and some other spices).  Then I drizzled over some olive oil and rubbed the oil and seasoning into the fish.

I roasted the fish at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes (it was really done after about 10-15 minutes, but my husband likes his fish really well cooked).

Bonus: Sierra has a recipe for sauteed tilapia with tomato garlic  sauce that looks nice. I was originally thinking of serving my tilapia with tomato sauce, but the fish got eaten up before I had a chance to implement this plan.

Vayechi: Fish Cake

January 4, 2012

When I asked my children what they wanted to do for a parsha project, my son said he wanted to do something connected with Ephraim and Menashe. He wanted a chocolate cake, and I suggested one decorated like a fish. When Yaacov blessed Ephraim and Menashe he said “may they multiply abundantly like fish, in the midst of the land.”

Why fish? Rashi says it because fish proliferate hidden from view of the “ayin harah.”

Rabbi Edlestein explains: fish are protected from the evil eye because they live hidden from our view. They do not inspire jealousy because people are not aware of what goes on in their world. The message is that Jews should model themselves after fish in this regard, living in a separate spiritual environment, modestly, without the ostentation that would attract envious attention. “In the midst of the land” means that Jews should also be part of and contribute to the larger world.

Other ideas:

Just as a fish cannot live without water, so a Jew cannot live without Torah. (Chabad)

A fish cannot lose its kosher status if it is kosher; other kosher animal can become unkosher if they slaughtered properly or if there is some defect. Yaacov’s blessing was therefore that Ephraim and Menashe never lose their pure status. (Partners in Torah, Rabbi Meisels)

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Salmon Puffs

October 1, 2011

Imagine little borekas, but with a surprise bite of Dijon Dill Salmon on the inside instead of the usual potato or cheese or spinach. If that appeals to you, then you will love these little puffs.

This is adapted from Chavi Sperber’s recipe for Salmon Pastry Boxes in the Joy of Kosher Magazine. The original recipe called for making puff pastry and cutting it into eight squares (5″ square). I used pre-made puff squares (about 3″ square). Instead of cutting the salmon into eight chunks, I cut it into 18 pieces and made smaller two-bite puffs. I shaped and baked the puffs differently, too. Instead of baking them at 350, I baked them at 375 degrees, convection mode (400 degrees regular mode). One more thing: I eliminated the cute scallion garnish (you tie the puffs like little packages).

These are delicious and different. And easy, too!

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