Steamed Fish with Lemon Butter Wine Sauce

I love this quick and light recipe for warmer weather days.  It works really well with any mild, white-fleshed fish such as sole, cod, halibut or striped bass.  You can also try a more flavorful fish such as salmon or trout.  Just make sure to start with the freshest fish available and choose varieties that are wild caught.  Please see my previous post on why it’s important to consume wild caught fish.  

Steaming is an ideal way to cook delicate fish that might otherwise fall apart or dry out if sautéed, grilled or baked.  It also allows flavors to remain inside the fish, instead of escaping into the cooking water, as in the case of poaching.

I like to pair this light dish with veggies such as the roasted asparagus I previously posted.

4 fish fillets
¼ cup dry white wine
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
2 tsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Season fillets with salt and pepper.
Heat white wine in a sauté pan over high heat until it begins to steam.  
Whisk in one tablespoon butter.  
Quickly add the fish to the pan in a single layer and cover.  
Simmer over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, until fish is opaque.  Remove fillets.  
Wisk in the remaining butter, lemon juice and parsley into the pan liquid.
When sauce begins to bubble, remove from heat, add salt and pepper to taste.  
To serve, spoon sauce over fillets. 

Grilled Whole Fish

Whole grilled fish is one of the most delightful meals, especially on a hot summer day when you don’t want to do any cooking in the house, besides throwing together a quick salad to accompany the meal.  Grilling fish whole enhances its flavor and juiciness because the skin and a thin layer of fat beneath it are left intact; these serve to insulate the flesh during cooking.  Any whole fish will do, but you generally want it small, about 10 inches or so.  Our favorite is the mild, white-fleshed Mediterranean sea bass also called branzino or branzini.  It has relatively few bones which are simple to remove.  Make sure your fish is scaled and gutted prior to cooking.  I used fresh dill and parsley for seasoning; you may also try cilantro and basil.  Recipe adopted from Martha Stewart Living.

2 whole fish, cleaned, heads and tails intact
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and pepper

1 lemon, thinly sliced
3 sprigs fresh dill

1 lime, thinly sliced
3 sprigs fresh parsley 

Preheat grill to medium-high.  Drizzle cavity of each fish with olive oil, season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.  Stuff one fish with lemon slices and dill, the other with lime slices and parsley.  Make long ¼ inch-deep diagonal slits on both sides of the fish to insure even cooking and to allow the seasonings to penetrate the fish.  Rub both sides with additional olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper.  Brush hot grill with oil and place fish directly on the grill or you may also use a grilling basket, like we did.  Cook uncovered about 5 to 7 minutes.  Flip fish over and grill on the other side for another 5 to 7 minutes or until cooked through and opaque.  Serve fish with lemon and lime wedges, and a favorite salad for a light and oh-so-satisfying meal!  

Baked Wild Salmon Patties

These patties are great for a quick and easy meal, paired with soup or salad.  The recipe calls for common ingredients most people tend to have on-hand.  If you are not gluten-free you can substitute the almond flour for wheat or spelt flour.

While we're on the topic of fish, I would like to add how crucial it is to consume only wild caught fish.  According to Dr. Mercola, wild fish have a more complete micronutrient, fat, mineral and antioxidant content because they eat a natural diet.  Farm raised fish, on the other hand, are fed an artificial diet consisting of grains, such as corn and soy, most of which are genetically modified.  Due to this unnatural diet, the nutritional content of the fish is greatly altered.  While it may be much fattier than wild salmon, it contains far less healthful omega-3 fatty acids and also less protein.

Ingredients
6 oz. can of wild salmon, drained
2 eggs, beaten
3 Tbsp. green onions, minced
1 – 2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. fresh dill, finely chopped
1 – 2 Tbsp. ricotta cheese
2 Tbsp. almond flour (optional)
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
2 Tbsp. lemon juice

Preheat oven to 365 F. 
Combine all ingredients except the flour in a mixing bowl.  If the mixture's consistency is runny, sift in the flour and combine well.  Shape mixture into equal-size patties and place in a shallow baking pan lined with oiled parchment paper.  Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, flip and bake an additional 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.  Drizzle with lemon juice prior to serving warm or cold.  These patties can also be pan fried in coconut oil, if you prefer.

Brazilian Fish Stew

DSC_0656.JPG

As a busy mom, I am always looking for one-dish meal ideas.  This is a great paleo/gluten-free dish I found on Pinterest.  The original recipe is from The Gaia Health Blog.  It is simple to make and full of exotic flavor.  My current favorites – cilantro and lime juice – really make the dish come alive!

1 – 2 lb. fish fillet of choice
2 Tbsp. butter or coconut oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 - 3 tsp garlic, minced
2 - 3 tsp ginger, diced
1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, diced
½ cup broth or water
4 green onions, finely chopped
1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
Juice of one lime

In a large pan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add onion, garlic and ginger; sauté until translucent. Add the tomatoes, bell pepper and broth.  Cook until vegetables are tender.  Place fish over the vegetables, season with sea salt and pepper, and let cook through. Before serving sprinkle with green onion, cilantro and drizzle with lime juice.

Early Harvest - Spring Sorrel

Spring is in full swing around here.  The rain and the warm sunny days have been good to our vegetable garden.  Even though the tomatoes just got planted today and the cucumber seeds went in the ground last week, we have already had an abundant sorrel harvest. 

In Russia and Ukraine it’s called “shchavel” (щавель); there it is grown in almost every garden and used to make a soup called green borscht.  However, one can only eat so much green borscht, so I began experimenting with different recipes.

Sorrel is a perennial leafy green or herb belonging to the same botanical family as rhubarb and buckwheat.  Its tart, acidic, lemony flavor can be quite exquisite when paired well.  The herb's sharpness is due to oxalic acid, which, in large quantities can be toxic.  When sorrel is cooked its tartness wanes, making it a wonderful compliment to fish or chicken and an excellent candidate for sauces.  It can also be used in soups, stews, and tarts.  The raw tender leaves can be added to salads and green smoothies.

Fish with sorrel sauce is a staple of French cuisine.  Here I paired it with broiled salmon but it can also complement halibut, cod or sole.  The sauce will also work well over potatoes or rice. This recipe is from Mother Earth Living.

1 Tbsp. butter
2 shallots or 1 onion, chopped
2 cups fresh sorrel leaves, stems and heavy veins removed, chopped
1⁄4 cup white wine
1 cup heavy cream
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
Sea salt
Freshly ground pepper

In a small saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add shallots or onion and cook until soft.
Add sorrel and cook gently until sorrel wilts.
Add white wine and cook until reduced slightly.
Add cream and lemon juice, cook over medium heat until sauce slightly thickens, about 6 to 10 minutes.
Remove pan from heat. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste.