Wish Upon A Dish

October 20, 2014

Mediterranean Olive Oil Poached Swordfish

I have this weird thing I do in the supermarket. I can't stop myself from checking out the seafood, even when I have trout, flounder and cod in my freezer.

So that could only mean two things, The Nudge is traveling and I am hopping they have swordfish.

I love when a plan comes together. I'm OK that it's frozen, I actually prefer the ones shrink wrapped and frozen. I got lucky with a piece with no bloodline that was pink and perfect. And on sale!!!!

Starting the day he left for Chicago a huge storm stretching from Canada to the Panhandle finally made it's way east. While it's only raining on and off today, there is too much 'on' to grill so that left me two options. Sear or roast. But wait, there was another way. I remember a method not used much here in the US but all over the Mediterranean. Olive oil poached fish. It is best used on firm fish, such as tuna, salmon, halibut and swordfish. No, I have never poached anything in olive oil, but I have slow roasted white beans the French way and tomatoes in the Italian way.

Yes, I am having herb infused olive oil poached white beans with my swordfish. Why use two pans when one will do? Why dirty two pans when you are doing the dishes?  Get it? Good.
First you need to season your fish and bring it to room temperature. I used my herb sea salt.
Next, preheat the oven to 250° and pour at least 1" of olive oil in a straight sided oven ready pan (I used my small cast iron, it was perfect).

Poached the beans before cooking the fish. Yes, they were canned beans, but rinsed and drained well. Next I add two smashed cloves of garlic, a spring of rosemary, oregano, thyme and sage to the oil and a half a small shallot. When the oil reaches 120° add the beans and return the pan to the oven for 15 minutes. Move the beans over and carefully slide the fish into the oil. Remember, it's very hot.

I covered mine for the last 10 minutes but it only took 30 minutes to cook. While the fish poached, I made a sauce of tomatoes, oil-cured olives, capers and a minced clove of garlic, salt & pepper along with a pinch of red pepper flakes for character. I will add the beans to the sauce and spoon it over my fish.

One of my best swordfish meals and I am not just saying that because I like my cooking.
Healthy, low fat, low carb (if any) and diapropriate.

Mediterranean Swordfish

* 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
* 1/2 cup white beans, rinsed and drained
* 1 small shallot, finely chopped
* 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
* 5 canned San Marzano tomatoes, chopped
* 6 black oil cured olives, pitted and finely chopped
* 1 tablespoons capers
* 1 swordfish steak, about 4 ounces
* salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 250°. Fill a cast iron pan with olive oil and herbs.
2. When oil registers 120° remove the herbs and add the beans. Braise for 15 minutes.
3. Carefully slide the fish into the oil and return to the oven. Poach for 30 minutes.
4. Remove the fish to a plate and in a bowl, add the beans, the shallot, garlic, olives, capers and tomatoes. Stir to combine and taste for seasoning.
5. Spoon the beans over the fish and serve.

October 17, 2014

Spanish Meatballs ♥ One Sauce, Five Meals

I am having a very hard time writing this post but I owe my readers a finish to something I started a few weeks ago.
I admit my mind is elsewhere and I hope that my lack of concentration is due to family not to a lack of enthusiasm for cooking. I have seen many blogs end due to burnout and I would hate to be the next casualty. Time lately, has just flown by and happily we have a small 4 day trip to Gettysburg planned until Tuesday. I am so looking forward to surrounding myself with history and not cooking vessels.
So before I go, I will finish all loose ends and return with renewed energy.

So, let's finish this series "Master Sauce, Five Dishes".
To recap, Oxtail Stew inspired a Shrimp Etouffee, then Braised Ribs in Tomato Sauce, a Sichuan Baked Cod and, finally, Spanish Meatballs.

I have to admit planning and making the dishes was easy, taking their picture and writing the post was so very difficult.
I liked the conception but picked the wrong time to implement the project.

I liked the idea that these were baby meatballs, the kind kids will gobble up and adults will appreciate. These are no way near an Albondiga which are Mexican meatballs. Picture a baking dish of sizzling garlic shrimp and substitute the shrimp for meat.

There it is in a nutshell. Served with noodles or rice and even Fideos would work, I served mine with a salad and a loaf of Panella bread. Yum. The sauce is to die for. I must worn you, there is copious amounts of garlic but it's cooked not raw so toned down a bit. This makes quite a few meatballs and leftovers would be good as an addition in a soup, just quarter them to make them bite-sized.

If you are interested in my opinion, the Etouffee and these meatballs are worth making again but the cod, although good, was not a Nudge favorite, but then cod is not on the top of his fish list.
The ribs? OMG, they were out-of-this-world fabulous and made it into our top 20 favs for 2014.

These meatballs were made in my slow cooker and the aromatics were microwaved to bloom the flavors before adding them along with the broth, white wine and master sauce to the insert.
It was that easy.

Spanish Meatballs
makes about 40 1-inch balls

* 4 sliced white sandwich bread
* 1 cup whole milk
* 2 pounds 85% lean ground beef
* 1/2 cup grated cheese
* 2 large egg yolks
* 1/4 cup minced parsley
* 6 cloves garlic, minced
* salt & pepper
* 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
* 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
* 1 cup master sauce
* 2 cups chicken broth
* 2 bay leaves
* 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 475° degrees. Place wire rack in aluminum foil-lines rimmed baking sheet.
2. Mash bread and milk into a paste in large bowl using fork. Mix in ground beef, Parmesan, egg yolks, 1/4 cup parsley, 2 garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper using hands. Use a tablespoon scoop to portion the meatballs, roll and arrange on prepared baking sheet. Bake until lightly browned, about 15 minutes.
3. Microwave onions, remaining 4 garlic cloves, oil, paprika and saffron in bowl, stirring until onions are softened, about 5 minutes; transfer to slow cooker.
4. Stir broth, master sauce, wine, and bay leaves into slow cooker. Transfer meatballs to slow cooker, discarding rendered fat. Cover and cook until meatballs are tender, 4 to 6 hours on low.
5. Let meatballs and sauce settle for 5 minutes, then remove fat from surface using large spoon. Discard bay leaves. Gently stir in lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Here are the four dishes made with the same master sauce.
(links below)

Insanely Good Oxtail Stew (not shown)
Shrimp Etouffee
Braised Pork Ribs in Sauce
Baked Miso Cod in Sichuan Sauce
Spanish Meatballs

October 15, 2014

Baked Miso Cod in a Sichuan Sauce

This is the last (the 5th and final) recipe using the last cup of leftover sauce from the original Oxtail Stew. While the final post will be Spanish Meatballs (on Friday), the meatballs were still in the freezer so I posted this recipe while they defrosted. We have come full circle.

This dish came together in no time. Simply coat a firm white fish like cod or snapper in a miso marinade and serve it in a Sichuan sauce. Takes less than 30 minutes from oven to table.

If you can not find miso, a good substitute would be black bean paste and that can be found where Kikkoman is sold. I did make a batch of Basmati Fried Rice but plain rice is fine. I also recommend Near East's Bulgar and Whole Wheat Orzo Pilaf.

Sichuan Braised Cod
makes 4 servings
* 1 1/2 pound cod
* 1 1/2 tablespoons minced ginger
* 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
* 3/4 cup chicken broth
* 1 1/2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
* 1 tablespoons ketchup
* Pinch red pepper flakes
* 4 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated
* 1 cup Master Sauce

Miso marinade:
* 1 tablespoon white miso paste
* 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha
* 1 garlic clove, minced
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 2 teaspoons white vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Place the marinade in a small bowl and whisk to emulsify.
Rub the fish on both sides.
2. Bake fish for 20 minutes.
3. In a saucepan, add ginger through pepper flakes and simmer until it thickens, about 15 minutes.
Add the white parts of the scallion and remove from the heat.
4. When the fish is done, spoon the sauce over the fish, sprinkle with the green parts of the scallion.

All Five Dishes using the Master Sauce:
Insanely Good Oxtail Stew - Master Sauce
Shrimp Etouffee
Braised Pork Ribs
Spanish Meatballs (post - Friday)
Sichuan Cod