Friday, February 11, 2011

Up From the Deep Blue Sea

So, I woke up feeling like I had been swallowed into the deep blue sea. You know, one of those brief periods where you are on full-throtle, running swiftly through life, time seemingly passing too quickly, and then--BAM! you're back in with the living. Anyhow, that metaphor made me think about this really delicious--no--incredibly awesome--fish dish that I concocted a few weeks back.

In case you don't remember me mentioning, we celebrate "Fish Fridays" in our house, which means that every Friday brings fresh fish and the opportunity to try something new. I have my favorites, simply prepared, such as delicate Sand Dabs broiled with lemon, caper, parsley, white vermouth and a drizzle of olive oil, or a vibrant piece of wild salmon flashed under the broiled and served with nothing more elaborate than a sprinkle of sea salt and a drizzle of lemon infused olive oil. Truth be told, all of the fish dishes that grace my table are simple, because the point is to pick up the faint taste of the ocean with each savory bite. While the picture of my halibut, decked with tomatoes and bread crumbs might look complicated, nothing could be further from the truth. The real secret--the tomatoes--are actually leftover from a previous meal (roast chicken) but were the most marvelous of all compliments for the meatiness of the halibut.
Roasted Tomatoes with Mint and Garlic

1 lb. of Grape Tomatoes
6-8 Toes of Garlic
1 Bunch of Mint
Several Generous Glugs of Olive Oil

Wash the tomatoes and toss into a glass casserole with a cover. Peel the garlic and cut each toe in half; toss in with the tomatoes. Wash and dry the mint; remove the stems and coarsely chop the leaves; toss in with the tomatoes. Pour several generous glugs of olive oil over the tomatoes, cover the casserole and pop into a 350 degree oven until the tomatoes are soft and almost melted. Delicious heaped on fresh whole grain bread; even better warmed and served over the halibut.

Mel's Amazing Halibut with Tomatoes, Bread Crumbs and Parsley

1 lb. of Fresh Halibut cut into 8 oz portions
Leftover Roasted Tomatoes with Mint
Toasted Bread Crumbs***
Fresh Chopped Parsley
Salt and Pepper

Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat until really, really hot. Drizzle a thin layer of olive oil into the pan and swirl to cover bottom; allow to heat until barely smoking. Dry the fish filets with paper towels and season with salt and fresh ground pepper. Place each filet in the skillet and allow to cook for 2 minutes, or until browned; flip and then put skillet with fish into the oven under a preheated boiler for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, warm leftover tomatoes in a microwave. When fish is finished cooking, remove to a warm plate, top with tomatoes and a few generous sprinkles of bread crumbs and garnish with parsley. YUM!

***Bread Crumbs: I don't know about other people in the free world, but I wouldn't survive the week without these in my fridge as I use them on everything from pastas to fresh vegetables. Anyhow, here's how I do them:
In a cast iron skillet, heat a bit of olive oil (not hot, just warm; I usually use about 1/4 of a cup) then add one package of Panko (Japanese bread crumbs) stir to coat all the crumbs in the olive oil, raise heat to medium and continually stir over medium heat until crumbs are just turning golden. Remove from heat and from pan; allow to cool on a plate, then seal into a ziplock bag and keep in the fridge. These last a really, really long time.

By the way, if you're looking for some ultra richness, use butter instead of the olive oil. I sometimes do that, but we all know our hearts are happier with the olive oil!'s Friday; I wonder what kind of fish will swim into my life today?

1 comment:

  1. I am so going to do the tomatoes...I don't have mint, but I think if I leave it out and sub fresh basil after they are done roasting, they will still be delicious!

    yes, our hearts love the olive oil, but our palates like the richness of