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A Fez Style Fish For Mother’s Day

We’re going out for Mother’s Day today and I am making the fish portion of the meal for those that don’t eat red meat. I was wondering what to make earlier in the week, when luckily I came across this recipe in the New York Times on Wednesday and it sounded perfect. It’s from a restaurant in Marrakesh  at a hotel called La Mamounia and it’s a simple, all in one baked fish. it sounded light enough and easy to make and it will make a great summer dish. I went off the board a little bit with the fish. The recipe calls for sea bass or fluke, but when I went shopping yesterday the halibut looked the best so I am going with that.

Baked Fish, Fez Style

2 large garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves

1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro leaves

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon paprika

1 pinch saffron threads, crushed

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 1/2 pounds fish fillets (4 fillets): sea bass, fluke, hake or halibut

1 pound large Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, in 1/2-inch thick slices

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

1 red bell pepper, cored and slivered

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives

Combine the garlic, parsley, cilantro, cumin, paprika and saffron in a dish big enough for the fish. Mix the vinegar, lemon juice and tomato paste in a small bowl. Add to the dish and mix. Place the fillets in the dish, turning to coat the fillets, cover and set them aside to marinate, 2 hours at room temperature or 3 if refrigerated.

Place the potatoes in a saucepan, add water to cover, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Drain.

Brush a baking dish that can go to the table and will hold the fish in a single layer with a little of the oil. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the potatoes in the dish, season with salt and pepper, and place the fish fillets on top of the potatoes. Scatter the peppers and tomatoes over the fish. Add a little more salt and pepper. Spoon any excess marinade over the fish, strew with the olives, drizzle the remaining oil and bake about 30 minutes, until the fish is just cooked through. Serve.

I think it will be a very nice meal and everything is made and served in one dish, which it makes it even better. I’ll add some pictures later as I put it all together. I hope to actually have some recipes this week to post. It’s been a little crazy around the house the last few weeks. Michelle has been working a lot, I have been working a lot and Sean has been studying for tests so we haven’t had a lot of time to put into meal planning, but hopefully we’ll do that. I know I have the makings for a meat loaf and I bought some chicken breast so we’ll be doing something with it this week. Stay tuned to find out. I hope everyone out there has a wonderful Mother’s Day and all the Moms out there should enjoy their day and enjoy your meal!

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2012 in Cooking, Dinner, Seafood

 

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And the Mystery Fish is…

I finally did get to buy some fish today. I took a ride over to Adams Farms in Newburgh today and bought some fish and some produce. I wish they were a little closer because I would shop there all the time instead of every couple of weeks like I do now. Anyway, I did pick up some fish tonight and some for the freezer to use next week. Tonight, I decided we are going to have Fish Cakes, rice and mixed vegetables. The fish cakes seem like a good thing to make, are pretty easy to do, and take no time at all to cook. Like many of the meals we have made this week, they can also be customized to add flavors that you prefer over others. If you have a food processor, take it out for this one. It makes your life a lot easier.

Fish Cakes

4 slices firm white bread, torn into pieces (about 1 cup; you can just use store breadcrumbs if you prefer)

1 celery stalk, cut into chunks

1 pound boneless cod, haddock, halibut or other white fish fillets, cut into chunks

1 large egg, beaten

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 pepper, cut diced (color is your choice. I prefer red, yellow or orange over the green)

2 teaspoons chopped parsley

2 to 4 tablespoons butter

Lemon wedges

Tartar Sauce ( I use store-bought myself [Gold’s is really good] but you could make your own)

Place the white bread in a food processor. Using on/off turns, process until very coarse crumbs form. Transfer the breadcrumbs to a large bowl. Using on/off turns, finely chop celery; add it to the bowl with the breadcrumbs. Using on/off turns, coarsely puree the fish; add it to the bowl. Add the egg, salt, pepper, diced pepper and parsley to the bowl. Mix gently but thoroughly. Transfer fish mixture to a work surface and shape into 4-6 fish cakes (use your best judgement on size, whatever thickness is reasonable to you). Place the cakes on a plate and refrigerate for 20 minutes to allow them to set.

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the fish cakes and cook until brown on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Using a large spatula, carefully turn the fish cakes over and cook until the second side is brown and the center looks opaque, about 5 minutes longer. Serve with lemon wedges and tartar sauce.

The prep time for this dish is more than the cooking time, but it’s worth it. Your own fish cakes will taste better than anything you’ll find in the freezer section of the supermarket. As I said, you can really add whatever you would like to this recipe as far as spices and flavors. Try adding green onion, shallot, dill, cayenne pepper, garlic powder or whatever else you might like. I don’t like a lot of breading in cakes like this myself; I would rather taste the fish more than the breadcrumbs, so adjust the amount as you would like it. I am serving the fish with plain white rice, but you can use any type of rice that you would prefer. I think Jasmine rice might go nicely with this dish. You could also go with pasta if you would like, or even some egg noodles as a side dish.

For tonight’s vegetables, I am just steaming some mixed vegetables. I am using carrots, broccoli and cauliflower tonight and just steaming them in my steamer basket. Some sautéed spinach might go very nicely with this dish if you’re looking to make something different. Just rinse your spinach, toss it into a hot pan with some oil, maybe some minced garlic and some red pepper flakes, and saute just until the spinach is wilted, and you are all done.

So we’ve had an entire week of very easy meals, if I must say. The family laid out the menu for next week last night, so here’s a sneak preview of what we’ll be cooking next week.

Sunday – Ribeye Steaks with Mashed Potatoes and Asparagus (my pick)

Monday – Chicken Fajitas with Mexican Rice and Guacamole (Sean’s pick)

Tuesday – Hamburgers, French Fries and salad (also Sean’s pick)

Wednesday – Breakfast for Dinner (Michelle’s pick, this will also be our meatless night)

Thursday – We are leaving open as a leftovers day

Friday – Fish and Chips, and I haven’t picked a vegetable yet (my pick)

Saturday – Roast Chicken, Roasted Potatoes and Green Beans

We decided to work next week solely out of things we had in the freezer, so the only thing I had to shop for was the fish for the fish and chips, which will save us a lot of money on shopping next week. The cod for the dinner cost $7.00, and that’s all I have to buy for the week, with the exception of fresh veggies. Using what you have on hand can make things a lot easier on you as far as time for cooking and for your budget.

That’s all I have for today’s blog. I know I am glad it’s Friday and am looking forward to the weekend, even if it means doing some chores around the house. As always, if you have any questions, comments or just want to say hello, feel free to leave a comment or send me an email at IguanaFlats@msn.com. Thanks for reading today and happy cooking!

 

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2012 in Cooking, Dinner, Rice, Seafood, Uncategorized, Vegetables

 

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