Sep 8, 2009

Fishy Fuzon

I am not entirely sure if I have made this clear so far, but no harm in reiterating I suppose. I am a fishaddict--is that a new term? :) Glad to have come up with that. Anyway what that means is  I love fish in any form--okay, maybe not completely raw. But yes, Sushi-Sashimi, Spanish, the american east coast--all works. And how that is ? I am not sure. But here is my very good guess. I am  from that part of India, where the staple diet is fish--West Bengal. I do not think there is any country other than that state (combined with Kerela and Goa) that offers close to any more diversity in cooking such a plethora of   fish species. However, though I love all of food that is cooked with fish, I kind of like fish that is not overcooked or over fried or even over spiced. The simple reason for that is every fish has its own flavor and that is what I like about it. It seems a pity to drown all that gorgeous flavor in a curry of strong spices and oil. So generally when I make fish, its by combining fragrant herbs and whole spices (in minimal quantities) which enhances the flavor of the fish.
Here is an example


White fish-- Bass, Tilapia, flounder anything which is on sale. Its best to use fillets---by themselves if they are not super big-- or cut into big chunks. This time around I used one fillet of Bass cut into big chunks.
1 medium size onion-red, white, yellow--whatever you have on hand. Sliced up.
Half a cup of fresh parsley and/or Cilantro- very finely chopped. You can substitute with dry  parsley leaves as well.  You can use other herbs like a Rosemary, sage, dill-- all of them will work to impart their own flavor. This time around I used dry Parsley flakes.
1.5 tbsf sweet paprika
3-4 cloves of garlic minced
1 tsp whole mustard (optional). If you like mustard you can spread a bit of dijon mustard on the fish after cooking. Will work just great.
2 tbsf lemon juice
1 tbsf extra virgin olive oil
1 green chili pepper-chopped. Pass on this one if you don't like heat.
salt and black pepper to season
Garnish with the herb you are using and. or lemon wedges.
And I go thus..:)

Clean the fish fillets or pieces. Dry them with a paper towel. This helps absorbing the water from the fish which will make the fish crunchy and tasty when you cook it. Season one side with half the paprika, Cilantro (or whatever herb or herb mixture you are using), salt, pepper and lime juice. Set aside. Heat oil in a non-stick skillet. When warm enough, place the onions, whole mustard seeds, chili peppers (if you are using them), garlic and saute for ~ 4-5 mins or till the onion is soft. Do not brown them. When onions are soft, make a bits of space in and around the onions and carefully place the fish in them such that the spiced side is facing the skillet. Lower heat and let the fish cook through. Do not try to move it around. You can also tell if the fish is cooking by looking at how white from the flesh is turning and the reach of the 'whiteness' above the hot skillet surface. At this point it should be easy for you to move the fish without breaking it. Generally this takes 2-3 minutes. Meanwhile spice the surface of the fish facing you the same was-lemon,salt, pepper, cilantro, paprika. After the mandatory 2-3 minutes carefully turn the fish on the other side and let it cook for another 2-3 minutes. Take care to cover bits of the fish with the onion that is there in the skillet. Will prevent the onion from burning and will infuse a flavor into the fish.
Take it off the oven and garnish with lemon and herbs you are using. Serve with bread, rice--whatever.  White wine is a killer.

Happy eating and healthy living


Murasaki Shikibu said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. :)

The fish looks really nice, by the way...

Trish said...

This does look good. And hey, I love love love fish too. Don't make it enough and my boys like it raw so we do the sushi thing several times a week...but I mean...go out for sushi. Now that the son is off to university I must make it at home...cooked! this looks like a great little recipe to try!

Jhonny walker said...

hey Trish..
stay put...I love fish so times I feel I might overdo I try to mix and match..but this one is definitely gonna be a fishy business :)