Jan 19, 2012

Dill Salmon or Sword Fish with Curry Leaves-- a template for your imagination

The best ideas are those that inspire more ideas...

As in life as in food. Must have been a very wise person--this person, who worded the thought that often times occur to me. Especially when I am near food.
Today's post is about one such recipe. This one is by good friend (and fantastic cook, about whom I have spoken often on this forum)--Maria. She is from Hungary. And going by her ease in great cooking and stories of food from Hungary, I have come to the important conclusion, that Hungary is where good food is the norm. But today's recipe is not Hungarian. At least a combination of herbs and sea-food don't evoke the images of a paprika loving, land-locked nation in eastern Europe. So lets just give it to Maria's imagination.
The recipe calls for nothing more than some Dill, Salmon, milk and cream. And demands nothing short of complete and utter satisfaction. If seafood and herb could be used as comfort food, this recipe is the one to go for. In a minute I will be writing the details of the recipe. BUT before, I do so, I must say that this recipe can be custom made to be anyone's imagination.
Think of your favorite fish (a sturdy one) and your favorite herb. Infuse your fish with your herb. And dress it with a flavored dairy (or non dairy based) sauce. It is your dish. It is your imagination. And even better, it is you who open the door to another million ideas. Truly a recipe that inspires.
So today, the recipe I write is a template. One that you can take and make yours. In fact the recipe I give is of two parallels. One of Maria's and one of mine. Do you have another? :)

Dill Salmon or Sword Fish with Curry Leaves-- a template for your recipe
(Inspired by Maria)

3/4 - 1 lb of fish. Fillet in two pieces. I like Salmon or Sword fish equivalent of those. Tuna should work too. But I really like the first two. 
A handful of herbs. I like Dill with Salmon. I also like Curry leaves (a few strands) with Sword fish.
3/4th cup of milk. Should be enough to smear both surfaces and season the sauce. A word about curry leaves. These are usually found in Indian groceries although some big groceries carry them. I have seem curry leaves in whole foods. Curry leaves are strong in flavor. Very woody. So use sparingly. For this recipe I would recommend no more than a single strand. A strand usually has 12-15 leaves. But start with 5-10 and then work your way up.
1/4th cup of cream. If you are using Sword and Curry leaves, I recommend the same amount of coconut milk
3-4 tbsf light Olive Oil. Again, if you are using Sword and Curry leaves, I reccomend the same amount of mustard oil
1 tbsf whole mustard seeds and two cloves of garlic and one jalapeno (or green chile) sliced up (optional and I recommend for use with curry leaves in this recipe)
Salt and pepper

All you do is spend 15 min with a shallow skillet

In a shallow skillet, heat oil (2-3 tbsf). As the oil heats up, dice up the herbs and thickly coat one surface of the fish. Pat down so that the herb actually sticks. Season with salt and pepper. Now, once the oil is hot, carefully place the fish fillets with the herb surface down. Avoiding burning yourself, carefully place some fresh herbs on the upper surface. Season with salt and pepper. Once the fish is cooked half way (will turn opaque), very carefully turn the fish to cook the other surface. Will take 4-5 min on first surface and 3-4 min on the other. Plate up and let rest

Add the milk, cream and remaining dill. Salt and pepper. Stir and reduce to half the volume. This will take time, 10-12 min. Check for seasoning and pour in a serving bowl. 
Now, if you are using sword and curry leaves, the sauce would be nice if done the following way:
Add a tiny bit of oil in the same skillet. Add the whole mustard, garlic and green chiles. Pop for a few seconds. the milk, coconut milk and remaining curry leaves. Salt and pepper. Stir and reduce to half the volume. This will take time, 10-12 min. Check for seasoning and pour in a serving bowl. 

Serve fish with boiled potatoes. Spoon the sauce over the fish and potatoes. Good with bold reds. Some Riesling should be excellent. But I  tell you, this recipe even works with margaritas or even good cup of tea :)

    Happy eating and healthy living!

1 comment:

The Japanese Redneck said...

Dill goes so well with fish. I have not tried the curry leaves.