Sunday, January 31, 2010

Simply Delicious & Healthy

After an eleven hour slumber, I woke up refreshed this morning, and ready to tackle the week before me. I fell asleep last night precisely as the Tea Drinker hit play on our DVD player. We had planned to watch this week’s NetFlix movie: The Hangover. In regards to the many genres of movies available, I prefer drama, drama, and more drama. I do not enjoy comedies. Maybe it's because my life overfloweth with it on a daily basis. I know you are thinking: “Drama never enters your life?”. Nope, just comedy. In any case, just another example that a higher being does exist, as I was granted this small blessing of missing this ridiculously silly movie. The Tea Drinker was not impressed with it, either.

Any how, I vow tonight to attempt to stay up past 8:30pm, or at least make it through 60 minutes. The key will be for me to enjoy a cup of Golden Pu-erh right after dinner, instead of reaching for another glass of wine. This might help with avoiding any real life hangovers, too. Now, I am using my noggin’.

Today, I am eager to share with you the dinner that we enjoyed last night. It was so tasty, healthy, and easy to prepare. You must give it a try. Each weekend, we typically experiment with a new recipe, and yesterday’s dish was a hit.

While prepping for dinner, we snacked on Aged Manchego and Young Mahon, two lovely Spanish cheeses. Now onto the recipe- the key to this dish is that the process starts on the stove, and then finishes in the oven. Therefore, you need a skillet worthy of transferring from the stove to the oven. We chose to use a 10 inch skillet first, and then used a Spanish Cazuela clay pan. By using this attractive earthenware, you can move it right to the table. If you do not have a cazuela pan, the best bet is to use a cast iron skillet for both steps.

Simple Ingredients:
Patagonian toothfish- 4-6oz Fillets. Now, I have your attention. Okay, this fish is simply known as Chilean Sea Bass. Buy your fish from a reputable, local fishmonger.
Olive Oil- 3 TBSP
Sweet Onion- (1)sliced into wedges. About ½ inch.
Garlic- 2 cloves, thinly sliced
Paprika- ½ Tsp. We use Hungarian paprika, because we like the smoky dimension that it adds to the dish.
28oz Can of Whole Plum Tomatoes – I like Organic Muir. Drain, crush slightly, remove seeds. Set aside.
Italian Parsley- Chopped, 2 Tbsp.
Salt & Pepper

Simplified Romesco Sauce:
** a lovely flavorful Catalan sauce. Great accompaniment to roasted fish.
Raw Almonds(whole,with skin)- 1/2 cup. coarsely chopped, then lightly toasted.
Olive Oil - 4 TBSP.
Roasted Red Peppers- Jarred is fine. About a cup.
Paprika- ½ tsp.
Garlic- 1 clove, minced
Sherry Vinegar- 1 TBSP. Do not be afraid to buy this versatile vinegar- great for salads, too(whisk with honey and olive oil).
To Prepare Sauce: In a small food processor or blender, add garlic, peppers, pinch of salt, paprika, and process until pureed. Add 4 TBSP of olive oil slowly. Combine. Taste. Add the sherry vinegar. Stir, and set aside.

Ready, Set, Go:
1) Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
2) In a 12 inch skillet over medium-low heat sauté onions for 15 minutes until golden brown. Add garlic- sauté about 5 minutes. Stir in Paprika.
3) Add crushed tomatoes and simmer over medium-high heat for 10 minutes. Add pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste.
4) Layer bottom of oven-proof pan with the tomato/onion mixture, save a heaping TBSP for each fillet. Place fish fillets on top of tomato mixture. Salt, pepper, and sprinkle the fish with parsley. Spoon remaining tomato/onion mixture on top..
5) Place in oven, bake for 15 minutes or until the thickest part of fish is opaque.

Viola! Serve fish with the romesco sauce on the side. Pour yourself a glass of wine, and enjoy. We went with Road 31 2007 Carneros Pinot Noir.
Serves 4.

** recipe adapted from Sur La Table, Things Cooks Love.

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