Monday, April 21, 2008

A nice palate cleanser

Welcome back! If you're celebrating Passover this year, you may already have one or two seders under your belt. Now that the first two nights are over, it's time to put down the brisket and try something new. A nice fish dish.

What's that you say? You've had your fill of gefilte fish and you wouldn't mind if a month passes before you touch any fish again?

Before we get to the recipe, I must take a moment to share that growing up, I experienced what can only be described as a beta version of "Fear Factor." About one or two times a month, my entire family would get together with our grandparents and great aunts and uncles for a Sunday brunch. The buffet table contained many exotic treats including white fish salad and pickled herring. But the piece d'resistance, was a very large, dead and unhappy looking fish with blank eyes. Of course, the fish was used to showcase how fresh it was - but to the kids it only served as the object of many games of "Dare you to try it."

Back to Passover. One of these delectable - daring to some- dishes is of course gefilte fish. Gefilte fish is best described as a sweet fish sausage with carp as the main ingredient. Sounds okay so far, right? If I never saw how it was packaged, I'm sure it would be fine. But if you frequent the Kosher for Passover section at the grocery store, you will see that it's jarred in a congealed jelly.

Enough said.

I've believed for a long time that you either have the DNA strand that indicates whether you will enjoy gefilte fish or if you're destined to hate it. Let me make this clear. I LOVE IT. I can't get enough of it. Hubby hates it. But that's okay because usually he's sitting next to me at seder and I will just eat it right off his plate. Last night, we had a newcomer to our seder at my parents house. I watched out of the corner of my eye as he stabbed the gefilte with his fork, tasted a mere morsel and pushed the plate out of the way. What? You don't like it? No problem. I'll take it.

So, back to a dinner recipe for the post-seder, non-gefilte, mid-Passover week.

Sea Bass (or any white fish fillet) in Lemon Butter Sauce (adapted from Cooking Light)

2 (6-ounce) sea bass or grouper fillets
Cooking spray
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon butter
1/2 cup chopped plum tomato
(6-ounce) bag baby spinach, coarsely chopped


Sprinkle fish with salt. Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add fish to pan; cook 5 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Remove fish from pan. Place one fillet on each of 2 plates; keep warm.

Add wine and juice to pan; cook over medium-high heat 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in parsley and butter. Drizzle sauce over fillets.

Add the tomato and spinach to pan; cook 1 minute or until spinach wilts. Arrange 1 cup vegetables on each plate.

  • This really is a delicious and quick dish. I haven't made it with sea bass yet, because it's rather pricey. But I'm sure it would be outstanding. I typically use turbot. But I'm sure any white fish fillet would be excellent. Just make sure it's thin enough (but not too thin because then it would fall apart!) for you to flip it while it maintains it's shape.
  • Speaking of flipping, run out and get yourself a fish spatula if you don't have one already. It's a flexible spatula that bends at the end- to pick up thin flaky fillets of fish- but it also has wide open slots. Anytime I cook with hot oil, I use it. Basically when I flip, the oil doesn't flip with it. It just slides through the slots. I'm a huge fan of this spatula because I never get splattered anymore.
  • Please use fresh lemon juice with this recipe. It's the main flavor of the dish and bottled lemon juice will not cut it.


RecipeGirl said...

ooooo... Sea Bass is my favorite, and this sound light and delicious!

Josie said...

Karen! I unwittingly made a Passover friendly meal tonight I think (I am not Jewish but have been learning a lot about Seder this year... a friend invited me to her family's big dinner this weekend but I couldn't go. I really want to go next year!) :) I made the Miso Glazed Cod from Ellie Krieger's book except I used sea bass instead. The recipe you posted looks great. I should have my fish recipe up soon :)