When it came to cooking fish, I would just run the other way. Seriously. All of my life I’ve wanted to learn how to prepare fish. When we dine out, I order fish, all kinds of it. I ponder what it is that chefs do in the kitchen palaces to pan sear, broil, boil, grill, soup it, and sauce it before it arrives all deliciously glamorous in front of you. We just need to conquer our fears over fixin fish.
Somewhere I came across this recipe and posted it a while back. I pulled it out last evening when I had an hour and half before I had to go to work. I knew I wanted to make this dish over the weekend and picked up the ingredients while shopping.
There are so many ways to prepare fish, but if you’re learning to cook, pick a recipe that you can do so you don’t spoil your VERY expensive main entre. (Sole, $8.99 a pound – two fillets were $6.00)
The fish de jour at Caputo’s was Sole. From years of eating fish, sole tastes great with lemon, butter, or a recipe similar to Ina Garten’s Sole Meuniere. The recipe I’m sharing was originally made with Tilapia. I also think it would be good with a solid white fish.
Essentially the fish is roasted and steamed at the same time. The veggies and fruit sautéed in wine act as a bed for the fish creating steam from the juices. Wine, when mixed with water/juices, lowers the boiling temperature and creates more vapor which transfers flavor to the fish, according to my new favorite instructional book, “The Science of Good Cooking.” Science is a good thing.
Be prepared to “mise en place” the ingredients. This recipe has fennel in it. Introducing fennel into my family a little while ago was a challenge. Fennel smells like anise which they were only familiar with in cookies. In the fresh form it is distinctive but very light tasting. I’ve acquired a taste for it in other dishes.
Printable version: 2016 LTC Easy Fish and Fennel
Easy Fish and Fennel for two
- 1 T Canola oil
- 1 leek, cleaned and thinly sliced
- 1 fennel bulb, cleaned and thinly sliced
- 1 large clove garlic, sliced
- 1 Granny Smith Apple, cored and sliced thinly
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup white wine
- 4 T canola oil
- 2 Sole or Tilapia fillets
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced
Sauté the leeks, fennel, garlic, and apple in the canola oil till all is tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the wine and sauté for 2 or 3 minutes.
Spray your baking dish with cooking spray, Pam. Wash and pat dry the fish. Sprinkle with paprika, salt and pepper. When veggies are all done, add to the baking dish and evenly distribute. Add slices of lemon reserving two to top the fish. Place the fish on top and put a thin slice of lemon on each. Spray the seasoned fish with cooking spray. Bake for 25 minutes or till done.
I served it with sautéed broccoli slaw, broccoli and onions with Soy sauce and sesame oil.
It’s a good starter dish for those wanting to conquer fish.
Boy, if you have a good fish recipe pass it my way or be a guest poster.
UPDATE: I must be clairvoyant, in my email this morning Cooks Illustrated sent me “The Well-Equipped Cook: Seafood Lovers’ Special: Tools to Cook Fish Better“. WHAT? Everyone loves chef’s tools.