Sunday, January 2, 2011

Les Poisson

Remember Little Mermaid?  "Les poisson, les poisson, how I LOVE les poisson!"  From my favorite movie growing up, comes a song about one of my favorite things to cook:  FISH!  So quick to cook, healthy, delicious, and versatile (and perhaps the reason that my "good cholesterol" levels are always very high).  We perpetually have a bag or two of the vacuum packed fish in our freezer and I always examine the seafood counter when I shop, leading us to eat fish A LOT.

When I shop for food, I rarely know what we'll be having for dinner in advance (unless I'm there with a recipe).  Produce-wise, I shop based on what's on sale (which is also usually what's in season).  In the meat and seafood sections, I always look for the "manager's special" stickers first (the ones that they have to sell that day or throw out).  I never worry about it being "bad" because I'll be cooking or freezing it that night, which is still within the expiration.

I was particularly lucky on a recent shopping trip.  New York Strip steak AND fresh shrimp for amazing deals!  This was Joe's self-admitted favorite recent meal.

I cooked the steak in the broiler with a dash of "magic dust" on it to medium rare (recipe for "magic dust" at the end of the post).  I cooked the asparagus in a lidded pan with a small amount of chicken stock that I had in the fridge -- this worked out really well!  For the shrimp, I sauteed some garlic and crushed red pepper in butter and EVOO and then tossed the shrimp in a few minutes before I wanted to serve them.  I served the shrimp and garlic sauce over brown rice.

Next, a frozen fish meal.  The veggie side dish here was a melange of some "must-go" items from the produce drawer (green pepper, carrots, onions, mushrooms) and a can of chick peas, all cooked in chicken stock.  For the salmon, I seared it in a pan with EVOO then glazed it with red pepper jelly and finished it in the oven.  Fresh lemon brought everything together.

And another frozen fish meal!  I made a simple tomato sauce (can of tomatoes, green onions, capers) and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, I seared the swordfish on both sides in EVOO.  I added them to the tomato mixture to finish cooking.  Served atop brown rice with a side of chicken stock steamed asparagus.

 Recipe for Magic Dust (this is a dry rub from a pulled pork recipe -- I've found its good sprikled on other things as well -- green beans, grilled meat, frozen dinner rolls prior to cooking, etc.)

Mix together:  1/2 cup smoked paprika, 1/4 cup fine sea salt, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup powdered mustard, 1/4 cup chili powder, 1/4 cup ground cumin, 2T black pepper, 1/4 cup garlic powder (not garlic salt), 2T cayenne pepper.  I keep mine in a spice shaker.