Recipe: White Fish in Cilantro Broth with Sweet Potatoes and Broccoli

Simple, One-Dish Style Makes for Simple Dinner Times

Broccoli florets and julienned sweet potatoes surround delicate white fish kept moist and tasty with the springy tang of a cilantro broth.

Step 1:  Prepare Cilantro Broth  

  • 1 Tbsp. roughly chopped garlic (from about 3 cloves)
  • 1 Tbsp. jalapeno pepper, chopped roughly, more or less, to taste
  • ¼  cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ¼ tsp. salt, more or less to taste
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth, low sodium (divided)
  • 2 cups roughly chopped cilantro, both stems and leaves

In cup of immersion blender, combine garlic, jalapeno, lime juice and salt.  Allow to sit for several minutes to meld flavors.  Add half of broth and cilantro.  Blend until fairly smooth but with a little texture, then add remaining broth and blend just enough to incorporate it.  Reserve.

Even though this is a one-dish meal, two-pan cooking makes preparation faster–vegetables simmer-steam in one pan while the fish cooks in another.

Step 2:  Simmer Steam Vegetables

  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth, low sodium (divided)
  • 2 cups broccoli florets, cut about ½ to 3/4” in size
  • 1 lrg. Garnet or Jewel yam, julienned to about 1/8”, then cut into roughly 2” lengths

Combine broth and broccoli florets in a large frying pan with a lid.  Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce heat t o low and simmer just 3-5 minutes, until broccoli is halfway done.
Stir in yam strips and continue simmering until both broccoli and yams are almost done to taste, about 3-5 more minutes.

Step 3:  Pan Fry White Fish 

  • ½ to ¾ lb. cod, talapia or other mild white fish filets either fresh or frozen and thawed, cut into 2-3” cutlets
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil, to taste

While vegetables cook, warm oil over medium heat in a medium-sized, heavy bottomed saute pan.  Gently squeeze or pat cutlets dry, then season with salt and pepper.  When a corner of fish sizzles gently when touched in warming oil, use a spatula to spread oil evenly over bottom of pan, then lay cutlets in warmed oil in a single layer so they do not touch each other.  Set timer and cook for 3 minutes and flip over.  Reduce heat to medium low and cook another 1 minute, then remove immediately to a plate.

Step 4:  Combine and Serve

As soon as vegetables are almost done, stir in reserved sauce, then push vegetables to sides of pan and lay partially cooked cutlets in center.  Continue simmering, covered, just 1-2 more minutes, until fish is done.  Taste and add more salt, pepper, lime or jalapenos,  to taste.  Serve immediately, placing two or three cutlets in center of wide soup bowl surrounded by half of the vegetables.  Spoon broth over the top.

Optional:  Serve alongside a little brown rice to soak up the broth deliciously

NOTES:  See the next post for background information on preparing this recipe.


Autumn Eating: Wilted Salad Recipe with Cool Weather Mizuna

Change is in the air, and as the hot days of summer give way to winter’s cold, it’s natural to start craving warmer foods.  The trouble of course, lies in autumn’s in-between weather:  one day cool, the next warm.  Wilted salads are the perfect answer:  while refreshing enough for warmer

Pic of Mizuna Salad

This Kitchen's Sweet Red Chili Sauce offers a nice, spicy-sweet flavor

days, they have enough warmth to taste good on chillier evenings, too.

In another nod to the cooler days ahead, this salad uses mizuna, one of the Asian greens that does well in cooler weather.  I just had a mild and sweet bunch, but mizuna can be slightly bitter tasting, so try to use it shortly after buying and/or mix it with a sweeter lettuce like red leaf or romaine.

A wilted salad is made by pouring a hot, cooked dressing over the greens, which “wilts” them slightly.  In this recipe, some of the salad vegetables are also sauteed, like the cucumber.  I’ve found sauteing to be a good treatment for the cucumbers in my garden that escaped my attention and grew to enormous proportions.  If you are working with these kinds of monsters, be sure to peel, then taste both ends and cut off any bitter sections.

Mizuna waiting for a wash in my salad spinner

Mizuna waiting for a wash in my salad spinner

Finally, the salad uses peaches that are just about to fade from the seasonal eating palate, so if you can’t find any, substitute pears which are just coming into season.  This salad takes a little time, but it is pretty much a full meal.  Just add a little brown basmati rice, whole wheat flat bread or ready made spring rolls on the side for a complete meal.

Wilted Red Pepper and Mizuna Salad with Peaches

Serves 4

  • 1 lrg. bunch mizuna
  • 1 lrg. peach, diced to 1/2”
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint

Prepare the Greens (See pictures below) While mizuna is still in a single bunch, hold leafy ends and slice off dried ends of stems and discard.  Then slice remaining stems crosswise, about 1/4” thick.  Wash, drain and reserve.
Slice green tops of mizuna crosswise into 1” strips, then cut opposite direction to get pieces roughly 1 to 2” square (about 6-8 cups.)  Wash and dry in salad spinner, then place in salad bowl and toss with peach and mint.  Reserve.

  • 3/4 to 1 lb. mild white fish (e.g., talapia, pollack, mahi mahi, or halibut), cubed to 3/4 to 1” (can come from your freezer pantry)
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Marinate Fish Place fish in soup bowl, sprinkle with lime and salt and pepper, then toss to coat evenly.  Reserve.

  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. grated ginger (bottled or fresh)
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic (bottled or fresh)
  • 2-4 Tbsp. sweet red chili sauce (to taste)
  • 3-4 Tbsp. soy sauce (to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar

Prepare Dressing Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl and whisk with a fork until well combined.  Reserve.

  • 1 Tbsp. canola or coconut oil (plus another Tbsp., if needed)
  • 1 med. yellow onion, sliced about 1/4” thick and 1 1/2” long
  • 1 med. red bell pepper, sliced into strips about1/4” wide and 1 1/2” long
  • 1 large cucumber (overripe is fine), seeded and sliced into quarter rounds about 1/4” thick

Saute the Toppings In a large saute pan, heat oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking.  Add onions and saute 4-5 minutes until lightly browned, turning every couple minutes to prevent burning. Remove to a soup bowl.  Saute pepper in same pan about 3-4 minutes, adding a little more oil as needed, then remove to bowl with onion.  Add a little more oil to pan, heat and saute cucumber and reserved mizuna stems about 4-5 minutes until lightly browned.

Return onion and red pepper to pan with cucumbers and stir to combine thoroughly.  Pour reserved dressing over cooked vegetables, stir and scrape bottom of pan, and cook just 1-2 minutes to heat everything through.  Immediately remove pan from heat (to avoid overcooking) and stir in:

  • 2 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 4 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice

Pour hot dressing-vegetable mixture over reserved mizuna and toss gently to coat thoroughly.  Salad will wilt slightly.

  • 1/2 Tbsp. canola or coconut oil

Cook Fish to Top Salad  Rinse saute pan used for vegetables, then heat over medium heat until dry.  Add oil and heat until quite warm.  Add reserved fish and cook just until done.  Sprinkle fish over salad and serve immediately.

Mizuna Stems

First slice the mizuna stems so they can be sauteed, since they are a little tough to eat uncooked

Mizuna Greens

Next, slice the leafy greens into pieces roughly 1-2" square

© 2010 Culinary Concepts, Inc.

Using Frozen Veggies: Creamy Gingered Peas and White Fish

Yesterday’s post offered advice for dealing with “vegetable exhaustion:”  Take a break every now and then by using frozen vegetables, which require little to no prep time.  Here’s a great, “take-a-break” one dish meal, made easy with not only frozen peas, but also a convenient frozen fish fillet.

Creamy Gingered Peas and White Fish

  • 2 10-oz. pkgs. Columbia River Organic Peas and Pearl Onions

Place peas in medium-sized saute pan with a lid.  Turn heat to medium, cover and cook about 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until peas and onions are thoroughly cooked and moisture has evaporated.

  • 2 Tbsp. freshly sqeezed lime juice, divided
  • 2 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1 6-oz. frozen Mahi Mahi filet, thawed and cut into roughly ¾” cubes

While peas cook, combine half of lime juice and all of soy sauce in a soup bowl.  Gently squeeze fish cubes to eliminate excess moisture, then place in lime juice mixture and toss to coat.  Reserve.

  • 2 tsp. canola oil
  • 2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4  to 1/3 cup coconut milk, to taste

Once peas are done, reduce heat to medium low and push to sides of pan.  Into center of pan, pour oil and allow to warm for 10-15 seconds.  Stir ginger into oil and cook about 30-45 seconds.  Dump reserved fish over ginger and spread into a single layer.  Cook a minute or two to lightly brown one side, then pour in broth and coconut milk.  DEGLAZE pan, then reduce heat to low, cover and allow fish to cook another minute or two, stirring a couple times, just until fish is cooked through.  Avoid overcooking fish.  Immediately remove pan from heat.

  • 1-2 tsp. fish sauce, to taste
  • 2 cups cooked Forbidden Rice, brown basmati or other whole grain brown rice or quinoa.

Sprinkle with fish sauce and remaining lime juice, to taste, then serve stew nestled into a bed of rice that has been warmed in microwave.

Notes and Options

Snap or Snow Pea Option: Try substituting fresh snap or snow peas for the frozen peas, when in season.  Slice them about ¾ to 1” thick and SIMMER-STEAM in about ½ cup broth, just until crisp-tender and still bright green.

Fish Options: Cod, snapper and talapia make good substitutes if Mahi Mahi is not available.

Brands: Columbia River peas are called for because they are so sweet and flavorful.  Another brand can be substituted, however.

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