Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A fishy requisite

Last week business and general laziness combined to send me on a brief streak of eating out. After some BBQ here, noodles there, some take out Chinese over here, I was ready for something on the lighter side. 

Now, I often joke to D. about all the things I eat now that I never would have touched in days past, fish being pretty high up there. And though I have come to eat fish, I still have a few ground rules. I’m picky about how it’s prepared (I still refuse to eat a fish that is served in its entirety. A whole fish lying there on a platter just creeps me out), which limits what kinds of fish I enjoy (basically, it’s whitefish or salmon or bust). It also needs to be super fresh and relatively local and sustainable, so supermarket shrink-wrapped stuff of dubious provenance is right out. The upshot of these ground rules is I still don’t eat very much fish. But when I do, I like it.

This salmon prep is quite similar to the miso marinated black cod recipe I posted many moons ago, but it’s a little less fussy.  You don’t have to marinate it for long and broiling is a pretty foolproof method as long as you’re on the ball. You'll need to manage the time based on the thickness of the fillets: mine were on the thin side and 10 minutes left them a touch overcooked.

Miso-marinated salmon (via Martha Stewart)
1 cup white miso
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup light-brown sugar, packed, plus one 1 teaspoon
4 salmon fillets (6 to 8 ounces each)
2 tablespoons flaxseed oil

In a medium saucepan combine miso, vinegar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 1/3 cup water. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until miso and sugar have dissolved; cool to room temperature. Combine salmon and miso mixture in a bowl or reaseable plastic bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Heat broiler with the rack in the highest position. Lift salmon from marinade and place on an oiled rack over a baking sheet. Broil salmon until cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Speaking of things I wouldn't have touched with a ten-foot fork a  few years back, I've been dabbling a bit of late in leafy greens that aren't kale. I've made smoothies with spinach  for breakfast (surprisingly tasty). I have tried, unsuccessfully as it turns out, to not hate rapini. I bought dandelion greens in Chinatown (more on that tomorrow) and am coming around to chard. Turns out, it's pretty easy to eat your humble greens when you've braised them in some lovely coconut milk with fragrant chilis, garlic and ginger. I expect (and will try to confirm) this prep would work just as well with spinach, kale or most other green leafy vegetables. Except rapini; I'm pretty sure that stuff is hopeless.

Creamy Swiss Chard with Coconut (also via Martha Stewart)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced (about 1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons grated peeled fresh ginger
1 small dried hot red chili
2 pounds Swiss chard (3 to 4 bunches), stems removed, torn into 2-inch pieces (about 12 packed cups)
1/2 cup light coconut milk
2 tablespoons water
Coarse salt

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, ginger, and chili and cook until tender and fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes. Add chard leaves, coconut milk, and water. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until chard is tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Season with salt.

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