18 October 2013

Steamed Fish with Better-than-Tartar Sauce and Rice and Lentils Provencal

This recipe uses a lot of parchment paper and aluminum foil, but the waste makes clean-up so easy. The earth will forgive you.  Steam some vegetables while the fish cooks (or roast them in the oven with the fish) and you've got a light, healthy, slightly fancy-like meal ready in about 30 minutes including prep time.

Steamed Fish with Better-than-Tartar Sauce

Serves 4

4 medium filets of Swai, Barramundi, or some other delicate, mild white fish
½ small red onion, thinly sliced
4 sprigs fresh oregano
4 sprigs fresh tarragon
4 bay leaves
1 garlic clove, pulverized with a pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle
Zest and juice of ½ fresh lemon
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup thick plain yogurt
1 teaspoon capers
Salt and black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven at 425°F. Lay out four generous squares of parchment paper for wrapping around the fish.
Rinse fish and pat dry.  Sprinkle both sides lightly with salt.  In the middle of each piece of parchment, lay down one bay leaf, one sprig each of oregano and tarragon, and then evenly distribute the sliced onions.  Lay one piece of fish on top of each pile.  Bring two opposite ends of the parchment paper straight up together and fold down towards the fish until snug.  Do the same with the other ends.  Wrap each piece of fish this way, then wrap each bundle tightly in pieces of foil. Place fish bundles on a baking sheet and bake at 425°F for 20 minutes. When finished, unwrap and serve on individual plates or a platter.

Meanwhile, assemble the Better-than-Tartar Sauce: combine all ingredients, garlic through salt and pepper, and stir thoroughly.  Serve alongside fish.  Leftovers can be stirred into mashed potatoes, tossed with pasta and steamed vegetables, or drizzled on any other vegetables or seafood.

If you have a little bit more time, serve with...

Rice and Lentils Provencal

Serves 4 as a side

1 cup jasmine or other long-grain white rice
½ cup red lentils (do not substitute a heartier lentil here)
3 cups water
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 oz. chopped mushrooms of any kind
1 large tomato, cored and diced
Mixed fresh herbs, chopped: parsley, tarragon, rosemary, basil, mint…

Combine all ingredients in a rice cooker or large saucepan and bring to a boil, then simmer until rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed (it should be a little saucy), about 25-30 minutes.  You can check periodically and make sure the water hasn't evaporated; if it does, just add a little bit at a time until the rice is done.  Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.