Over the past few weeks we have been eating a lot of fish that we purchased from the Dubkin Brothers, a fish farm on Moshav Tekuma in southern Israel. They sell fish to restaurants all over the country, and also to individuals at an arranged pickup point every two weeks. The owners are very friendly and they prepare the fish any way you want. The fish is very, very fresh, most of it coming from their own fish farms and they have the best source for salmon I have found. Your order is packed in ice in a Styrofoam cooler and they always include a bag of fresh lemons. They had a special sale on redfish (Rotbarsch in Hebrew and German) which is a nice semi-firm fish that can be broiled, baked, and pan-fried.
I found an interesting recipe from Emeril Lagasse that called for 220g (2 sticks) of butter. I couldn’t subject our bodies to that much butter, so I changed the recipe.The recipe also called for baking the fish on a bed of spinach, but I didn’t have any fresh spinach on hand so I served the fish on a bed of one of my favorite comfort foods from my mother, creamed spinach. I don’t really have a recipe, but I tried my best to create one for you. Let me know if you have any problems making it. I will make it again and try to come up with a better recipe.
I am sure Emeril’s recipe is divine, but I think my “healthier” version is delicious and really goes well with the redfish.
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 redfish fillets (or other 8 ounce white-fleshed fish fillets such as snapper)
1 cup salted roasted cashews
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or a few drops of Tabasco
Preheat the oven to 180C (350F).
Season the redfish fillets with salt and pepper on both sides.
To serve, transfer the packages to warmed dinner plates. Open at the table, using scissors.
In a food processor, pulse the cashews until coarsely chopped, being careful not to over blend into a paste. Add the lemon juice, garlic, salt, and hot pepper sauce, and pulse until the cashews are finely chopped. Add just enough olive oil (start with 2 tablespoons) to bind the mixture together.
Using a flat metal spatula or your hands, smear both sides of each fillet liberally with the cashew paste. Don't worry if it doesn't spread easily, just make sure that you have cashew-garlic paste on both sides. Lay 2 fillets on top of a large square of foil or parchment paper, fold up to enclose the fillets, and tightly crimp the edges to seal the pouches. Place on a large baking sheet and bake for 15 -20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish.
Serve on a bed of creamed spinach.
1 small onion, minced
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup milk or light cream
500g (1lb) frozen chopped spinach
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the onion. Saute the onion until lightly browned and add the flour. Cook until the flour is incorporated with the butter and onion, and is a light brown roux. Add the milk or cream and stir until thickened. Add the spinach and cook on medium low heat, stirring until the spinach is defrosted. Add the nutmeg and mix thoroughly in the spinach. Cook until hot.