Baked Redfish with Cashew-Garlic Crust

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.

Baked Redfish with Cashew-Garlic Crust

Serving Size: 2

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 redfish fillets (or other 8 ounce white-fleshed fish fillets such as snapper)

Cashew-Garlic Paste

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

Olive oil

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.

http://www.baronesstapuzina.com/2009/11/27/baked-redfish-with-cashew-garlic-crust/

 

Mom's Creamed Spinach

Serving Size: 4

1 small onion, minced

50g butter

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.

http://www.baronesstapuzina.com/2009/11/27/baked-redfish-with-cashew-garlic-crust/

Some Like It Hot

My husband and I both love good Chinese food and since it is impossible to find good Chinese food in Israel, we have to wait until we go to London or the States. However, I did learn to make Chinese food from my grandparent’s Chinese cook, Ying. She is a master in the kitchen and was a great teacher. She really understands the science behind cooking, whether she is explaining how to cook various types of meats and poultry or baking. She also taught me a lot about the balance of flavours and how important that is in Chinese cooking. One flavour should not necessarily stand out more than the other; it should be a marriage of ingredients. I had so much fun learning from her. We even took a French pastry course together. She was raised in Vietnam, so she already knew quite a bit about French cooking, but she enjoyed the course, just the same.

My husband was away for his birthday and we celebrated it when he came back. I made him one of our favourites, Szechuan Chicken with Cashews. The heat from the chili paste and the crunch from the cashews make this dish. This dish is spicy, so if you can’t stand the heat, you might want to use one teaspoon of chili paste instead of two. If you like very spicy Thai or Indian food, like we do, you could add another half a teaspoon. I served this over Thai rice.

This recipe looks like it has a lot of steps, but it is very easy to make.

Szechuan Chicken with Cashews

Serving Size: 4

600g boneless, skinless, chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 2cm (3/4-inch) pieces

1 egg white

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon dark soy sauce

Pinch of black pepper

1 large yellow or red bell pepper

1 medium yellow onion

1 head of broccoli, separated into florets

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon cold water

1 tablespoon light soy sauce

2 tablespoons peanut or canola oil

1 cup raw cashew nuts

1/4 teaspoon of salt

2 tablespoons peanut or canola oil

2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger root

1 tablespoon hoisin sauce

2 teaspoons chili paste

1/2 cup chicken broth

2 tablespoons chopped green onion

Mix the egg white, 1 teaspoon of cornstarch, 1 teaspoon of dark soy sauce and the black pepper in a medium bowl; stir in the chicken. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the bell pepper into 2cm (3/4-inch) pieces. Cut the onion into 16 pieces and cut the broccoli in to small florets.

Combine the 1 tablespoon cornstarch, water and 1 tablespoon light soy sauce in a small bowl.

Heat the wok on high, and when it is very hot, add the 2 tablespoons of peanut oil; tilting the wok to coat the sides. Add the cashews and stir-fry them for about one minute or until lightly browned. Remove the cashews from the wok and drain them on a paper towel. Sprinkle them with salt.

Note: You can use roasted cashews, but obviously do not salt them and only add them at the last minute.

Add the chicken to the wok and stir-fry until the chicken turns a pale colour. Remove the chicken from the wok and set aside in a bowl or on a plate.

Add 2 tablespoons of peanut oil. Add the onion and ginger, and stir-fry until the ginger is light brown and the onion is translucent. Add the chicken, bell pepper, broccoli, hoisin sauce, cashews (if using roasted ones) and chili paste, and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the broth and heat until boiling. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and stir for about 1 minute until the sauce is thickened. Stir in the cashews (if using raw ones) and green onions.

http://www.baronesstapuzina.com/2008/08/25/some-like-it-hot/

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