Recipe: “Magical Fish”
When talking about “healthy eating”, fish comes up in the conversation almost every time. Why?
Fish is a high-protein, low-fat food that provides a range of health benefits. White-fleshed fish, in particular, is lower in fat than any other source of animal protein, and oily fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, or the “good” fats. Since the human body can’t make significant amounts of these essential nutrients, fish are an important part of the diet. Also, fish are low in the “bad” fats commonly found in red meat, called omega-6 fatty acids. — source: EDF Seafood Selector
Here is the dilemma, though: if you are from a generation of fish-stick eaters, or fans of fast-food fish fillets, it may be challenging for you to come up with options that are still satisfying while being a little healthier.
Grilling, broiling and pan-searing are delicious methods, and there are many fabulous recipes like these to be found. I wanted to add one more to the list, using a fun and easy method that is truly magical in terms of taste and ease of preparation.
I came up with this recipe that involves a rich, complex mix of sauteed vegetables, salty olives and wine that you use as a base for the fish. The fish itself is steam-cooked over the vegetables, which infuses it with flavor while eliminating the need for any additional oils. Although I first developed this when planning a special dinner with my Dad in the mid 2000’s, it came to mind again when a local supermarket launched a healthy recipe contest.
The Healthy Living Market and Café opened its second location recently in Saratoga, New York. Let me just say, go to their About section and learn the inspiring path that this store has taken to get where it is now, and you will understand why I wanted to get involved with this store. It is a great fit for my slogan. “Yummy. Easy. Organic.™” in terms of their philosophy.
I submitted the “Magical Fish” recipe and was delighted to find out that it had been chosen as the winning recipe for September 2013! Christina Davis, the store’s Demonstration Coordinator, had my recipe printed up and displayed in near their Fish Department for guests to enjoy. She also provided these photos — thanks Christina!
Let’s check out this winning recipe!
2 cups sweet or yellow onion, rough diced
½ cup finely diced fresh fennel root
4 cloves garlic, smashed
2 tsps Rosemary’s Chicken spice blend (or sub 2 sprigs fresh rosemary — keep on sprig so you can remove it later)
1 c pitted black and green mixed olives (strong, salty ones are best)
optional: 2 T capers, drained
15 oz can of diced tomatoes with liquid
2 c chicken broth
½ c dry red or white wine
½ tsp red pepper flakes
1 ½ pounds of firm skinless white fish, like tilapia, red snapper. or sablefish aka black cod (can also substitute large diver scallops.).
Rub the fillets with olive oil, then season with sea salt and fresh pepper. Set aside.
Sautée onion, garlic and fennel on medium heat in olive oil until soft.
Pour in tomatoes, chicken broth and wine.
Add Rosemary’s Chicken blend (or the rosemary sprigs) and red pepper flakes .
Add olives and the optional capers. Stir to combine.
Bring up heat and simmer until half the liquid is evaporated.
Place fish filets flatly on top of mixture. Drizzle the tops of the fillets with a small amount of additional olive oil.
Cover tightly and shut off heat. Don’t remove cover unless necessary to check doneness of fish. Depending on thickness of fish, can be ready to serve in 12-25 minutes.
Wonderful served over polenta, rice or pasta.