I've cooked my way through all 264 recipes
in The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook!

July 1, 2010

Steam-Poached Fish Fillets (p. 353) with Sauce Rouille (p. 276) and Salad with an Anchovy Sauce (p. 263)

This is a pretty basic fish recipe that requires very minimal prep work. Pretty much all you do is simmer liquid (mine was a combination of white wine and water with a bay leaf, some thyme, parsley sprigs, and salt tossed in) and then put in the fish (I used snapper.) Cover the pan with either a lid or aluminum foil and let it simmer gently until the fish is opaque throughout.

Once the cooked fish has been removed from the liquid, simmer down the wine/water combo and add olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic. Drizzle this over the top of the fish.

Since this was so simple, and since I love sauces, I paired it with Sauce Rouille, which is an equally simple sauce that draws heavily on the flavor of roasted red peppers. To make, roast and peel red peppers and fresh chilies, or, as I did, use dried chilies soaked in hot water and then use the softened pulp to add some spice.

In a mortar, crush together garlic and sauce until it makes a paste. Add the red peppers, chili pulp and any roasting juices, and pound together. Stir in dried bread crumbs and olive oil. I also added some chili pepper. Also, I apparently have poor mortar skills, so I let a food processor do most of my work (but don't over process -- it should still have a texture.) Serve this sauce on the side of the fish.

Actually, the flavors of the fish and the liquid that it was cooked in were lovely and understated. I would have happily eaten it with just a little salt and pepper. The Sauce Rouille was also good, but a little sweet for my taste. If I were to make it again I would add more chili peppers to give it a bit of a kick.

I also served a salad of mixed greens with the fish, and with it made an anchovy dressing. To make the dressing, pound together garlic with chopped anchovy fillets. I don't think I had tried anchovies before starting this project, but now I'm somewhat addicted to them.

When these ingredients have formed a paste, sir in red wine vinegar, olive oil, and pepper and mix well. Drizzle this over your salad or bitter greens.

Looks disgusting, right? Matt thought this was our jar that I dump bacon fat and the like into. Surprisingly, this dressing stole the show of the whole meal. It's delicious. I served my salad with a little crumbled feta and the saltiness of the cheese was really fantastic with the dressing. I'll make this dressing again in a heartbeat.

All in all, a great and well-rounded dinner. Also probably the last Mediterranean food before next week since we're gearing up for a big American feast, though Imay try to fit in some hummus somewhere in my weekend.

snapper -- $12.09
Total Cost of Steam-Poached Fish Fillets: $12.09
(I cut this recipe in half and have about 1 serving left.)

red pepper -- $2.79
Total Cost of Sauce Rouille: $2.79
(I cut this recipe in half and have plenty remaining.)

anchovies -- $1.99
mixed greens -- $2.50
Total Cost of Anchovy Sauce: $4.49
(Enough for several salads left.)

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Thanks for dropping by! Love, Katrina.