Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Clementine-olive fish: pesce alla dicembre

Here is a lovely, light fish dish to kick off the month of heavy eating around the holidays. The relish is quick and so festive looking--it uses those pretty tiny clementines that are ubiquitous in the market right about now. Add the unexpected tang of green olives with some creamy pistachio or almond and get ready for a warm winter night.This is the correct amount to make a topping to serve 2--use 2 clementines (or just one big orange) and double the olives, etc of you have more people for dinner. And you should because this is tasty! You'll want roughly the same proportions of everything, but don't stress too much about the exact measurements. Get about 2 tablespoons of pistachio or almonds (slivered or sliced is best) and chop them roughly. Pistachio definitely is the better of the two to use by the way. I just happened to make this using almonds recently, but of the two, I recommend pistachio.Zest the clementine...And cut in half then into small chunks, being sure to remove any white membrane.Add the clementine pieces, all the zest, plus two tablespoons chopped green olive (do not use the kind that are stuffed with pimentos! just plain green olives are best) and one chopped, small garlic clove to your mortar to smash it up. Is it just me or has this tool featured a lot lately? I think it's because I had it packed up ever since we moved and throughout the kitchen renovation--almost a whole year! I'm just happy to be able to be able to use it again, maybe? Also it's in a really convenient place n the new kitchen so maybe I can just get at it easier now. Who knows. Anyway, you can just stir/mash it all together in a bowl if you like instead.Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and go find two nice pieces of firm, skinless, thick-cut fish. I used cod, but halibut or any other thick white fish will work beautifully. These one were actually just a little bit too thin--you can get ones that are 1 inch thick or so and this will work better. Dry them well and season on both sides with salt and pepper. Sprinkle just one side evenly with a very light dusting of sugar. This sounds odd, but it's Cook's Illustrated's method of getting a nice browned sear without overcooking your fish and I've found it works like a champ. Use just a wee bit--only 1/8 teaspoon per fillet.Heat a tablespoon olive oil in a nonstick skillet over high heat until very hot and put in your fish, sugar side down for just one minute or so.Flip them over carefully to the other side, remove from heat and pop them into the hot oven for just about 8 minutes to finish cooking.Meanwhile, stir in a tablespoon of olive oil into your relish plus a pinch of cayenne pepper.Go get your fish out! You don't want them to overcook. These, like I said, were too thin of fillets, so they buckled somewhat, but if you use nice thick ones, they should look really pretty.Set them on a plate...And top with a tablespoon or so of the sweet, tangy relish.The co-stars here are lemon potatoes and some shredded brussel sprouts, by the way.So pretty! I think you'll really like this one--enjoy!

1 comment:

j.bird said...

Did you tell us how to make shredded brussels sprouts before? If not, I think you should. Because the boy is fan.