Oswald Rivera

Author, Warrior, and Teacher

Category: fish (page 1 of 6)

SALMON CON LIMON Y PIMIENTO (Lemon-Pepper Salmon)

This dish is a family favorite. We like it because it’s one of the easiest ways to cook salmon.  Just mix lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, and that’s it. Initially we would bake the salmon fillets at 375 degrees F. for 15-20 minutes. Later on I discovered that the salmon could also be broiled, an even quicker method of preparation—and that’s how we’re serving it today. Back on the block, we would serve the fillets over white steamed rice, or yellow rice. This time around we’re pairing it with farro, that ancient whole-grain popular in Italy. But, whatever side dish you prefer, you won’t be disappointed with the piquant delicious nature of these fish fillets.

Note that, in our family, we always referred to pepper, ground or otherwise as pimiento. If you check a Spanish dictionary, it is noted as pimienta. In other words. a feminine pronoun. For linguistic purists, my apologies, but I’ll stick with the family designation. To us, pepper was pimiento, and what can I say? Just enjoy the dish.

SALMÓN CON LIMÓN Y PIMIENTO
(Lemon-Pepper Salmon)

Ingredients:

4 salmon fillets with skin (about 6-8 ounces each)
6 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
½ teaspoon salt
1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
fresh chopped rosemary or tarragon for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Rinse fillets under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels.
  3.  Mix oil, lemon juice, pepper and salt in a bowl with a fork until blended.
  4.  Place salmon fillets in a greased broiler pan (we prefer cast-iron), 6 inches from heat source, skin side down. Drizzle half of the juice mixture over the salmon and place in the broiler for 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from broiler and drizzle remaining oil mixture over the fish and top with slices of red onion.
  6.  Place salmon back in broiler. Turn off the broiler and let salmon stand for 5 minutes or until the edges of the fish turn golden brown and flake with a fork. Garnish with rosemary or tarragon and serve.
    Yield: 4 servings.

BREADED FISH FILLETS WITH YOGURT

One if my favorite recipes is breaded fish fillets. It’s an easy dish to make, and delicious. Another go-to recipe is fish fillets baked in yogurt (or a combination of yogurt and parmesan cheese). So I considered, why not combine breaded fish with yogurt? In this case, the yogurt is mixed with turmeric. This renders a nice sauce in which to cook the fillets. You’ll be amazed at the result. It is really good. This is a multi-dimensional dish that can be served by itself with some crusty bread, or with rice  or pasta.  Add a light red wine or good white wine, or even beer, and you have a winner.

For this dish you can use any good firm fleshed fillet, be it cod, turbot, halibut,  flounder, monkfish, etc. I would not recommend dover sole. It is just too mild and fragile for this recipe.

BREADED FISH FILLETS WITH YOGURT

Ingredients:

4 fish fillets, 6 ounces each
1 egg, lightly beaten
¾ to 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 cup yogurt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Rinse fish fillets under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels.
  3.  Place beaten egg in one dish, and breadcrumbs in another.
  4.  Mix turmeric with the yogurt. The turmeric will give the yogurt a pinkish color. Set aside.
  5.  First, dip fillets in egg, and then in breadcrumbs to coat thoroughly. Place fillets in a greased baking dish. Cover with turmeric-yogurt mix,  and bake until tender, about 25 minutes.
    Yield: 4 servings.

PAPPARDELLE WITH SALMON

This is one of those spur of the moment recipes that garners accolades. You know what I mean. You check the cupboard and refrigerator, find out what ‘s available and create something magnificent. In this case it was pappardelle pasta and, yes, canned salmon. I know, here we go again, canned salmon. That’s right, the one that comes in tins. My wife, Holly and I, are partisans of wild caught Alaskan salmon. We usually get it fresh but, if we can find it in the canned variety, we scarf it up and buy as many as we possible. It comes in handy for a rainy day.

Now, the pasta we had this time was pappardelle, the ribbon-shaped pasta common in Italy’s Tuscany region. I like pappardelle because, as I term it, it’s a “manly-man” pasta. It’s thick, like fettuccini, or bucatini. Not a girly-man small pasta like angel hair or thin spaghetti. Holly disagrees. She prefers the fine pastas and pigs like me prefer the other stuff.  I answer that I am not a pig. I’m a piglet. Be it as it may, the salmon recipe can go with any pasta you have on hand, not just pappardelle; or any grain, be it rice or other. This dish is quick, has minimal ingredients, and it hits the spot. With some good Chianti and a crusty loaf, you have a feast.

PAPPARDELLE WITH SALMON

Ingredients:

1 package pappardelle (it could be 12 or 16 oz. pack depending on where you get it)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and slice into thin rings
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 (14¾ oz.) can pink salmon, preferably wild caught
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon melted butter

Instructions:

  1. Cook pappardelle as per package instructions.
  2.  While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add salmon and garlic, cook 2 minutes. Stir in mustard and cook about 3 minutes more.
  3.  By this time, pasta should be cooked to your preference. Drain and remove to a serving dish. Top with salmon. Drizzle with melted butter and serve.
    Yield: 4 or more servings.

SABLEFISH

Today’s recipe is a meal for a special occasion. It’s sablefish, that species of deep-sea fish common to the North Pacific Ocean. The fish is also known as black cod. Now, let me say it up front, sable is not cheap. It’s one of the kings of fishes in terms of price. Why? Well, another nickname for sable is “butterfish.” That’s because it’s fattier than Pacific cod or halibut, which gives a luxurious mouthful, but milder than salmon or tuna. It  has a creamy white flesh balanced by a black skin that gives the fish a rich buttery flavor and a smooth silky texture. Every bite is heavenly.

Given its pedigree, sablefish it’s best prepared by simple pan-frying. No fancy sauces, preparation or crusting for this sucker. Simple cooking lets you savor the depth of flavor in sablefish. The easiest way to cook is with a simple mix of garlic powder, salt, black pepper and oregano. For the recipe given, I still had some fresh herbs leftover from my summer plantings. They were tarragon, thyme and sweet marjoram, and that’s what I used. If you don’t have fresh, you can substitute dried. And it can be herbs of your choice. You can use sage, dill, rosemary, chives, whatever is available. Cooked in butter, or a butter/olive oil combo, and you have an easy but fabulous dinner.

SABLEFISH

Ingredients:

4 6-ounce sablefish fillets
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh chopped tarragon or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon fresh sweet marjoram or 1 teaspoon dried
½ teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons dry white wine

Instructions:

  1. Rinse fillets under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels.
  2.  Brush with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season well on both sides of fillets with the tarragon, thyme and sweet marjoram. Sprinkle with garlic powder.
  3.  In a large skillet or frying pan, heat the butter and reaming 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add sablefish fillets and cook about 3 minutes per side. In the end the fish should be golden brown on the outside but opaque white on the inside. Add white wine and cook over high heat, one minute more. Serve immediately.
    Yield: 4 servings.

 

 

 

GRILLED FISH IN CHURRASCO MARINADE

In Portuguese and Spanish culture, churrasco is the name for grilled beef. Eventually the name came to refer to any cut of meat that was grilled, inclusive of chicken and, yes, fish. And that is the recipe given today: Grilled Fish in Churrasco Marinade. In this recipe, the best fish used for grilling, are fish steaks, They are meaty and can benefit from the marinade. You can try fish fillets. But my experience is that fillets are just too delicate for the marinating and grilling process involved.

The recipe is basic and simple. It just requires that the fish be marinated overnight in the churrasco mix. In terms of the fish steaks, any good fish steak will do, be it haddock, kingfish, tuna, halibut,  bluefish, salmon, even shark meat. When grilling, be aware that fish steaks cook best over a medium-hot fire.

This time around we served the fish steaks with Israeli couscous, also known as “pearl” couscous. Of course, you can serve it with any side dish desired, or even a salad.

GIRLLED FISH IN CHURRASCO MARINADE

Ingredients:

4 fish steaks, about 8 ounces each, 1 to 1½-inches thick
½ cup beer or ale
¼ cup white wine (any kind)
1 lemon, sliced into rings
1 packet sazon
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon dill
Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Rinse fish steaks under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels.
  2.  For churrasco marinade: In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients.
  3.  Place fish in a zip lock bag, add marinade and refrigerate overnight.
  4.  Next day, grill 1 to 2 minutes per side for rare, 2-3 minutes per side for medium-rare, or 1-2 minutes longer for well-done.
    Yield: 4 servings.

TROUT WITH ALMONDS

Recently we got some fresh trout. About the only time we get trout is when some friend goes fishing in some nearby lake and brings back some. The classic way of cooking trout is the way we did it when we went camping: breaded and fried in a cast-iron skillet. The I thought about the elegant Trout Almondine, or trout with almonds. Wanna make the ordinary trout shine? This is it. It’s a great dish that goes well with boiled parsley potatoes, and your favorite vegetable. Add a well chilled white wine, like a Pouilly Fuisse, and you have the makings of an unforgettable meal.

TROUT WITH ALMONDS

Ingredients:

4 medium-sized trout, cleaned
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons lemon  juice
3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 cup milk
2/3 cup butter
1 cup slivered almonds

Instructions:

1. Placed fish on a working surface and rub them all over with the salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice.
2.  Season the flour with the nutmeg and thyme, and place in a shallow dish.  Place the milk in another dish. Dip the trout, one by one, first in the milk and then in the seasoned flour.
3. In a heavy-bottomed frying pan or skillet large enough to hold the fish in one layer, melt half of the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the trout and fry from 4 to 6 minutes on each side or until the flesh flakes easily. With a spatula, transfer the fish to a warmed serving dish.
4. Add remaining butter to the frying pan. When the foam subsides, add almonds and remaining lemon juice and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes or until the almonds are lightly browned. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the mixture over the trout. Serve at once.
Yield: 4 servings.

 

 

SALMON FILLETS WITH LEMON, TARRAGON AND GARLIC SAUCE

We are fans of salmon, and we are always experimenting as to how to cook salmon fillets in unusual fashion.  Here’s a result from that on-going experimentation: Salmon Fillets with lemon, Tarragon  and Garlic Sauce. Technically, summer is here, so you should find fresh tarragon at your local grocer. Garlic is always in season. Now you have the makings for a great sauce to top that fillet. A quick, easy and delicious entrée. With a veggie or potatoes on the side, some crusty bread, and a good white wine  (or red, for that matter), you have a great repast.

SALMON FILLETS WITH LEMON, TARRAGON AND GARLIC SAUCE

Ingredients:

4 (4-ounce) salmon fillets |
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon or 1 tablespoon dried

Instructions:

  1. Rinse salmon fillets under cold running water and pat  dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper.
  2.  In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard,  2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice and tarragon. Set aside.
  3.  Put the remaining  2 tablespoons oil in a cast-iron, non-stick or carbon steel skillet over medium high heat, and heat until the oil shimmers. Cook the salmon fillets flesh-side down for 5 to 7 minutes,  depending on how done you want them. Flip and cook the skin side for 1-2 minutes. Serve with the sauce.
    Yield: 4 servings.

FISH BAKED IN MILK


This is a recipe I acquired from my Jewish brethren. It’s Fish Baked in Milk. In my culture, we would never consider baking fish in milk. But leave it to the chosen people to come up with this dish which, by the way, is delicious. Nothing could be simpler to prepare with minimal ingredients. Served with a baked potato, or with a grain, or even pasta, it’s a dish made in heaven.

FISH BAKED IN MILK

Ingredients:

1 pound fish fillets, your choice
Flour
Salt and ground black pepper to taste pepper
Pinch  of dried oregano
1¼  cup milk
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Rinse fish fillets under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels.
  3.  Placed in a greased baking dish. Dust with flower, sprinkle with salt, pepper and oregano. Pour milk over fish and bake about 30 minutes or until tender. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
    Yield: 4 servings.

 

FISH FILLETS WITH LEMON AND THYME DRESSING

For this dish you can use fish fillets or 4 fish steaks. It’s a simple recipe of fish in a lemon-thyme dressing, or sauce. The fish can be any firmed flesh white fillets such as haddock, cod, perch, turbot, sea bass, grouper, tilapia, snapper, whatever you can find.

This is an easy baked dish. So, the next time you are in a hurry and want to prepare an easy nutritious meal full of flavor, this is it.  Note that if you’re using frozen fish fillets, the cooking time, as shown in the recipe,  is a bit longer. Regular or thawed fish fillets require less time to cook. With a side of vegetables, with a grain or potatoes, this dish will satisfy.

In past posts I’ve included lemon zest and I’ve gotten questions about how to zest a lemon.  Lemon zest is the outer yellow layer of the lemon, and when scraped from the lemon, it adds flavor to any dish. The easiest way I know to zest is by simply using a cheese grater. First, wash lemon under cold running water, and pat dry with kitchen or paper towels. Then place the lemon against the smallest holes in the grater. The larger holes are for shredding, and you want grated lemon rind. Simply move the lemon back and forth as you would with grating cheese (be careful not to grate your fingers). And that’s it, lemon zest. There are special citrus zesters out there and, if you want, you can buy one of those. But I find the cheese grater just as good.

FISH FILLETS WITH LEMON AND THYME DRESSING

Ingredients:

2 pounds fish fillets, 4 to 6 ounces each
6 tablespoons butter, divided
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 large lemon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 sprigs fresh lemon thyme or 1 teaspoon dried

Instructions:

  1. Heat broiler to medium high. If using a broiler/oven, heat to 450 degrees F.
  2.  Rinse fillets under cold running water and pat dry with pepper towels.
  3.  Arrange fillets in a baking dish or pan. Broil 5 to 7 inches from the heat source for  about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and place 1/2 tablespoon butter over each fillet. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons lemon  jiuce, then season with salt and pepper. Return to oven and cook an additional 7-10 minutes for frozen fillets, or 4-6 minutes for fresh or thawed fish.
  4.  While fish is cooking, add remaining butter to a saucepan with the lemon zest, remaining lemon juice and mustard. Heat gently, whisking until melted. Add the thyme and cook about 2 minutes more. Serve the fish, pouring the lemon-thyme dressing over the fillets.
    Yield: 4 servings.

 

 

 

BACALAO GUISADO – Stewed Codfish

At one time, dried salt cod was a popular food worldwide. It was a common staple throughout the Mediterranean basin. It was well represented in Spanish, Greek and French cuisines; but it was also integral to the native cooking of places as far flung as India and Canada. In recent times it has fallen out of favor as modern transportation and refrigeration has made seafood more available, as least in  the developed world.

The thing to remember about salt cod is just that, it has an astronomically high sodium content. This was done back in days of yore in order to preserve it during transport. As noted, that is no loner a problem. Still, there are some of us who still sing its praises. The sticking point, now as then, is that the product has to be prepared before cooking. The common practice is soaking the salt cod in cold water, and changing the water at least three times. For regular salt cod the usual soaking time is from 6 to 8 hours.  The common procedure is to leave it overnight, then drain and rinse under cold running water. The cod is then placed in a pot of boiling water to cover and simmered gently for 15 minutes or so. It is drained again and, when cool, the skin and bones are peeled way. Lastly, the fish is flaked so that its ready to cook.  Luckily, today you can buy deboned salt cod. So, at least, that part of the process can be omitted.

You probably think the preparation time involved is a hell of a bother just to eat cod. But not many good things are as inexpensive or as versatile. It can acquire any number of flavors during cooking, depending upon the condiments used. It will complement almost any vegetable or grain, even pasta. In our culture we serve it with rice, or bianda (root plants), eggplant, or tostones (green fried plantains).  With whatever side dish, or even by itself with plain bread, salt cod is extraordinary.

BACALAO GUISADO
(Stewed Codfish)

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 medium green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon sage
¼ teaspoon white pepper
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 pound dried salt cod (prepared beforehand for cooking; see above)

1. Heat olive oil in a heavy frying pan or skillet. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic, bay leaf, sage and white pepper. Sauté over medium heat for about 3 minutes.
2. Add tomato sauce and cook for 3 minutes longer.
3. Add flaked codfish. Lower heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
4. Serve with favorite vegetable or grain.
Yield: 4 servings.

 

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