Sunday, October 12, 2008

Fishy business

I'm breaking out with a non-vegetarian recipe (I think this may be the first for my blog) that I found in the NY Times and enhanced with a slightly nutty twist. I'm also violating another trend: My first human subject makes an appearance (not as food!!! don't be sick), Mr. Daniel J. Pogash, my most trusted recipe-tester (and a damn good coffee roaster, among other extraordinary attributes). You can see him here enjoying Friday night's menu: Steamed flounder with mustard greens and a baked squash sandwich!

Steamed Flounder with Ginger-Garlic Mustard Greens (adapted from Wednesday's NY Times)

- 1 tbsp. canola oil
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 3 minced garlic cloves
- 1 1-inch thick slice peeled ginger root, minced
- 2 sm. bunches mustard greens, cleaned, stemmed and torn into pieces
- 1 tbsp. tamari
- 2-3 flounder fillets

- S&P
- cashew halves

First, heat the oils in a big skillet and add the garlic and ginger and saute until fragrant and translucent. Add the mustard greens, soy sauce, and 3 tbsp. water, and saute until the greens begin to wilt.

Spread the greens out in the pan. Season the flounder with salt and pepper and lay them on top of the greens. Cover the pan, reduce heat, and let the fish steam till cooked through (time will totally depend on the size of the fillets. For thicker ones, give them 5-6 minutes. For very thin (4 oz.) fillets, 2-3 minutes should do it).

Uncover the pan and carefully transfer fish to a serving plate. Turn heat to high and cook off excess moisture from the greens. Serve greens on top of the fish, sprinkled with cashew halves. Serves 2.

Note: if you can't find mustard greens, any other dark leafy green, like kale or spinach, will work here.

Baked Squash Sourdough Sandwich (inspired by Chef Jay Weinstein, one of my instructors at the Natural Gourmet School and author of The Ethical Gourmet)

- 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, and cut into 1/2-in. half moon slices
- 1/2 fresh sourdough loaf, sliced
- 1 yellow onion, sliced
- 6-10 sage leaves

- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1-1/2 c. vegetable stock
- 1 egg

Preheat oven to 350.

Heat butter over medium heat in a skillet and add the sage leaves. Fry these until the butter turns slightly brown and fragrant. Remove leaves with a spatula and set aside. Add the onion and cook slowly, stirring often, until soft and translucent (try not to brown).

Spray a medium sized baking dish with oil and put down a layer of bread. Next lay the squash slices on top. Spoon the cooked onions on top of this, then add another layer of squash. Finish with a layer of bread.

Mix the egg and stock in a beaker and pour over the baking dish, making sure it is evenly distributed throughout. Bake in the oven 50-60 minutes, till the top layer of bread is golden and the squash feels soft.

Serve as you would lasagna, in square cuts, with a fried sage leaf as garnish. Makes a great appetizer.

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