Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Finally, Fish!

Gosh! We already got the email for this week's tote, and I know we still have a lot of stuff to eat up. Also, we didn't get our fish cooked Thursday because I had some minor surgery on my toes and even after several days off, going to work and wearing shoes all day long was too much. We had leftovers on Thursday and ordered pizza last Friday. The fish got put on the backburner until--TODAY! 

I did the old lemon-and-butter-and-parsely fish bake in the ramekin boats. (is that what they are called?) Can't really go wrong with this one: add butter and lemon juice to the fish in the dish, season with coarse sea salt and fresh ground pepper, toss in a little bit of fresh chopped parsely, and bake til its opaque (about 20 minutes). The fish was a Pacific Grenedier, I think. It was a white fish, anyway, kind of thin filets with just a few small bones to watch out for. But what else to go with it? Hmmmm, brown rice...check. Oh, I still have all that Swiss chard. So I look up a recipe for it, and find a creamed Swiss chard recipe that will be ready in minutes. Perfecto!

The brown rice (2 Cups) goes into the rice cooker, along with a teaspoons of granulated chicken broth that I got in the bulk section at New Frontier's, and 4-1/2 cups of water. Usually rice is 2:1 water/rice, but with the brown rice, I find it needs a little more water and a long cooking time to get it fully cooked. I made 2 cups knowing that I will have some leftover for adding to dishes this week, making workday dinners quicker and easier to prepare. Okay, push down the little button and forget about that one!

On to the fish. I had already prepared two boats because I was going to have it Saturday night for Lee and me, but a friend sent me home with some dinner. Sunday night we ended up having soup for dinner because he got home from his "Boys Race Day" at the March Meet so late. Since Taylor was also home for dinner tonight, I had to defrost the second package quickly in cold water and make some for him too. Each package of the SLO Fresh Catch is a half pound, just right for two people, but not enough for three people. I actually ended up baking four ramekins of fish. The leftover's (hopefully there will be some!) can go into our lunchboxes. Let me tell you, our coworkers are always asking what we have packed for lunch...they smell it being reheated in the microwave and drool and get all envious. Love it!

Now that the fish is baking, I concentrate on the Swiss chard. I found a recipe on SLO Veg that sounds pretty good. It was part of a Pan Roasted Cowboy Ribeye dinner, but here is just the Swiss chard part of it:
Creamed rainbow chard:
1 large bunch Swiss chard, leafs removed from 
  the stem and leaves chopped 
2 cups heavy cream 
2 fresh bay leaves 
2 sprigs fresh rosemary 
4 sprigs fresh thyme 
2 to 3 cloves garlic, peeled 
Freshly grated Parmesan, to taste 
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper 
1 lemon, juiced 
Place a saute pan over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon 
extra-virgin olive oil and butter. Once the butter has melted, add the 
garlic, thyme and rosemary leaves, and the panko and stir to combine. 
Once the bread crumbs are toasted, season with salt and pepper. 

Place a saucepan of cream with bay leaves, rosemary, thyme and garlic 
over medium heat and simmer until reduced and thick. Blanch leaves in 
some salted boiling water until wilted. Remove the Swiss chard from the 
water and allow it to drain in a strainer. Push any excess water out of 
the Swiss chard using some paper towels. Set aside to dry at room 

When ready, remove herbs and garlic from cream and fold in the Swiss 
chard. Add Parmesan, to taste, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Once steaks are done, remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 
minutes. Serve on a plate and top steak with creamed Swiss chard. 
Garnish with the toasted bread crumbs, lemon juice, and season with 
ZZZzzzzzzztt! (Cue the sound of a record needle zipping across the vinyl record).  NO Steak--FISH! I didn't follow the recipe exactly, because for one thing, I didn't have any heavy cream on hand. I had buttermilk, though. I also had homemade Ranch dressing that I had made with the buttermilk...why not just use that? Yeah! Improvise : ) But I only want to use one pan, if possible. So I prepared the chard by folding the leaves in half and cutting out the stem, then sliced them into one-inch wide strips and put into my large saute pan with a little bit of water. I put the lid on and let it steam for 5 minutes, then removed the chard to a collander while I prepared the sauce. I used olive oil and butter along with the herbs: rosemary, thyme and minced garlic and chopped shallots. I skipped the breadcrumbs and just added a half cup of Ranch dressing and some Parmesan cheese. When the cheese had melted in, I added the steamed Swiss chard back into the pan and it was ready. Its always a little surprising to see that my huge pile of greens had wilted down to such a small bit of cooked greens. It was just right for 3 healthy servings.

Okay, the button popped up on the rice and it is done to perfection, according to Lee. He checked! Fish comes out of the oven...nice! It's flakey and white and swimming in a buttery sauce. Okay, boys, grab your plates. It's over to the coffee tables and Biggest Loser!

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