Archive for the ‘Fish’ Category

In love with fish…

As a kid I wasn’t a fish lover. But I think I start loving it more and more as I grew older and realized that it’s a tastier and healthier option. And now it’s even more easier with all the fillets readily available. Ond day I hope to live some place where, I can go to the market and get fresh fish, till then I will make do with the freshest fish I can find here in AZ. So last night was a fish dinner night. I wanted to make something quick and easy.

On another note, Amit and I were going to get some coffee the other day on Mill Avenue (it’s the street on which our lab is located). There is this quaint little book store on this otherwise, restaurant / bar / pub filled street. It’s a really nice bookstore, I think owned by an old couple who are also very nice. They have tons of books on every conceivable topic and some that I bet you won’t find elsewhere. And they have a large gray cat who sits around watching all the people who come into the store.

So while browsing through the books, I saw this Martha Stewart book on sale. I glanced through it and since I do not have any of her books, I thought why not. I am sure I can get atleast a couple of recipes that I can tweek to my liking in here. She had a recipe for a roasted salmon with herbed stuffing. I did not have salmon, for that matter I did not want to but a whole fish to make the dish. So I decided to tweek it to make it a roasted swai with rolled / filled herb filling. And I must say, I was very happy with the final dish. It was as intended very easy to make and took about 15-20 minutes of preparation time and then about 15-20 minutes in the oven. So technically I was busy cooking it for only 15-20 mins, the oven was the one cooking after that. The herbed filling is sufficient for about 3 large Swai fillets.

Ingredients:

  1. 3 Swai fillets
  2. 2 tsps olive oil
  3. 1 red onion (thinly sliced)
  4. 2 carrots (grated)
  5. 1 bunch of green onions (chopped)
  6. 5-6 small cloves garlic (chopped)
  7. 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  8. 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  9. 1 cup chopped coriander
  10. 5-6 basil leaves
  11. 1 sprig tarragon
  12. 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  13. some oil to brush the baking dish
  14. kitchen string
  15. 1/2 teaspoon butter

For seasoning the fish fillet

  1. 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  2. salt to taste
  3. ginger powder
  4. coriander powder

Directions:

  • Heat the olive oil and add the cumin and fennel seeds when the oil is hot.
  • Next add the red onions and fry till they soften and start turning pink.
  • Now add the garlic and fry a few more minutes till the raw smell of garlic is gone.
  • Next add the carrots and green onions and cook for a few minutes till the carrots have softened.
  • Finally add all the herbs except the tarragon.
  • Preheat the oven to 500F.
  • Now place a fillet on a large plate and season one side with the red chilli powder, salt, ginger powder and coriander powder. You may add as much or as little of these spices. I added about 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder, 1 tsp coriander pwd, 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder and salt to taste.
  • Next spread the filling on the wider end  of the fillet to about three fourths of the way down to the narrower end.
  • Start rolling the fillet from the wider end to the narrower end and tie it up with the kitchen string.
  • Now place the tied up fillets on a baking dish brushed with some oil.
  • Place the tarragon sprigs on the rolled fillet and place in the oven.
  • Turn the rolled fillet over after about 10 minutes and let it cook for another 5 mins. Keep a careful eye on the fish so that you do not overcook it.
  • At the very end, pull out the baking dish from the oven and brush the top with some of the butter and place it under the broiler for a couple of mins so that it browns slightly.
  • Serve with some greens and it makes a meal in itself.

We loved this fish with the filling and I am definitely gonna make different fillings because there are a multitude of possibilities for that. I will definitely keep you posted on what other fillings I try out. This one makes the entire dish very fresh, the herbs are definitely the main reason for that. Hope you enjoy the dish and thanks for reading.

Amit works his magic in the kitchen!

I am back and hopefully will not disappear for such a long period of time ever again. Well as most of you may already know I am currently working towards my PhD. The Industrial Engineering PhD program at ASU requires you to take a ton of classes (19 courses to be precise) and then they need you to pass a qualifying exam (based on coursework), a comprehensive exam (based on your research) and then a final dissertation defense. I gave my PhD qualifiers a few days back and therefore was busy, really busy studying for the exams. Finally I am done with it and “YES” I cleared the qualifiers. So, till it’s time for the Comprehensive exams,  I am going to be as regular as possible.

You can imagine with the preparations for the exams in full swing, I hardly found any time to cook, forget blogging about it. Well that’s not exactly true, Amit and I did manage to cook some very quick and tasty recipes. But I never managed to get any pictures neither did I get a chance to write the recipe down. So the next few posts are going to be those recipes made again but this time I’ll actually blog about it.

The first recipe is Tilapia in coconut gravy. A few days before the exam preparations started, I caught a bad cold and that resulted in Amit cooking dinner at home. And he made this awesome fish curry that was beyond awesome. He was supposed to just bake or fry the fish but he decided to make something a little more than that. And I am so glad he did. This is an easy to make and quick recipe and it tastes heavenly.

Ingredients:

  1. 6 tilapia fillets
  2. 2 tablespoons garlic paste
  3. 2 tablespoons tamarind paste
  4. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  5. 2 teaspoons red chilli powder
  6. 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  7. 3 garlic cloves (chopped fine)
  8. 2 green chilies (slit)
  9. 1/2 tsp asafoetida
  10. salt to taste
  11. 2 teaspoons oil
  12. 3/4 cup coconut milk

Directions:

  • Marinate the tilapia fillets in the tamarind paste, garlic paste, turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder and salt.
  • Marinate the fish for about 30 minutes.
  • Heat the oil in a wide saucepan and heat the chopped garlic, green chillies and asafoetida. (Add these three ingredients based on how many fillets you can fry at a time. I fried the fish in 3 batches so I split the chopped garlic, asafoetida and green chilies into 3 batches as well.)
  • Once the garlic is browned add the marinated fish and fry for a couple of minutes on either side.
  • Add a little water to the saucepan and let the fish cook thoroughly (Cook covered and keep an eye on the fish and the amount of water in the saucepan ensuring that the gravy never dries up completely).
  • If you are cooking the fish in batches, put the fish fillets together into the same dish and set aside till all the fillets are done cooking.
  • Once all the fish fillets are cooked, put it together in the same saucepan and add the coconut milk and 1/4 cup water.
  • Cook the fish in the coconut gravy for about 5-10 minutes.
  • Garnish the fish gravy with a few coriander leaves and it is ready to be served with any bread of your choice.

This recipe serves 2-3 persons. It takes about 30-45 minutes to prepare this dish. You can substitute the tilapia with any other fish of your choice but preferably white fish. I give full credit of this recipe to Amit. I just followed his steps to make this dish. If you love fish, you will love this recipe and take my word for it, it’s delicious! Oh and as a thank you to Amit, I baked some chocolate chip cookies for dessert…

Fish Cutlets

Posted: November 14, 2010 in Appetizers, Fish, Potatoes, Snacks
Tags: , , , ,
A walk down memory lane

I remember cutlets being the appetizer that my mom used to make when we had guests over. She used to make vegetable cutlets, fish cutlets, kheema cutlets. They are actually pretty easy to make and beyond delicious.

I have made vegetable cutlets before; they are my favorite among cutlets. I bought some tilapia at the grocery store the other day and had plans to fry or roast it for dinner. Then I noticed some boiled potatoes in the refrigerator, and that’s when it hit me, fish cutlets!!!

Mom always used to make some extra cutlets for next day. I loved the cutlets the next day (not that I ate any less on the day of the party) because they used to be served piping hot – from the stove to my plate. The fish cutlets she used to make were from the tastiest fish varieties ever – I so long for the fresh fish from the fish markets in Bombay. I guess I’ll have to make do with the tilapia for now. So here’s the recipe for fish cutlets. You can make them even the day before and save yourself sometime on the day of a party. This recipe makes about 12 cutlets.

Ingredients:

  1. 2 Tilapia fillets
  2. salt and black pepper for seasoning the fish
  3. 2 potatoes – boiled and mashed
  4. 1 onion large
  5. 4 green chillies
  6. 2 cloves garlic
  7. 2 tsp black pepper
  8. 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  9. 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  10. 2 teaspoon lemon juice
  11. coriander leaves (1 cup chopped)
  12. 1 egg
  13. bread crumbs (made from 3-4 slices)
  14. 2 teaspoons oil
  15. oil for frying
  16. salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Season the fish fillets with salt and black pepper. Set this aside for a about 15 minutes.
  2. Bake the fish in the preheated oven at 350 deg F. Turn the fillet over after about 5-7 minutes. Turn over the fillet once again after another 5-7 minutes. Remove the fillets from the oven after about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Shred the fish into small pieces and set aside.
  4. In the meanwhile boil the potatoes and mash the potatoes to a smooth consistency.
  5. Chop the onions, green chillies and garlic cloves.
  6. Heat the oil and when hot add the onions and fry for a couple of minutes.
  7. Add the green chillies and the garlic and fry all the ingredients till the onions turn a brown in color.
  8. Now add the cumin, coriander powder and fry for a couple of minutes till the ingredients are mixed together well.
  9. Reduce the heat and add the mashed potatoes and mix well.
  10. Add salt to taste.
  11. Remove the potato mixture from the heat and add the shredded fish, coriander leaves and the lime juice to it. Mix all the ingredients together and ensure that the mixture has a sticky consistency.
  12. Make about 12 flat patties out of the mixture and set aside.
  13. Beat the egg in a separate bowl.
  14. Make the bread crumbs and set aside.
  15. Take each flat patty and apply a little egg on both side and then cover with the bread crumbs.
  16. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and place the cutlets in the frying pan.
  17. Fry the cutlets till brown on both sides.

This recipe takes about 30-40 minutes for preparation and another 10-15 mins for frying. These cutlets can be served with any kind of bread and some people also like some ketchup on the side. Some green chutney would also go well with the cutlets. I made these cutlets atleast 3 weeks back but then had a conference to go to so had to put an hold on the blog. But am back now and will be back to regular postings as before. You can easily substitute the fish with any other, it is not necessary to use tilapia. And the outer crust for the cutlets can be made using a lot of ingredients but I love the version with bread crumbs. You could also use corn meal or semolina. Hope you enjoy making these cutlets as much as my I did.