Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fair and Balanced Dinner

In case you haven't caught onto the recent theme (no, not the failures theme, the actual food I'm trying to cook), I'm trying to eat healthy.  We're in a land of whatever you want at whatever time you want and while I'm all for buying a lawn mower at 3am, I do want to keep some of the habits we've established by living overseas.  Namely eating food that is fresh.  Perhaps even prepared by me.  Luckily for me, and unluckily for my husband and my bank account, we live walking distance to a Whole Foods.  And yes, they are incredibly expensive, and no, I can't help myself.  Luckily this one doesn't sell caviar.  Just over-priced eggplants and the like.  This one also has a pretty nice fish counter.  Of course you need a credit check just to approach, but once you've been reviewed by the loan officers you are allowed to actually look for what you will over-buy and then only cook half of.  Which is all beautiful.

Now, I'm usually a salmon or tuna girl, as is my husband, since they most closely resemble red meat.  He likes sword fish, although I'm not a fan.  White fish to me is hit or miss.  Sometimes they just taste like a carrier for the sauces and sometimes there's a flavor.  Mulling over all these things, I"m pacing the fish counter.  The loan officers begin to be concerned that I'm running too many numbers in my head and perhaps am not able to afford the almost criminally beautiful layout of oceanic tastiness in front of me.  In the nick of time the light-bulb goes on and I settle on red snapper.  Yes, its a white fish, but I've heard great things and have actually had it and liked it a time or two.

Of course I buy the snapper without knowing how I'm going to cook it.  A quick internet search pops up some great inspiration and I settle on an Asian style.  Sweet and spicy soy glaze over the fish while it cooks, and a cabbage, red pepper, and onion stir fry.  To the side I had a cold soba noodle salad with a light peanut dressing.  All in all, the flavors were perfect, nothing was overpowering, the stir fry was still slightly crispy and soaked up the extra glaze nicely.  Oh yeah, and the fish cooked perfectly and tasted pretty darn awesome.

So, fresh veggies, a small portion of lean protein, and a whole grain side.  Perhaps the hippies at Whole Foods are wearing off on me.  Regardless, I'm pretty pleased with making a tasty, healthy, and balanced dinner.  Recipes below:

Red Snapper and Stir Fry

  • 1 red bell pepper sliced thin

  • 2 cups thinly slice Napa cabbage

  • 1/2 thinly sliced red onion

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1 tablespoon season rice vinegar

  • 3/4 cup Sweet Spicy Soy Glaze (see below)

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil

  • four 4-ounce red snapper or grouper fillets with skin

  • Preheat oven to 350.  Oil baking pan with 2 teaspoons vegetable oil.  Place red snapper fillets skin side down.  Pour 1/2 C of Sweet Spicy Soy glaze over the fillets.  Bake in the oven for 20min or until nearly cooked through.  Turn oven to broil for an additional 5min to caramelize the glaze, basting additional glaze over the fish just prior if necessary.  While the fish cooks, heat 1T vegetable oil in a non-stick pan until almost smoking.  Add bell peppers and onions, sauteing while stirring for 1-2 minutes.  Add cabbage and continue to stir, preventing the vegetables from burning, for no more than 7-8 minutes.  Add rice vinegar and saute for an additional 1-2 minutes. Take off of heat.

    Serve fish and vegetables with additional glaze on the side.

    Sweet Spicy Soy Glaze

  • 1/2 pound shallots (about 5 large)

  • 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 3 tablespoons sugar

  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • 1 tablespoon finely grated peeled fresh gingerroot

  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest

  • Heat vegetable oil in a sauce pan and caramelize shallots, about 5min.  Add all other ingredients and cook together for 10-12 minutes so that all flavors meld.  Spoon over fish or vegetables.


    Anonymous said...

    No, caviar!!!!! What a....:)))
    Red snapper is one of my favorite fishes....if I must eat them:))
    As you know me: best soup is kessler and best fish is caviar...:))
    Love y'all

    Anonymous said...

    Was a great dish and now Red Snapper is my new most favorite fish dish! Was even better the next day. My cubicle mates were definitely red with envy. Love you tons and thanks for cooking healthy for me. Trey