I'm high off the lovely dinner I made for tonight. Perhaps the burn from the garlic, but I know what I like.
My most recent food goal is to eat fish at least once a week. The fishmonger at Whole Foods suggested fresh cod, so I started with that. Mark Bittman, from his book Kitchen Express, suggested Pan-Seared with Spicy Lime Butter (pg 91). Mark's recipe directed me to make a butter compound with shallot mixed with lime zest and juice. Lacking shallot, I substituted about 6 cloves of garlic. Hee, hee, let the fun begin.
Staring at the seasoned fish I was about to sear in butter and olive oil, I realized we were going to want something else on the table to go with it. Rosie grabbed some kelp noodles while we were shopping today, and I thought in a little broth, they might be a great way to catch any butter compound that melted off the fish. Of course, the chicken broth, noodles and fish would look very mono-chromatic in the bowl together, so I dropped a handful of arugula into each bowl before pouring in the small amount of soup.
The result delighted me. Creamy textured fish, slightly crunchy kelp noodles, the sweet of the butter contrasting with the acidic of the garlic and the bitter of the arugula, all went down nicely with our animated dinner conversation about the Mars Curiosity.
Here's Mark's recipe that I started out with (plus my notes), in case you'd like to try some similar fun.
Pan-Seared Fish with Spicy Lime Butter
Stir together about a half stick of softened butter, a finely chopped shallot (I substituted the 6 cloves of garlic), the zest of a lime and a good squeeze of its juice (Bill and I were talking, so I put the juice of the entire lime in), a minced red chile (left this out for the kids), and a pinch or two of salt. Pat any type of fish fillets dry, season them with salt, and cook them quickly in a tablespoon of each olive oil and butter. Turn the fish once and cook until golden and cook through, about five minutes. Serve the fillets with a generous spoonful of the compound butter on top.