A Bit Of Filleting

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I went back for round two with the flounder since my last experience was so delightful. I’ve never filleted a fish and I now understand and praise the efforts of the local fisherman who do this daily. While I am proud of my efforts and the outcome, let me just say, that was work—which is saying a lot for me. Maybe practice makes perfect? I certainly hope so. While my knife filleting skills need work, the fish was delicious and a very quick dish to prepare once filleted. I simply used olive oil and a few basic seasonings for flavoring. I paired the fish with some leafy beet greens and Swiss chard from Saturday’s trip to the market.

A glass of red and some homemade chocolate chip cookies also made for a wonderful finish to the day. Next up, I think I’ll try my hand at curing some fresh pork belly from the market. Wish me luck! Below is the recipe from the fish and tips of great sides if you decide the chocolate cookies must be skipped.

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups raw Swiss chard
  • 1 cup of raw beet greens
  • 1-2 fillets of flounder (about 1/3 lb.)
  • 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. rough chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 tsp. coarse black pepper
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • ¼ cup of water

Quick tip: I chop all of my greens and store them in gallon-sized Ziploc bags as soon as I buy it. This helps with meal prep during the week.

Quick Sides:

1 cup of quinoa with 1/2 cup of chopped mushrooms, 1 cup of chicken broth and herbs and seasonings of your choice. (2 servings)

1 cup of rice with 1 tbsp chopped cilantro and 1 tbsp of chopped flat leaf parsley cooked in chicken broth for more flavor. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Directions:

  1. Google directions on filleting fish if using whole. (I did not and paid in time.)
  2. Wash and chop your greens into 1 inch thick pieces for quick cooking. Put greens in a medium-sized pot with the water, butter and half of the seasonings over medium heat.
  3. Heat olive oil over medium heat. It should sizzle when hot or you can test it with a drop of water. While the oil heats, season fish with half of the remaining pepper, salt and onion powder on one side.
  4. Once hot, place the seasoned-sized down and use the remaining seasoning on the other side. Let cook for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Stir greens and reduce heat.
  6. Flip fish and add parsley and squeeze lemon over the fish before topping the pan and turning off the heat. It will continue to cook.
  7. Check greens. They should be wilted and tender.
  8. Turn off heat and plate the fish and greens.
  9. Enjoy.

A Bit Of Preparation

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A lot of my friends know I often bring my lunch to work; it’s cost effective and I know exactly what’s in it. I often use part of my weekend to prep meals for the week, both lunch and dinner. I made a simple chicken salad that was great for lunch today. One can makes enough for 3 to 4 servings. You can also sear fish or chicken to go with a salad or sides of your choice. Yesterday evening I made a brining solution for the two beautiful whole, fresh flounder I picked up at Saturday’s Farmers Market. I let the flounder soak overnight and seared them in olive oil and finished the fish in the oven with fresh lemon, capers, butter and parsley. I wilted some beet greens and Swiss chard with garlic, topped them with pickled onions and carrots and topped the fish with microgreens from the farmers market which packs the nutrients  of broccoli, kale and assortment of other veggies without requiring me to eat them all tonight. And while this dish is absent of a carb or starch, I should mention I roasted potatoes with onions for my leftover fish; tonight I am saving myself for the ice cream I also made this weekend. Should I add chocolate? I think so. 🙂

Check out the recipes below. The chicken salad took all of 5 minutes and the fish dish took 35 minutes. Now I could be faster with my knife and potato peeler but if you have a partner or kids, they can make easy work of the pickling job or chopping the greens.

Chicken Salad Ingredients:
1 can chicken or 1 cup of leftover baked or roasted chicken
1/2 cup of minced celery
1/4 cup minced yellow onion
1 1/2 tbsp mayo
1 tbsp creole mustard
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp sea salt
1tsp coarse black pepper

Directions:
1. Chop celery and onion.
2. Open and strain can of chicken by pressing lid down to release liquid and place in a small bowl.
3. Add celery, onion mayo, mustard and seasoning. Mix well.
4. Top with foil and place in fridge until ready to serve.

Day 1:
Flounder Brine Ingredients:
Ziploc gallon bag
Measuring cup
3 cups of water
1 1/2 tbsp sea or kosher salt
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
3-6 bay leaf depending on size
2-4 pieces of lemon peel

Directions:
1. Place fish in Ziploc bag after rinsing.
2. In a measuring cup, add water sugar and salt and stir until dissolved. Pour into Ziploc bag.
3. Add bay leaf.
4. Cut the ends off of a lemon and the  zest from each side. Avoid cutting into the fruit. Add to the Ziploc bag.
5. Seal and squeeze excess aid from the bag, being mindful of the water solution.
6. Store on a plate in the fridge overnight.

Day 2:
Seared Flounder Ingredients:
Flounder in brine
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 lemon or 2 tbsp juiced
1 tbsp capers (optional)
2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp coarse black pepper
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1 cup of chopped beet greens
1 cup of chopped Swiss chard

Pickled Veggie Ingredients:
1 carrot shredded with potato peeler
1/2 onion sliced thin
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp coarse black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne

Directions:
1. If cooking potatoes, slice 3 in half and then  into 1/2 inch thick pieces and add to a cooking sheet covered in parchment paper with thin slices onion. Drizzle olive oil, salt pepper and garlic powder and add to a preheated 375 degree oven. If no potatoes still heat oven for the fish. (Optional)
2. In a medium-sized bowl, add vinegar and sugar and mix until dissolved.
3. Peel carrot then shred, using a potato peeler, into the bowl.
4. Thinly slice onion and add to the bowl. Add seasoning and mix with a fork before topping with foil and setting it aside.
5. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
6. Rinse fish in cool water to remove excess salt and place on a plate. Season each fish with a fourth of the seasoning on one side. Once pan is hot place seasoned-side down. Season other side.
7. Let it cook for 3 minutes. Then flip to other side and reduce heat to medium for 2 minutes. Squeeze in lemon juice to deglaze the pan, then add parsley, butter, capers and a splash of water and place in oven for 5 minutes or so depending on size of fish.
8. While fish cooks, add greens to a non-stick pan and cook for 3 minutes with garlic, 1/2 tsp of salt and pepper and a pinch of water.
9. Turn off heat and remove everything from the oven carefully.
10. Plate greens first, then picked veggies. Place the fish on top. Add micro greens or a little chopped parsley to the top and enjoy.