Hanoi Turmeric Fish with Dill

This recipe intrigued me at once when I saw it on Sandra’s Please Pass the Recipe. Firstly because I’ve never cooked Vietnamese before, and secondly because although fish and dill are a well-known combination (especially in Scandinavia), I had never heard of dill being used in Asian cuisine. This is how Sandra described it: “Cha ca la vong, originates from a single restaurant with a huge reputation in Hanoi. Essentially it’s white, firm fleshed fish marinated with turmeric, pan fried, tossed with fresh dill and served with peanuts and nuoc cham, the Vietnamese sauce that makes everything taste good.” I had picked up some fresh turbot fillets and thought it would be nice to prepare them this way. I’m glad that I did, because it was easy to prepare and delicious! Continue reading “Hanoi Turmeric Fish with Dill”

Rose Fish Sous-Vide with Lemon-Roasted Cauliflower

Rose fish is called “Roodbaars” in Dutch, which literally translates to “Red (sea) bass”. I like all seafood so when I checked out the market and the rose fish looked the freshest, that is what I got. From the name and appearance I assumed wrongly it resembled sea bass or snapper, but instead the texture and flavor turned out to be more like cod. I prepared it like I prepare sea bass, by cooking it sous-vide and then crisping up the skin. It turned out okay, but not as nice as actual sea bass and just slightly dry and flaky. Next time I’ll prepare it more like cod, cooked sous-vide at a slightly lower temperature (45ºC/113ºF instead of 48ºC/118ºF). White fish pairs nicely with roasted cauliflower, and so I served the fish with lemon-roasted cauliflower that turned out nicely. Continue reading “Rose Fish Sous-Vide with Lemon-Roasted Cauliflower”

Seafood Cous Cous

The final dish in the series of Sicilian dishes I cooked for my parents is a seafood cous cous. I’m hesitant to refer to it as “Cous Cous Siciliano”, because I used a few shortcuts. You see, traditional cous cous in Sicily is made from scratch from coarse semolina flour and water, and then steamed in a terra cotta pot with holes in the bottom called a cuscussiera. The cuscussiera is sealed to the pot with simmering water underneath by a simple dough of flour and water. Instead, I used store-bought cous cous (also made from semolina flour) and followed the instruction on the package for cooking it, which says: combine the cous cous with an equal amount of hot water or stock, cover, and wait 7 minutes. That is indeed a whole lot easier, and although I didn’t do a side by side comparison the cous cous didn’t seem any different from what I remember from trying it in Sicily.

In Sicily, cous cous is flavored with bay leaf, cinnamon, almonds, parsley, onion, and garlic, and served with a tomato-fish stock and fish. I made up this recipe using this general guideline and using gurnard (“rode poon” in Dutch) and mussels as the seafood and we loved it. They keys to great cous cous are fresh fish, homemade stock, and not overcooking the fish. When using store-bought cous cous, it’s not that hard.  Continue reading “Seafood Cous Cous”

Hot Smoked Trout

Stovetop smokers are wonderful. You can use them either on the stovetop or outside using burners. They are very easy to use: simply add a few tablespoons of smoking dust and the food item you wish to smoke, close the smoker, heat it for 15-20 minutes, and out comes a beautifully smoked fish or whatever you put in. Especially fatty fish are great this way.

I prepared smoked trout as a quick dinner before we left on the boat trip, and I’m sharing the recipe with you now before writing some more about the food I’m cooking on the boat trip. Continue reading “Hot Smoked Trout”

Ancho Chile Salmon with Chinese Cabbage

After trying Richard’s Ancho Chile Rub on tuna, I also wanted to try it on salmon. Combined with some Chinese cabbage prepared with fish sauce, soy sauce, and shichimi togarisahi, this makes for a dish with a small number of ingredients that is simple to prepare, but has a lot of flavor and is healthy. We both loved this. The only thing I will change next time is to add a few wedges of lime, which I didn’t have but I think will add a nice bit of freshness to the earthy flavors. Continue reading “Ancho Chile Salmon with Chinese Cabbage”

Grilled Avocado with Tuna Sous-Vide

Yet another meal and another post inspired by fellow bloggers, two in this case. The idea to try tuna sous-vide came from A Single Serving, who left a comment on my sous-vide page. He mentioned tuna confit, which is not what I tried this time around (but I will). Instead, I cooked the tuna medium rare at 42C/108F. The idea to grill avocado came from Richard of REMCooks, as well as the idea to combine avocado and tuna. I made this for lunch, but it could also be a nice appetizer for two. If you don’t have sous-vide equipment, you could use a ziploc bag and stock pot as a good substitute (that will however require some attention to monitor the temperature) or simply serve the tuna raw.

You may now be thinking that I lost it. Grilling avocado? I had never thought of this, but I trust Richard and he’s right: it’s nice and a great way to eat an avocado that is not yet fully ripe. I was worried the avocado would ‘melt’, but that is not the case at all. The sous-vide tuna turned out very nice, with more flavor than rare tuna. I really liked the combination of flavors and textures, and the chile flakes made a big difference in this dish. Here’s what I did… Continue reading “Grilled Avocado with Tuna Sous-Vide”

Swordfish Sicilian Style (Pesce Spada alla Siciliana)

Even though I didn’t actually have this dish while I was in Sicily recently, I did see it on menus everywhere and I thought it would be appropriate to include it in the series of Sicilian recipes I’m doing. The swordfish is cooked in a tomato sauce bursting with flavor of onions, garlic, anchovies, capers, olives, and cayenne pepper. This is an easy dish to make, as long as you lower the heat (or even turn it off) when you finish cooking the fish to avoid overcooking it. Continue reading “Swordfish Sicilian Style (Pesce Spada alla Siciliana)”

Swordfish Salmoriglio

Swordfish is more meaty than most other fishes. So meaty in fact, that if the swordfish is really fresh and you cut away the ‘blood meat’, you could probably fool someone into thinking he’s eating meat rather than fish. There is one issue with swordfish and that is that it is often overcooked and dry. With swordfish this happens even more often that with other types of fish. By cooking the swordfish sous-vide, it will be very tender and juicy without risk of overcooking. The nice thing about cooking fish sous-vide is that it only takes a short time, so it is possible to cook the fish sous-vide without having a sous-vide water bath. You only need a digital thermometer for this to work. Continue reading “Swordfish Salmoriglio”

Broiled Cod alla Romagnola (Grigliata di Pesce alla Romagnola)

On the Adriatic seacoast of Romagna, all kinds of seafood are marinated with parsley, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice, and then coated with breadcrumbs and grilled or broiled. The marinade gives the seafood a nice flavor, whereas the breadcrumbs help to keep the seafood tender and moist. This recipe is quite similar to ChgoJohn’s recipe for Bacala alla Griglia, which is not surprising since the Marche region where is family comes from is just south of Romagna. Continue reading “Broiled Cod alla Romagnola (Grigliata di Pesce alla Romagnola)”

Simple Succulent Salmon

It is amazing how good the most simple dishes can be. The only thing you need for this is fresh salmon, farmed is fine, and a digital instant-read thermometer with a probe. The salmon is cooked to medium rare in the oven and will be so tender and succulent that you can eat it with a spoon. You can serve the salmon with your preferred sides, fresh herbs, or sauce, but it’s good enough by itself. This is so easy that anyone can do it. Please give this a try, you will be amazed! Ingredients Fresh (not frozen) salmon fillet, … Continue reading Simple Succulent Salmon

Homemade Fish Fingers

Like so many things, homemade fish fingers are so much better than store-bought! They are quite easy to make and you get to control what goes in them. So only the freshest fish, homemade breadcrumbs and an organic egg. For these fish fingers I used fresh Atlantic wolffish (“zeewolf” in Dutch, also known as “seawolf”). Since you will use fresh fish rather than frozen, the fish will be that much more flavorful and succulent. I suppose fish fingers were invented for people who don’t like to recognize that they are in fact eating fish, but I like them anyway since … Continue reading Homemade Fish Fingers