Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Blue fish baked "en papillote"

I had never cooked bluefish before, so I thought I would give it a shot when the fine folks at Savenor's recommended it. Not knowing much about the fish, I decided to go a safe route and bake it en papillote, which is a fancy way of saying a cooked it in a parchment paper envelope with a few random ingredients (onion, lemon, oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, olive oil).

When you bake the fish this way, all the moisture stays in the pouch, so everything steams together and flavors are infused into the fish.

I served the fish with sauteed spinach and Isreali couscous with clam broth. The couscous dish would work equally well with any short cut pasta such as orzo or anchellini. I made this dish on the fly, but it worked out pretty well.
Israeli Couscous in Clam Broth:

-1 cup uncooked Israeli couscous (or orzo)
-Instant clam broth (available at Whole Foods) or clam juice
-4-5 shrimp, shelled and minced.
-1 plum tomato
-1/2 onion, finely chopped
-1 clove garlic, minced
-1 bay leaf
-pinch of saffron
-lemon juice
-salt, pepper to taste

Sweat the onion with garlic with a bit of olive oil in a medium pot. Mix up 2 cups of clam broth and add to pot. Throw in the bay leaf and a pinch of saffron (this is primarily for color). When the mixture reaches a boil, add couscous and turn heat to med low. Stir occasionally, and after about 10 minutes add the tomato and minced shrimp. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Continue cooking until the couscous is soft. Add water if the mixture dries up. The finished product should be a bit soupy, more so than a risotto.

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