Friday, October 16, 2009

Something's Fishy

Something weird happened this summer.

As I lay prone in my beach chair overlooking the spectacular Tahoe shoreline, frosty beer in one hand, John and Kate, Brad and Angelina, Paris and her new BFF in the other, it seems that something resembling a child’s small inflatable beach ring slipped itself under my muumuu and permanently affixed itself to my thighs. Apparently,a summer full of de-licious has converted into a backside full of boot-i-licious...emphasis on the "booty", not the "licious."

It came without warning. It just doesn’t add up. You do the math…

Didn’t all of those limes I shoved down into my Corona Lights (yes, Lights!) count toward my 5 daily servings of fruits and vegetables? Weren't my regular three block power walks to and from Garwoods Happy Hour classified as aerobic workouts? Was it wrong to think that 18 holes of pee wee golf would cancel out the ritual pre-match pizzafests?

Well, after a couple of months of denial and back to school excuses, all it took were a couple of foggy mornings and some frost on the windshield to remind me that my days of pull-on stretchy shorts, baggy T’s and that “you-caught-me-on-my-way-to-the-gym” look are numbered. Soon they will give way to the need for regular visits back to the office and a slightly more pulled together least one that suggests that I regularly bathe.

I try to plug my ears and sing "la-la-la-la" really loud but I can still hear him...he's mocking me...that 500 pound blue gorilla standing in the middle of my room. He's pounding on my closet doors…my nemesis…his name is "jean." Like it or not, some one, way back when (clearly before the invention of my beloved Lycra), decided that blue jeans are a fashion staple and the ultimate in casual comfort. Says who? Well, like it or not, I must face my denim demon, re-expand my wardrobe, de-expand my derriere, and win the battle of the zipper now...before people actually realize that I don't even belong to a gym.

So, a few weeks ago, Charlie and I reconverted our "clothes tree" back into a working treadmill and began to substitute leafy greens for "Double Doubles with cheese" and non fat yogurt for our beloved Fairfax Scoop. It was OK for a while but after a week or so of broiled chicken breasts and steamed broccoli, I wanted to gag! "Enough!" I cried with indignation as I went running to my tattered recipe files vowing to find us something...anything...that had some flavor but wouldn't send us back to the dark side.

I found it...a crumpled magazine page I had saved from my days at Gourmet Magazine. I remembered it as the one that I used to parade around to my advertising clients to prove that we were a contemporary magazine...not stuck in the 1940's. "Yah," I thought, "this is the one...a fillet of snapper on a bed of steamed sweet potatoes, beautiful fresh veggies and this amazing soy ginger glaze...

Yikes...I forgot about all of the chopping...

and the peeling...

and the zesting...

and the sauteing....

Man...I forgot how many steps there were in this recipe...It's Tuesday night and it's 7 pm...we're starved!

But...those flavors! These are just some of the ingredients in this crazy, spicy, sweet glaze..

So here it is, over an hour later, but it was worth it...that shot of adrenaline to my flat-lined taste buds. The photo's not great (it's dark and I'm beat) but, trust me, it's beautiful and delicious. I think that the only thing that could make it better is dessert at Fairfax Scoop. I'll get a single...I promise.

Red Snapper With Spicy Soy Glaze
On Sauteed Vegetables And
Sweet Potatoes

For the glaze...

Mince and saute in heavy saucepan until soft:

  • 3 large shallots
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil

Add and simmer until reduced to about 3/4 cup (20 minutes... so make your fish now while it simmers):

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons apricot or plum jam
  • 1 Tablespoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Stir in and keep warm:

  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest
For the fish...

Julienne (thinly slice) and put aside:
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 3/4 cup snow peas
  • 2 cups Napa cabbage
  • 1/4 cup red onion

Peel, slice (8-12 slices, 1/4 inch thick) and steam over boiling water until just tender (keep warm in pan):
  • 1-3/4 pound sweet potato
Saute quickly until browned in a non-stick, lightly oiled skillet then finish baking in a 275 oven:
  • 4- 4 ounce red snapper filliets

Let's put it all together now...

Take your julienned veggies and lightly saute or keep raw (your preference) then add:
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 Tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
Divide warm potato slices among four plates, top with warm or crispy cold veggies (your preference). Put one fillet on each plate then drizzle with warm glaze.

OK, it's really not as much work as it appears...just be organized and maybe make the glaze ahead for a weeknight meal. Enjoy!

Serves: 4

Adapted from Gourmet January 1998


Unknown said...

WHAT?!! On a Tuesday night? Donna, you put me to shame. We'll be there next Tuesday at 8:00!

Unknown said...

You warm my tummy and my heart with
all these scrumptious delights. I am a tiny bit partial to you personally but can see great talent
come alive in your beautiful detailed writing and the beauty of your food creations. Thanks my friend! I love you lots!! Laura

Regina Harrison said...

The cow is gorgeous!
Hi from Cake Art!
Regina Harrison