Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Fish Night with Two Fishes

Sorry, it was so wonderful I had it mostly eaten before I thought to take a photo! That's the
Blue Fin tuna on the top left, with the flour-coated sand sole below it. They are sitting on top
of my husband's tartar sauce.
Fish night became the tale of two fishes: Blue Fin tuna and sand sole. The tuna arrived yesterday, and I was having such a busy day, I let Lee unload the box and I didn't even get a chance to look at it. Today, I gave it another look.

Oh my! Sushi-grade Blue Fin tuna! I had tried making sushi once, with dismal results, so I would be pan frying this stuff, very lightly pan frying it. Its a fish best served rare. I had the perfect marinade for it, too, a locally-made Pear, Ginger and Wasabi Balsamic vinegar from Chaparral Gardens. We had picked that up at a craft show hosted by the Tibor Canyon Olive Ranch in Edna Valley last November. Chaparral does tastings by appointment only, but I have seen their product in local grocery stores, as well. We stopped by the Chaparral booth and tried several vinegars, then ultimately picked the wasabi one. I let Lee choose because I knew he loves wasabi, and it had been sitting on the pantry shelf since then, waiting for the perfect food to marry. Well, the Blue Fin was it! I poured a small amount of the vinegar over the fish that I had portioned into four pieces from two steaks. We get one pound of fish with our SLO Veg delivery, which they offer in partnership with SLO Fresh Catch, and it comes packaged in 1/2 pound portions. A half pound of tuna is really a lot for one portion, although the guys may beg to differ with me on that statement. But really, its a dense fish that eats like a steak, and they were four of us tonight. So, four small portions. Then I was afraid it might not be enough, so I grabbed a package of white fish, sand sole, that I had frozen from a previous delivery, and plopped it into a bowl of cold water to defrost.

I had rice in the steamer, purple and orange carrots sliced into little coins in a saucepan of water, ready to cook. I decided to top that with the rest of the broccoli, as well. It could all steam together. Later, I decided that wasn't so great because the broccoli took on a bit of purple coloring from the water it was cooking in. Plus, the juices seeped into the rice on my plate, and it wasn't visually appetizing. Next time I will probably cook them in separate vessels.

The sand sole needed a flour coating, so I put a scoop of flour into a bowl, added a dash each of granulated garlic, onion powder, paprika and dill, plus some sea salt and black pepper. By this time the sharks were circling, so I put them to work. I had two saute pans heating with olive oil and butter, and I asked one of the guys to "watch" the tuna sear. He did a great job, flipping it after about two minutes, and removing it before it was well done. I quickly coated the sand sole and began pan frying it, adding more butter as it evaporated. I needed to cook the white fish longer than the tuna, because it was only partially defrosted and I wanted a nice crust on it. I cooked it on each side for about 6 minutes. I gave my husband the task of making the tartar sauce, since it IS his specialty, and slicing the bread, which needed to be done, but really a caveman could have done it, but probably without such precise precision.  

We plated up two fishes, rice, carrots and broccoli, french bread slices and tartar sauce. Everyone got a slice of lemon to squeeze on the fish and vegies. It made a pretty good meal. 

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