Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Iron Chef Challenge: Orange Roughy

I'm doing my happy dance. In fact, I've been doing my happy dance since I faced this iron chef challenge and absolutely KILLED it!

Let me back up and start with telling you Jim rarely goes to the grocery store. He's admitted he gets irritated easily in that environment and his anxiety levels rise. I on the other hand love to grocery shop. I make an event of it with my organized list and recipes in one hand and starbucks in the other. I go down almost every aisle, checking prices, reading ingredients, spotting new products.

Last time Jim went to the grocery store he brought home shark. On this particular day, Jim went to the grocery store and sent me a simple text that said "Are you up for another Iron Chef Challenge?" I was coming off the high that is my Potato Soup, so my reply was a confident "Sure, I'm game!"

I came home to find two Orange Roughy fillets. Hmmm, never heard of it. After a quick internet search I learned that Orange Roughy is a deep sea fish with flesh that is firm and mild in flavor. It's a relatively new fish that was first discovered in the 70's. Unfortunately I also learned that it is overfished.

Now what do we have on hand to cook WITH this orange roughy? Luckily I had just brought home our CSA bag full of freshly picked tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, greed bell peppers. Horray! So here is what I did...

I gathered an onion, a green bell pepper, dried parsley, a jalapeno, two tomatoes, olive oil, minced garlic, lemon juice, red pepper flakes (I didn't use these after all) and butter.

I started with a tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of butter in a deep skillet over medium heat.

I simply seasoned the fish fillets with salt and pepper.

And when the butter had melted and started to bubble, I added the fish and let them sear for two minutes on each side.

I wasn't expecting the fish to fall apart as much as it did, but two minutes on each side gave the fish a nice sear and then I removed them from the pan (carefully) and set them on a plate to the side.

I like the clean taste of just a splash of citrus on fish, so I gave a very tiny sprinkle of lemon juice to the fillets.

To the same skillet, I added one onion which I sliced to make rings, then cut the rings in half. I also added a green bell pepper which I sliced pretty thinly. Stir to coat in remaining olive oil.

Covered and let cook down for five minutes, just until the vegetables soften and the onions begin to brown a bit.

After five minutes I added one tablespoon of minced garlic.

Jim and I both really love this chardonnay from Waugh Cellars, we were going to drink it with this meal, so I added 1/2 cup of this wonderful chardonnay to the simmering vegetables. Side note: only cook with wine you would also drink, and even better if you cook with wine you intend to drink WITH that meal!

Oh yeah, this is looking and smelling so good. I'm on the right track.

Next, I added two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar to the skillet.

Let this cook over medium/medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until it cooks down by half.

Mmmm.... fresh and juicy tomatoes from the local farm.

Give two tomatoes a rough chop and add to the skillet.

I was going to season with red pepper flakes, but I have half a dozen jalapenos from the local farm, so for some added heat I washed and removed the seeds from one jalapeno and then chopped it pretty small.

Stir it all together and lets add the fish back in, the tomatoes definitely need some time to heat and fall apart, adding more "juice" to the vegetables.

Carefully snuggle the fish back into the vegetables and broth. Cover and let cook over low heat for 10-15 minutes. The fish should flake easily with a fork when fully cooked. Try saying that line 10 times fast.

I am so pleased to present this meal. I grounded the dish in white rice tossed with parsley, topped with a fillet of Orange Roughy with a serving of sauted vegetables and some sauce spooned over the top.

Woo Hoo! I hit this one out of the ball park and I'm so excited! The fish is very mild and went so well with the bursting flavors of the onion, bell pepper and subtle (very subtle) heat from the jalapeno.

Am I ready for another Iron Chef Challenge from Jim?

Bring it on!

1 comment:

  1. This looks awesome. I follow your blog regularly; as a vegetarian, I am afraid I would not cook many of the dishes for myself, but absolutely love your creativity in cooking. I wish I were more adventurous :-)...


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