It’s that time of the day again, dinner time.
Tonight I’m inspired by Cape Town’s biggest fresh produce: FISH!
I live in the Southern Peninsula and almost went fishing last weekend( weather was disappointing, had to postpone) and I’ve just realized I have not cooked fish in a while.
This actually reminds me of a funny story, well it’s funny now. When I first moved to Cape Town for medical school, I was very curious why so many coloured Capetonians had no front teeth( yes, coloured is an ethnic group in South Africa, I’m not being racist). And someone told me it was because the fish in restaurants and fast food places was cooked in the same oil repeatedly and therefore people’s teeth rot as a result. I did not eat fish for the whole year after that, wanting to preserve my teeth! Only to find out that the person who told me that, was messing with me. The accepted reason for no front teeth is mostly sexual. I won’t go into details…! 🙂
For my starch, I’m visiting Italy with a creamy mushroom Risotto. This is mostly for my husband, he loves all things Italian and is convinced he must have some Italian blood in him.
For dinner tonight: creamy Mushroom Risotto with Yellow tail fish and Bearnaise sauce.
What do you need?
-Risotto rice. – yellow tail fish. – chicken stock. – mascarpone.
– veggies- onions, peppers( yellow, red), mushrooms, carrots, sugar peas, tomatoes.
– sauce- 1/4 cup of margarine, 2 egg yolks- beaten, 2 tbs cream, 1 1/2 tbs lemon juice, 1 tbs white wine vinegar, Oregano, 1/2 chopped onions, salt & pepper.
Ok let’s begin:
– Risotto- chop onions, peppers, mushrooms. Into hot pot with olive oil, add onions and soften, then peppers and mushrooms. When combined, add Risotto rice and toast a little. Then add stock, bit by bit while stirring. The technique is: risotto- stock- stir- gets absorbed- add more stock- stir gets absorbed etc until cooked. Should take 10- 15 min to cook.
-Fish- season with salt & pepper, rub with garlic and Pan fry skin down, then the other side until brown, then splash some lemon juice and more self & pepper. Add a splash of white wine after a minute. This fish doesn’t have a lot of natural oils, so it cooks quickly and gets dry even quicker. Should be done in 5-6 min.
– Bearnaise Sauce- recipe adapted from: http://www.allrecipes.com. I’m substituting butter for margarine and terragon for Oregano, skipping mustard, cayenne and parley. I want a mild bearnaise so i can taste those basic ingredients. In a bowl, melt margarine in the microwave for 30 sec, then add onions, beaten egg yolks, lemon juice, vinegar, cream and mix well. Then oregano, salt & pepper, mix. Then pop into microwave and whisk every 12 sec, 4 times. Until nice and thickened but not overcooked or separated. For this sauce timing is key, the only room for free styling here is in the herbs and spices. Not the timing!
– Veggies( baby carrots and sugar peas)- sauté with margarine and season with salt & pepper, and a dash of orange juice. Sauté for 3 min. Then out the pan and cool quickly( put into fridge so they stop cooking further).
Then assemble and serve. We have to make it look pretty! We have enough colours to play around with. A home cooked meal can look pretty too!
NB: Bearnaise sauce is s French sauce, quite delicate. It goes well with a lot of different meats like fish and steaks. It adds richness. Not the healthiest but replacing butter with margarine reduces the fat content remarkably. Olive oil would be a better choice but unfortunately doesn’t work as well.