Saturday, April 21, 2007

a simple little fish dish

Kitchen hand made a casual mention about things he likes to do with root vegetables in a recent post. Tucked away in a prelude for a recipe for Swedes was a throw away remark about a nice dish involving parsnips and fish. I’d run my eyes over it before a trip to the market on Thursday, aware we had one vital ingredient - the remains of a good bottle of white wine too good to be discarded, so I hastily added parsnips and some fillets of fish to the shopping list.

His original recipe used carrots, but was open to the inclusion any root vegetables. As usual I made a few twists and turns. From his couple of lines, I’ll attempt to fashion a recipe. Maybe your interpretation will be even better!

Braised vegetables with snapper

Heat the oven to 200-220c. Layer the vegetables in a casserole dish, or use a deep baking tray and cover with foil.

1-2 parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced longways
1-2 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 large onion, sliced in rings
1-3 cloves of garlic, peeled
Some white wine and vegetable stock (or water) – about enough to cover the first layer of vegetables
Season with a little sea salt and black pepper

Cover and bake til the vegetables are almost cooked (20-40 minutes depending on the amount of vegetables, how thick they are cut and the heat of your oven).

Now lay some fillets of fish over the top. Cover and continue cooking. I used snapper and it took about 12 minutes.

Unlike Kitchen hand, I didn’t’ add any butter. The fish was perfectly steamed and fragrant. The Significant Eater, a man who generously seasons all that he cooks, was amazed at the flavours in such a simple dish. The sweetness of the vegetables, mixed with the wine and stock, made such delightful juice. It didn’t need any further herbs or spices.

Verdict: extremely healthy, easy and delicious. Of course you could always use this as an excuse to open a bottle of wine and sip while it cooks….

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