Saturday, November 03, 2012
Kick Out the Chicken for this Quick Fish Dish
One of the reasons I don't often cook with fish is simply because the fresh stuff was hard to come by in the small Central Oregon town I grew up in. Even after my parents moved the family to Portland there wasn't much available in the supermarkets around our suburban housing development, the streets strangely named after American Indian tribes. (Pawnee Path? Shawnee Trail? Sioux Court? Really?)
Gazing distractedly at the fish and seafood case in the store the other day, I noticed a fish with the strange name of "swai," fillets of which were going for less than $4 a pound, a pretty unbelievable price for fresh fish. Pulling out my phone and launching the handy Seafood Watch app, I found out that swai (above left) is a farmed river catfish from Asia—usually Vietnam—with a mild flavor and meaty texture. Rated a "good" choice if it comes from a foreign source, it rates a "best choice" if raised domestically.
It seemed like my foreign fish purchase might work as well as rockfish, so I followed her lead. Start to finish, it's ready in about half an hour…and I think you'll agree it's a winner.
White Fish Piccata
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1 Tbsp. garlic, chopped fine
1/2 c. chicken stock
1/2 c. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. capers
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. parsley, chopped fine, for garnish (optional)
1-1 1/2 lbs. fish fillets
Preheat oven to 350°.
In a medium saucepan, heat oil and butter over medium heat. Add garlic and very briefly sauté until it's just warmed. Add lemon juice and chicken stock and heat until it barely comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low, add capers and stir. Add small amount of water to cornstarch to make a thin paste. Add cornstarch to sauce and allow to thicken slightly.
Place fish fillets in a 9" by 12" baking pan. Pour sauce over the top and put in oven for 20-25 minutes until fish is cooked through.