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fish wellington – a dinner party hit!

fish wellington - light & delicateWe have Julia Child to thank for making beef Wellington popular.  The dish was aired in 1965 on a New Year’s day broadcast.  I have eaten it maybe two or three times during my adult life; I enjoyed it but sometimes the meat was overcooked and when buying in a restauarnt, it isn’t cheap.  It was always considered a posh dish to serve your guests. Continue Reading →

cioppino and a San Francisco mini trip

Italian American fish stew - cioppinoDuring the first week in March, Mr. S and I were in San Francisco; he was attending GDC while I was a tourist for 5 days.  I had never been before and was eager to explore as much as possible and I did!  Each day was packed with something new.  We stayed in the Mission District (so glad we did) and would walk to the Moscone Center every day.  Breakfast was in a different place each morning usually eating at establishments that promoted locally grown food.  Some of the memorable ones were Blue Bottle Coffee (the softest poached eggs on toast with avocado), Chow Food Bar (buttermilk pancakes to die for), and Tartine Bakery & Cafe (ham and swiss croissants that melted in your mouth).  I would have breakfast with Mr. S and then bid him farewell as he went on to the GDC. Continue Reading →

lime & cashew fish rolls

lime and cashew fish rolls This is the second time I’ve made this dish. The first was the week of the new year and I was in search of something different from the food I usually make during the holidays.  Lime and cashew paste smeared over the fish sounded so good – it was delicious!  But…I struggled with the rice paper!  I’ve made fried Vietnamese spring rolls oodles of times but for some reason, the rice paper was not co-operating (both times!).  Continue Reading →

fish tacos (tacos de pescado)

fish tacos“What’s for dinner?” asked Mr. S.  I said I was thinking of fish and he said good!  We haven’t had fish in a while but these days with the way my memory works it was most likely only a week or so ago.  Cinco de Mayo (the 1862 victory of the Mexican militia over the French army) is just around the corner and making fish tacos seemed fitting.  A national staple and popular street food in Mexico, tacos are quick, fresh and inexpensive.  Continue Reading →

pasta with haddock

pasta with haddockI am the first to admit that we don’t enough fish (mea culpa).  The Mayo Clinic recommends two servings a week.  Some weeks we eat that and some weeks we don’t…especially when we’re on a vegetarian kick or the carnivore in me takes over.  The fish balance is a thin line for me.  I need a craving for fish otherwise it just isn’t going to make it to the table.  We have been watching a mini series, Italy Unpacked, with art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon and Italian chef Giorgio Locatelli.  The series focuses on different regions of Italy where they both share their knowledge of Italy’s culture and cuisine.  The episode featuring Sicily caught my attention.  Continue Reading →

Halibut Fish Cheeks

halibut fish cheeksFish cheeks? The first time I heard this we were living in Hong Kong. The Chinese love fish and the prized part is the cheek. Why?  The cheeks are the tastiest and sweetest part of the fish…I kid you not! Tender chunks of flesh that smell like the ocean and are opaque. A smaller fish yields cheeks that tend to look like sea scallops whereas a larger fish can have cheeks the size of a hamburger patty. Continue Reading →

Fish Taco Recipe

fish tacoLooking to serve fish in a fun, slightly messy way?  Tacos have been around for hundreds of years and we all have our favorite fillings but have you tried using fish?  Baja California is considered the birthplace of the fish taco – Continue Reading →

Haddock Saltimbocca

HaddockSaltimboccaThe classic saltimbocca dish consists of thin slices of veal topped with a sage leaf, wrapped in a prosciutto slice, and sautéed in butter. If prepared properly, saltimbocca should melt in your mouth.  Other variations can include chicken or pork.  While haddock saltimbocca isn’t a typical Italian dish, these tender morsels were absolutely delicious.  This recipe makes for a perfect finger food dish.  Saltimbocca, in Italian, means “to jump into the mouth” which is exactly what these did when I made them…they were that good!

Serves 4
inspired by Sean Armstrong’s Kitchen

4 haddock fillets, cut into bite-sized strips
10 sage leaves, chopped
zest of 1 lemon
olive oil
1/3 cup white wine
prosciutto slices, cut in half lengthwise

Dipping Sauce –
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 red chili, minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar

saltimbocca marinade ingredientsIn a large bowl add sage, lemon zest, 2 tablespoons olive oil and white wine. Stir to combine and add fish. Allow to marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes.  To make the dipping sauce, combine all ingredients and stir until sugar has dissolved.

haddock marinatingRemove fish from marinating sauce, pat dry with paper towel and wrap each piece with prosciutto. Secure with toothpicks.

haddock saltimbocca preppedOver medium heat add fish to a lightly oiled frying pan and cook about 2 minutes each side.  Serve on a platter with the dipping sauce and let your guests dig in.

The Culinary Chase’s Note: Use any firm white-fleshed fish.  Don’t leave the fish to marinate longer than 20 minutes as the wine will continue to cook the fish and it will begin to fall apart.  This will make it difficult to wrap and roll up the fish in the prosciutto slice.  Enjoy!

Fish Piccata

fish piccata by The Culinary ChaseAnyone who knows me knows of my phobia of fish bones. As a kid, I choked on one too many and as a result I steer clear of fish that isn’t filleted. And, if I do find a bone in a piece of fish, it’s akin to an appetite suppressant and am turned off by anything left on my plate! When I buy filleted fish I go the extra mile and closely inspect for any bones that were missed. In the past, I’ve found a few in salmon and removed them with tweezers. I now ask the fish monger for a fillet piece from the middle section of the salmon (less chance for bones to be found).

You may have eaten veal piccata, originating in Italy, or chicken piccata (an American favorite) but here’s my spin by introducing fish in lieu of beef or chicken. Because you don’t need to flatten the fish as you would for the original version, this recipe takes less time to make and reduces the cost. This is one of my favorite ways to enjoy fish. Lightly flouring the fish gives you a silky finish and a meal ready within 20 minutes!

Serves 2

2 skinless fillets of fish (flounder, sole, cod, catfish, haddock)
1/2 cup flour
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 – 5 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
1 to 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
1 shallot, minced
juice of half a lemon
1/4 cup chopped parsley

fish piccata ingredients by The Culinary ChasePat dry fish fillet with paper towel. On a plate, add flour and season with salt and pepper. Lightly dredge fish through flour, shake off any excess flour.

In a large skillet heat 2 tablespoons butter and oil over medium-high heat. Place fish fillets in skillet and fry until golden about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and set aside (keep warm).

Wipe down the same skillet. Over medium heat add 1 tablespoon butter, shallot and lemon juice. Cook shallot until soft. Increase heat and add wine scraping any bits that might have stuck to the bottom of the skillet. Add remaining butter, capers. Cook until sauce has thickened slightly. Spoon sauce over fish and top with chopped parsley.

easy to make fish piccata by The Culinary Chase
The Culinary Chase’s Note:
Adjust frying time according to thickness of the fish fillet. Enjoy!