Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Sake Marinated Sea Bass with Coconut Curry Sauce

This is a GREAT Thai recipe from epicurious. Since we're landlocked in Austin, Sea Bass is a bit on the expensive side ($20/lb, about .5 lb./person), but you could substitute orange roughy, halibut, or another thick white fish.

For the sake marinade:

1/2 cup mirin
1/4 cup sake
1/4 cup tamari or regular soy sauce
2 tablespoons yellow miso
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon brown sugar
6 6-ounce sea bass fillets (I halved this recipe and only used 2 filets for 2 people)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Steamed white rice
coconut-curry sauce (keep reading for the sauce)
Chopped fresh cilantro

yellow miso paste you will probably have to go to an Asian market for. You can find it in the refridgerated section, and they'll have different colors. Yellow or white miso paste will work.

Lemongrass can be found at Central Market in the produce section, but you may be able to pick it up at an asian market as well. Mirin is also called Aji-Mirin, and most grocery stores carry it. Any kind of Sake will work for the marinade. I used a sweet sake.

The marinade is easy - just add the first 7 ingredients to the food processor or blender and mix it up. I used liquid aminos in place of the soy sauce. It has nearly the same taste with 16 amino acids and less sodium. Now put the fish in a glass dish and slowly pour in the marinade. You want to marinate the fish for at least 2 hours, turning every 30-45 minutes.

In the meantime, make the coconut curry sauce and the rice. If you want to make authentic Thai steamed rice there's a good recipe here: I chose to just steam some sushi rice.

For the Coconut-Curry Sauce:
1/2 cup mirin
1/4 cup chopped fresh lemongrass
1 tablespoon chopped peeled fresh ginger
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups whipping cream
3/4 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
2 teaspoons Thai green or red curry paste


First, you'll want to prepare the lemongrass. Pull off the outer leaves and cut off the bulb. You'll need a sharp knife. Then slice the white part of the stem into thin slices. To chop it, I used the food processor. You can use a knife but make sure to chop it pretty finely.

Place mirin, lemongrass and ginger in medium saucepan. Boil until reduced to 1/4 cup.
Add wine and boil until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 6 minutes. Add cream and coconut milk. Make sure to stir the coconut milk before measuring, as it tends to separate. Bring to a boil (be careful, it's easy to burn the cream!). Reduce heat to medium. Simmer sauce until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Stir in curry paste. (I used red for more color, but green works too). Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. When the fish is done marinating, pat dry and sprinkle all sides with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan at medium-high until almost smoking. Sear the fish for about 2 minutes on the first side. The brown sugar in the marinade will help the fish to caramelize on the edges, giving it a nice golden brown color.
Cook the second side for about a minute and then place in the preheated oven. Bake for about 8 minutes,or until the fish is flaky and opaque in the center.Spoon the steamed rice onto the plates and top with fish filets and sauce. Pictured below with Edamame on the side.Yes, the presentation is terrible but I don't really care ;-)


Monday, February 4, 2008

Wild Mushroom Manicotti

Another healthy recipe from food network:,,FOOD_9936_28130,00.html

manicotti shells are kind of hard to find - I got mine at Central Market. It's easy to make your own, I just wasn't feeling up to it yesterday (coming down with the flu).

Here's my version of the recipe:

Manicotti Stuffing:
1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and caps sliced thinly
6 large manicotti shells
Olive oil

1/2 pound lean ground turkey
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 small onion, finely sliced

1 shallot, finely sliced
4 ounces jarred roasted red bell peppers, chopped
1/2 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon course black pepper
Tomato Sauce, recipe follows
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan

1/2 cup Pecorino Romano, grated
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Tomato Sauce:
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, pressed

1/2 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms

1/2 small onion, minced

1 shallot, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 cups prepared tomato sauce (I used garlic lover's organic tomato sauce)

Boil Manicotti shells in salted boiling water for 8-10 minutes, drain, and cool. Make sure to separate them out right away so they don't stick together and tear later. Coat a medium-sized baking dish with olive oil and set aside.

Prepare your ingredients:

Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat, and coat with olive oil as it is heating. Add ground turkey and brown, breaking it up to cook evenly. Drain fat from pan. Add garlic and onions and cook until onions are translucent, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes. Add roasted peppers and cook for about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat, and stir in the ricotta. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

The turkey doesn't pipe well since it has sliced mushroom and onion in it. I just used my fingers to stuff the manicotti shells by hand. If you make homeade manicotti you can just roll the stuffing up in it like sausage.

Place the stuffed manicotti shells in the prepared baking dish and make the sauce.

To make tomato sauce:

Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic, onion, mushrooms, and dried oregano, and saute until onion is translucent. Add tomato sauce and bring to a simmer.

Top the manicotti shells with tomato sauce and then sprinkle Parmesan and Romano cheeses over top. Bake for 25 minutes. Serve .

This recipe also reheats well.