On a recent Sunday, I was feeling quite lazy and hungry. I had some nice pieces of Atlantic cod and a half bottle of cheap chardonnay. I had been to the farmer’s market earlier in the day and had a bunch of great, fresh vegetables on hand. I had Carrots, some celery, red onion, brussels sprouts, mushrooms and poblano peppers. Of course, I had fresh basil growing the backyard, so it seemed I had the makings of a great meal.
I started by rough chopping most of the vegetables, except the basil which I just tore up by hand. Now we can crush a little garlic with the flat side of a knife and put it in a pan on the stove. I usually use a short stock pot. In the pan, pour enough olive oil to cover the bottom. Add a healthy pinch of salt and black pepper.
Once the oil is hot, add in the chopped carrots, celery, red onion and peppers. Stir the vegetables as they cook, but not to often. Let them rest a bit in the pan, and, as they begin to caramelize or brown, add your fish fillets. If you need to, cut the fish fillets to fit the size of the pan. Shake or stir the vegetables so that the fish hits the bottom of the pan. At this point, add the brussels sprouts and mushrooms. Let the pan get hot again and add a cup or two of white wine. Be sure to reserve enough wine to drink with dinner. Now throw in the basil and let the wine come to a boil.
I also added the juice of a lemon at this point, since I had one in the fridge, but I think it works well with or with out it. I also put in a half cup or so of chicken broth and an equal amount of water. At this point, cover the pot, let it simmer for about 8 or 10 minutes, depending on how thick the fish fillets are.
Once the fish is done, pull it out and set each serving in a bowl. You can hold these in the oven for a bit if you like, but the rest of the dish shouldn’t take too long to complete unless you’ve got a lot of fish and a big pan.
Strain the vegetables from the pan, reserve the liquid. I hope you read that step through before you poured half that stock down the drain.
Next, we’ll turn the heat up and bring the liquid to a boil. Let it roll for a few minutes, reducing by about a quarter or a fifth, not too much. Now we’ll remove it from the heat and whisk in some whole butter. Using a lot of butter will taste great, using a little will keep you healthy, that part is your choice!
To finish the service, add the some vegetables to each of the bowls and pour some of the liquid over the top. Quick, simply and delicious, enjoy!
It would be simple to change the vegetables in this dish, to fit whatever you might have in the fridge. Try adding some spinach at the very end, or even Arugula! And as always, don’t be afraid of your kitchen!