Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Roasted Fish Fillets with Brown Butter Corn Sauce

This meal had us surrounded. I first read about the brown buttered corn on Molly's site, Orangette. She says she doubled the recipe for a party of 6, but doubled, this corn made three people very happy. Then I saw the fished-up version on a round-up on Apartment Therapy: The Kitchen... Or vice-versa... the dates of each article would imply that I found it on AP before Orangette... but I don't remember.. doesn't really matter. What does matter, is that this corn has made it around (and if the no knead bread or the snickerdoodle muffins are any indication, this lovely corn will be around for a while!!)

Now, with corn out of season, I used bagged frozen organic corn - two bags, in fact. A ton of butter, lots of thyme... This meal is another example of how just a few simple ingredients can make a lot of impact. The blitz in the blender with the lemon and garlic really made the corn pop. Really. Really pop. (Please make this and eat it.)

Now. I did struggle with the fish. Choosing the fish, to be specific. I took the suggested fish list with me to the grocery, and while there I pulled out my handy Seafood Watch Regional Guide to determine the best choice... Wegmans didn't have any striped bass... and the other two fish are in the naughty "avoid" column... so I went with the flounder because it didn't have the extra-naughty red (mercury) star next to it. I wish I knew more about fish to know what other fishes we could have had in its place, that would have fit in as well.

Yes, the fish was evil. However, it was really really tasty (jerks!!). The flavor was light and delicate and went so so beautifully with the corn sauce on top and side-corn. It baked merrily away in the oven while I prepared the corn and green beans.

I was extra stressed out about the naughty fish because my lovely and wise friend Marcie was over for dinner. She has suggested so many things to us... the friendly light bulbs, the re-usable grocery and produce bags, my rock-star hair dresser, the Amazing Race and Top Chef, Wasa crackers and my favorite farmer's market... so imagine my dismay when I'm having eco-Marcie for dinner, and I have to give her unsustainable fish. Thank goodness she forgave me!

I would love to make this again, but not until I know which fish would make a good substitute... if you have ideas - I GLADLY welcome them!

Recipe: Roasted Fish Fillets With Brown Butter Corn Sauce
c/o NY Times

6 fish fillets such as striped bass, flounder or red snapper, each about 6 to 8 ounces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest, optional
Brown buttered corn (recipe follows)
1/2 cup vegetable broth or water
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, or to taste
Chopped fresh soft herbs (basil, mint, parsley, cilantro).

1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Season fillets with salt and pepper and place in a baking pan, skin-side down.

2. In a small bowl, mash together the butter, about two-thirds of the garlic, and the lemon zest if using. Smear on top of fish fillets. Roast until cooked through to taste, 7 to 12 minutes depending upon variety of fish and thickness of fillets.

3. Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor, purée half the brown buttered corn with broth or water, oil, lemon juice and remaining garlic. Stir in remaining corn. Serve sauce over fish, garnished with herbs.

Yield: 6 servings.

Recipe: Brown Buttered Corn
c/o NY Times

3 ears corn, shucked
4 tablespoons butter
4 sprigs thyme, preferably lemon thyme
Coarse sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh soft herbs (basil, mint, parsley, cilantro), optional.

1. Break ears of corn in half and stand one half vertically on a cutting board. Using a sawing motion, run a knife between cob and kernels to remove kernels. Using back of knife, scrape denuded cob to release corn’s juices. Transfer kernels and juice to a bowl. Repeat with remaining corn.

2. Melt butter in a saucepan; add thyme. Let butter cook until you see golden brown specks in bottom of pan and butter smells nutty, about 5 minutes. Add corn, juices and a large pinch of salt and pepper; stir well and cover pot. Let cook until corn is tender, about 5 minutes.

3. Remove thyme sprigs, add more salt and pepper if desired, and serve hot, alone or as a side dish, garnished with herbs if desired.

Yield: 4 servings.

1 comment:

Deborah said...

This sounds so delicious - especially the corn. I saw it on Molly's site as well, but now I really want to make it!