Friday, March 30, 2012

Some Dishes with Fishes - Round Five

Posting these fish-dish roundups is becoming a habit with us. Hopefully there will be many more editions to come!

This round opens with a Seafood Fritto Misto - an Italian-inspired dish of lightly-coated and fried fish (in this case squid and black gill). Squid tentacles always look cool, and they tasted great, but the star of the show was the black gill. While the chunks of fish weren't much to look at, they were moist and full of flavor.

Cornflake-crusted White Sea Bass with Salsa Verde

This was our first time trying this take on a Rick Bayless recipe, and it was great - even though an initially too-hot pan caused the outside flakes to over-caramelize. The way the cornflakes went golden-orange was beautiful and also added structure and complexity of flavor to the fish. Combined with the salsa verde, it was very good indeed.

Middle Eastern Pargo Snapper with Bulgur and Garden Veg

We have a burgeoning love affair going on with Claudia Roden's New Book of Middle Eastern Food. It has spawned a number of great meals for us so far, including the fish marinade and flavor profile (lemon, garlic, cumin, paprika, marjoram, mint) for this dish.

Indonesian Fragrant Fish (Grouper) Stew

This dish, from James Oseland's Cradle of Flavor, is a rhizome-fest - using ginger, galangal and turmeric. We've used turmeric a lot as a dried spice, but this was our first use of fresh turmeric, and it made a big impact on us. Lovely flavor and color.

Smoked Scallop Savory Custard

This was a bit of a crazy idea, but it turned out really well. We've been loving the bay scallops we get from Catalina Offshore - particularly smoked. They went beautifully with the delicateness of the soft savory custard.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Prawn Pathia - Indian Takeaway Recipes

Prawn Pathia

Our Chicken Pathia recipe is one of the most popular recipes on our blog, and we often get requests for additional recipes using our Curry Base Sauce.

This Prawn Pathia is almost the same recipe as our chicken version, but uses fish stock instead of chicken stock, omits the red coloring and, of course, uses shrimp instead of chicken. While the overall flavor profile remains, the shrimp take the dish in a quite different direction.

Some notes on the recipe, as questions have come up on our other curry recipe posts:

  • We use the term "Indian chilli powder" as that is what is on the label of the powder we typically use. If you can't find that, use a hot, red powdered chile (cayenne works well). Be sure not to use a spice blend - you just want straight powdered chile.
  • For the stock, you should use just the amount concentrated stock cube or granules that would be needed to make a cup of liquid - do not add the corresponding amount of water. The goal is to get the flavor of the stock without diluting the curry base.

Prawn Pathia

Serves four.

4 tablespoons oil
1 medium onion, chopped small
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste)
1-2 teaspoons Indian chilli powder (or other hot, red powdered chile)
1 large bunch fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped (coriander)
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
Approx. 1/3 recipe Ubiquitous Curry Base Sauce
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Fish stock cube or granules (enough for 1 cup)

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add cumin, ground coriander, garlic, ginger, and onion. Cook while stirring until onions are wilted.

Add "Base Sauce", fish stock, cinnamon, vinegar, and sugar. Stir to mix. Add salt to taste, and chilli powder to get the spice level you want.

Simmer for about 10 minutes to allow flavors to mix.

Add a large handful of the cilantro to the pot and mix it in. Simmer for another 10-15 minutes.

About 5 minutes before serving, add the shrimp and another small handful of cilantro. Simmer until the shrimp is opaque and just cooked through.

Serve with Pulao Rice and flat-bread.