New Year's Eve and A Top Chef Challenge

Saturday, January 10, 2009

For New Year's Eve we stayed in this year and I made dinner. As mentioned in my other blog, I made up a dish with grouper on the fly. I found it to be hugely successful, very easy to prepare and can be done so with pretty much any white fish. I thought I'd share my recipe for:

White Fish with Putanesca Sauce
1 cleaned fillet of white fish (grouper, halibut, sea bass)
olive oil
half one onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3 roma tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp capers
small handful of pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
6-8 whole clams, scrubbed clean
1 tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped
1 tspn fresh parsley, finely chopped
freshly ground black pepper

In a large pan (with lid), heat olive oil. Season fish with salt and pepper and on high flame, sear both sides of fish, about 3 minutes each side or until achieving a golden crust on both sides and fish is just shy of completely cooked (it will finish cooking when it's placed back in the sauce later). Remove fish. In same pan, add onions and cook on medium heat about 5 minutes, until onions are soft but not caramelized. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, capers and olives. Add white wine and cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Taste and adjust with salt and pepper as needed. Create a hole in the sauce and add fish back, then spoon some of the mixture on top of the fish. Place clams around the fish on the periphery of the pan and cover tightly with lid. Cook until clams have opened and fish is fully cooked, about 4 minutes. Disgard any unopened clams.

Add parsely and basil and serve hot with crostini or good crusty Italian bread and the rest of the dry white wine used for cooking!

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