Sunday, March 28, 2010

Fish Piccata, Roasted Broccoli, and Brown Rice

There is nothing in this world I love more than combining good people, good food, and good wine. A night with those three elements is guaranteed to make me happy. And last night delivered in a big way.

Cassandra is visiting MN for a weekend (yay!) and as usual I get to butt in with her family for a fabulous evening of eating, drinking, and chatting. Cass and I collaborated on the menu and besides the rice cooking time, it took only about 20 minutes of actual cooking to get this lovely meal on the table to feed six hungry adults and beautiful Elinor.

Cass made the rice - a short grain brown rice, cooked for 45 minutes in water with 2 vegetable bouillon cubes and a handful of chopped parsley thrown in at the end for color. It was delicious, with a nearly risotto-like creamy consistency.

We also roasted 7 broccoli crowns and 3 pints of cherry tomatoes at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. Just some good California extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and crushed pepper flakes.

The main entree was cod fillets pan fried with a lemon piccata sauce. The fish all fell apart as I was cooking it - which was disappointing for the presentation factor. But it still tasted pretty good and the piccata sauce was a nice bread-soaking agent.

After dinner, Cassandra leaned back with a completely satisfied look on her face and declared that she felt really good after eating that meal. As a cook, I can think of no greater compliment.

Fish Piccata
fish fillets - any white fish will work (you can easily substitute chicken cutlets pounded thin)
1/2 cup white wine
juice of 2 lemons
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp capers
handful chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Rub olive oil on fish and season with salt and pepper. Pan fry in skillet over medium-high heat a few minutes on each side until fish is firm and flakes with a fork. Remove from pan and keep warm.

Add butter, wine, and lemon juice to pan and cook until reduced slightly. Add capers, salt and pepper. Turn off heat and add parsley. Maybe throw in another pat of butter at this point. Stir it all together and pour over the fish.

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