Sunday, February 26, 2012

Miso Seabass over Sesame Chard and Brown Rice

I'm still pretty blissed out from my California yoga vacation last weekend.  It was exactly a week ago I was tasting wine and cupcake pairings!  I want to keep the healthy juju flowing so I invented this recipe to enjoy with a bottle of great California wine, and dark chocolate for dessert.  If I squeezed my eyes shut and concentrated very hard, I could imagine I was back in Santa Margarita, with sunshine on my cheeks and gorgeous green rolling fields of grapevines spread before me.

I found a great deal on barramundi at my grocery store yesterday.  Barramundi is also called Australian Seabass, or the "sustainable seabass" for its low environmental impact.  It's a meaty white fish that's easy to cook and has a great sweet, buttery, delicate flavor.

My friend Kristi raves about the Miso Seabass at Cafe Lurcat in downtown Minneapolis, so I thought I should steal the flavor combo and try some miso with my barramundi.  The marinade I threw together was very simple - just a tablespoon each brown sugar, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, miso paste, and water.  To cook the fish, you simply throw it in the oven for 10-12 minutes, so it really couldn't be any easier to make this for a dinner guest.

I wanted to keep the Asian flavors in my side dishes to pair with the miso so I added ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and sesame oil to my usual sauteed kale recipe (and substituted Swiss chard instead of kale).  This is also easy to prepare in advance and re-heat before serving with some brown rice.

What a deceptively simple but elegant and delicious dinner.  It looks fancy, like you'd pay about $25 for this at a restaurant, but it probably cost me less than $15 for two servings.  It was light and fresh, yet the chard and rice gave the dish some substantial depth, and the miso and sesame oil gave the whole thing an exotic flair.

Miso Seabass over Sesame Chard and Brown Rice
Serves 2

Miso Seabass:
2 pieces sustainable white fish (recommended: barramundi)
1 Tbsp miso paste
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp water

Mix all the marinade ingredients and add fish.  Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 15 minutes, or up to a few hours.  When ready to serve, bake on foil lined sheet pan at 400 degrees for 12 minutes, or until it is firm to the touch.

Sesame Chard:
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
1 inch fresh ginger, minced or grated
1 bunch Swiss chard or kale, washed, stems removed, and chopped
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp soy sauce or tamari
1-2 tsp toasted sesame oil
salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes to taste

In a large skillet, saute onion in olive oil over medium heat for 5 minutes or until soft.  Add garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute.  Add chard or kale, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.  Saute and stir occasionally until pan is dry.  Then add rice wine vinegar and soy sauce.  Cover and let liquids steam the chard for 3-5 minutes (or until ready to serve).

Before serving, remove from heat and add toasted sesame oil.

To serve, scoop cooked brown rice on plates.  Add a big scoop of sauteed sesame kale/chard, and top with the miso seabass fresh from the oven.

ONE YEAR AGO:  Fish and Mashed Potato Croquette
TWO YEARS AGO:  La Salade De Legumes
THREE YEARS AGO:  Halibut en Papillote

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