Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spicy Fish Sweety Greens

I love spicy food. On any given day, I would gladly trade out a cookie or other sweet for something that burns my mouth! Absolutely love it. So I usually look for spicy recipes that aren’t just hot for the sake of being hot. I like my spice to have some depth and a good flavor as well. Well that’s just what I got when I found this tilapia recipe on my handy dandy iPad app for All Recipes. It is called Tandoori Fish and was submitted by Rina H. The depth in this recipe is crazy and the flavors were so complex that the extreme heat only added to an already delicious flavor. And even though the recipe suggests to marinate the fish for 4 hours, it is not necessary. I’m sure it makes the flavors marry more, but even after 1 hour, it was super!

Here’s the deal:

4 tilapia filets
*recipe calls for catfish, either would be fine
1/3 cup white vinegar
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
*I put the garlic and about 1 ½” ginger in the mini food processor
½ tsp. salt
1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp ground coriander
*Here’s the complexity
1 Tbsp cumin
½ cup olive oil
*recipe calls for vegetable, I don’t use the stuff

This is super simple. Mix all the ingredients minus the fish to make a thin paste/marinade. The recipe says to blend it in a blender….who has time for that??? You don’t need to. Coat the fish in it (in a Ziploc bag would be the most efficient way to do this). Let it sit for 1-4 hours. I wouldn’t let it sit too much more than 4 or the vinegar is going to start to cook the fish. Add a small amount of olive oil to a hot pan and cook on both sides until the fish is flaky. Only flip the fish once and remember the second side goes faster than the first. The recipe also call for you to broil it, but again, not necessary! I feel like you run a much larger margin for error with a broiler.

So what was I going to eat with this fish? Well, originally I though okra. Some of my absolute favorite okra dishes are Indian recipes and I thought the two would really compliment each other. But I pulled out the okra and GASP mold! I was sooooo bummed out. Then I remembered that the good people at Boston Organics brought me collard greens that week! So collards it was.

Now here’s the disclaimer on collards. I DO NOT have time to cook them the way I always knew them to need to be cooked. Which is all day. This is old school southern food and I adore it, but there’s no time for that, period. So I crossed my fingers that a half hour or so would be plenty.


1 large bunch fresh collards
½ gala apple, diced
¼ white onion sliced semi thin then in half
1 tsp hot madras curry powder
*use whatever kind of curry powder you have
½ - ¾ cup white wine
olive oil

Wash your collards really good. Make sure you pull the leaf away from the stem. You won’t miss this stem, promise. Stack the leaves up and roll them lengthwise. Then cut them in ½” strips. I usually then cut the long pieces in half or thirds after that. Put them in a semi deep pan with about 1 cup of water and a small drizzle of olive oil. Cook over medium high heat covered for 10 minutes or so. Stir and add the white wine plus a little more water. You want these greens to soak up the liquid and cook out some of the bitterness. After you’ve cooked them for about 20 minutes add the onions and apple. Stir and keep cooking, covered. Keep adding water until you’ve cooked them for about 30 minutes. Once the liquid is mostly cooked off (not all of it) add the curry powder and stir it in. Cook for a minute or two. Then add a drizzle of honey. Stir it up, let the honey heat (this will only take a second) then serve them piping hot!

I know exactly what you’re thinking….Too many things in the pot! Normally, I would agree, but this total accident was a HUGE SUCCESS! Not only were the collards legit amazing by themselves, but when you ate them with a piece of the fish on one fork it was seriously a masterpiece! Not to toot my own horn! This is one of those times when taking a risk and being creative with food really pays off. And I got a big pat on the back from Josh. Who, by the way, doesn’t really like collards, chard or other bitter greens. So I knew it wasn’t just me, the any greens any time girl!

I urge you to try both of these, but if you’re choosing one….go with the collards!


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