Depending on the definition you adhere to, you may or may not consider a fish dish to be appropriate for Meatless Monday. In my definition, fish is not meat. It’s just fish. 🙂 Originally I had planned this blog post for a Monday. I didn’t finish it yesterday anyway, so maybe that is just as well for you guys that use a stricter definition of meat that includes fish. No matter … let’s get on and enjoy some more ideas about cooking good food.
Today I am going to show you my version of one of the not-so-obvious dishes I stumbled across in Madhur Jaffrey’s Quick & Easy Indian Cooking. This is the cookbook I have been having fun going through this past year while learning some easy ways to prepare Indian-style food. The recipe I will be referring to is on page 68 and is simply called “Grilled Fish Steaks”.
There are no photos of this particular dish in the cookbook, so if you have the book (or might be getting it in the future), maybe my photos will be useful to you. And even if you don’t have the cookbook, you can probably follow my description of the basic ingredients and method to come up with your own ad hoc recipe.
By the name of the recipe alone, one might think this would be a healthy, low calorie dish. I did, at first, until reading further into the list of ingredients which included heavy whipping cream! But I justified that small indulgence by making a healthy choice of the fish I would use in this dish.
The recipe in the book calls for either fish steaks (which usually come with a central bone), or filleted chunks of haddock, salmon, or tuna i.e. fish with firm flesh that is firm enough to hold together like a steak. I didn’t have any of these, but neither is it unusual to let a little thing like that deter me. My local Sam’s store had a nice fillet of steelhead trout (which for all purposes is like wild-caught salmon).
Here is the fillet after I have removed the skin from the underside. My Victorinox 12-Inch Granton Edge Slicing Knife made this any easy job. While I was removing the skin, the skin side was down and I just skimmed the knife between the skin and the flesh. You can see how a a slight bit of silver-ish haze remains here and there on the side of the fillet that was next to the skin, but that is not going to hurt anything.
The ingredients for the rub mixture are salt (to your taste; I personally go quite light on this), freshly ground black pepper, turmeric, cayenne pepper, and garam masala. The recipe calls for heavy whipping cream, but I think half-and-half works fine (at least that’s only half as bad, lol). I don’t have the type of grainy mustard called for in the book (Pommery Moutarde de Meaux), so I just used my favorite local Creole Mustard made by Zatarain’s.
The steps for assembling and cooking are pretty easy and straight forward. I place the fish on a large tray lined with foil. Dribble a bit of peanut oil over the fish, then pat half of the rub mixture into the flesh.
Broil about 4″ from heat source until starting to brown (start watching closely at about 2 minutes). Mix the mustard and cream together and brush half of it onto the fish.
Broil again another couple minutes until turning golden brown.
Flip the fish and repeat the rub and mustard cream sauce steps on the other side. Here is a photo of the completed dish. I’ve broken off a serving size of fish and placed it on a bed of plain brown basmati rice that I had cooked separately. I served with lime wedges, although you could use lemon wedges as called for in the cookbook recipe.